The chilling images of nature by Hans Abrahamsen


  • Hans Abrahamsen Winter Night
  • Hans Abrahamsen Wald
  • Hans Abrahamsen Schnee

Asko|Schönberg and Brad Lubman present three magical-romantic 'nature images' by Hans Abrahamsen: Winternacht, Schnee and Wald.

Ensemble works about ice and forest
Abrahamsen's ensemble works Winternacht, Schnee and Wald can justifiably be called a trilogy. They are about winter, forest, ice, nocturnal sleigh rides, romantic images. The composer himself calls Wald the twin sister of Schnee and of his earlier wind quintet Walden (1978). He derived the title for Walden from the 1854 book of the same name by the American author Henry David Thoreau, which describes his two-year stay in a cabin on the shore of Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts.

Wald places Thoreau's back-to-nature idea in a German Romantic framework. The title builds a bridge to Robert Schumann's piano cycle Waldszenen. For both Schumann and Thoreau, Abrahamsen writes, the forest is "the magical romantic place that brings man to spiritual understanding." In nineteenth-century spirit, Wald, punctuated with German recitatives, contains a real Nachtmusik and a hunting scene with galloping horses. The hunting horn call of a rising quarter, borrowed from Walden, must have been close to the heart of horn player Abrahamsen. He himself once went to the forest with a wald horn to experience the magic at first hand.

Saturday 14 May 2022
2:15 pm
The Royal Concertgebouw

Large Hall


Brad Luman (c) Peter Serling
Brad Lubman

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