I was recently commissioned by the Church of Sweden to compose an piece for strings tailored to be the opening music for an All Saints Day concert at the Haga Church in Göteborg, where the main event of the concert was the international premiere of Matthew Coleridge’s beautiful Requiem from 2016. I love when you get such a distinct assignment: you know the purpose of the music. So, in this case I wanted to write a passionate, melodic and beautiful piece that would open the ears and minds of the audience, and while hopefully being emotionally affected by my piece, also prepare for the following program (which also featured pieces by David N. Childs, Max Richter and Richard Strauss).
There is a special reason behind the dedication to maestro John Williams, the composer who ignited my interest in film music. I was not able to attend the premiere of Nostalgia as I finally – for the first time since 1996 – would have the opportunity to see Williams conduct his music live in Europe, at the Musikverein in Vienna with one of the greatest orchestras in the world, the Wiener Philharmoniker. As it turned out, the Williams concert was canceled but on that night, my piece was supposed to have been performed at the very same time as the Williams concert and it simply seemed appropriate to dedicate my string piece, which perhaps is inspired by Williams’ music to a certain extent, to my big hero.
The music was performed beautifully by a group of six players who invested a lot of emotion and careful movement in the piece: David Bergström and Lars Kvensler (violins), Emil Jonasson (viola), Lars-Erik Persson and Christoffer Bergström (celli) and Thomas Allin (contrabass), conducted by Ulrike Heider.
After I had finished writing the piece, I wrote a small poem to accompany the composition:
An outburst of tears,
a reminiscence of beauty,
perhaps… too pathetic a memory?
No, it is not.
Call it what you want.
It is profound.
From darkness again,
light. Always in eternity.
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