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Gura – det groende mørke (Gura, – the growing Darkness)

Instrumentation/Complement of players
Clarinet, piano, cello
Year of creation
1993
Premiered:
1993
Duration:
26 min.
Kreditering:
LIN Ensemble
Dedicated to/originally written for:
Dartington International Summer Festival and LIN Ensemblet
About the work:

During the work with this trio, the memory of Danish author Johs. V. Jensen’s strange, overlooked, but incredibly beautiful myth of Gura sneaked slowly, but unresistably into this work’s universe.

The most fascinating thing about this Gura (Johs. V. Jensen’s own invented name) is her unaccountability. She is a fog, she is totally alone. She stays in the gap between Day and Night, and travels slowly forward. Whereever she appears, she meets only Silence….a being, causing Death to the one seeing her.  One feels that she contains the whole memory of humanity.

During the work with otherwise abstract material, a silent Gura found her way into this work – as a glimpse of a forgotten past. Her fate-loaded being never surfaces, – she stays in the dusk of dawn between musical day and night. In spite of this fact, she seems to take power of more and more of this movement, like a covering fog – and in the end she even takes power over the title of this work….

As professor Mogens Brøndsted wrote in a commentary to the  myth in the daily newspaper of Politiken:

… for the person who finds his or her way to it, it may have gained its own ability to stay permanently. And when you have got it under your skin, it will stay there – like a permanent dream experience..

Reviews

the highlight of the festival for me was without a doubt Mogens Christensen’s Gura – The Growing Darkness … a developing international profile. His music is marked by extraordinary clarity of thought: he does not feel the need to hide behind self-conscious obfuscation. I found the ending of this work to be particularly striking. Above a long, sustained e-flat drone in the cello, the clarinet added languorous multiphonics, creating a magical illusion of the suspension of time. Only an artist with complete confidence in his own abilities would have the courage to end a piece with such a sparse texture. Christensen has a profound understanding of the expressive power of harmony, and has here written an exceptionally beautiful, elegant and sublime work.

(Musicworks)

Faszinierend … ist eine scheinbar statische, hypnotische Zwielichtmusik, die mit kurzen Impulsen und langsamen motivischen Prozessen das subjetive Zeitempfinden des Zuhörers außer Kraft setzen scheint: ein herrliches, nahezu magisch anmutendes Werk … Der Beifall im gute besuchten Saal steigerte sich für Christensen zu Ovationsstärke.

(Wiener Zeitung)

… er en smuk, homogen og vellykket komposition med en fortættet musikalsk substans gennem hele værket … åbnedes mange døre ind til et fortryllende univers, en hule af mystik med en drypsten-agtig rummelighed, hvor lyriske billeder veksler med grotesk grimasserende passager og prikkende nervøsitet i musikkens glidende drømmesekvenser, der forduftede i en smuk og sakral klang over klarinettens stemningsfulde orgeltone. Et uhyre præcist formet udtryk.

(Politiken)

… bevæger sig bevidst i randområdet af, hvad tilhørerens tidsfornemmelse kan kapere … Det er denne evne til at skabe bevægelse mod et punkt, der forbliver fjernt, som Mogens Christensen tematiserer med sin musik.

(Berlingske Tidende)

Her viste Mogens Christensen et sikkert håndelag som andante-komponist med sans for udnyttelse af den klassiske klarinettrios farvemuligheder i en suggestiv musiks glidende, lyriske drømmebilleder kontrasteret af en sitrende uro ved skurrilt vrængende maskers nærvær.

(Information)

 

… stod meget, meget stærkt … Det afsluttende cellospil var helt utroligt, her voksede mørket vitterligt og omsluttede os alle.

(Morgenposten, Fyn)

… den koncentrerede og smukke Johannes V. Jensen-inspirerede “Gura – det groende mørke”. (Jyllands-Posten)

… mytiske undergangsstemning. (Politiken)

 

… koncentration af Christensens udtryksverden i en sort og indadvendt form. (Dansk Musik Tidsskrift)

... meget stemningsfuldt … mod slutningen steg intensiteten frem mod et “skrig” i klarinetten før det hele stilnede af i et hendøende, dystert mørke.

(Fædrelandsvennen)

 

... dette værk bed mere fra sig og rummede også en vis uhygge. Mogens Christensen tør give sig tid til sine fortællinger. Det er befriende at opleve i en forjaget tid som vores, særlig når det er gjort så godt og stemningsmættet som Christensen gør det … en sjælden smuk oplevelse.

(Jyllands-Posten)