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The Sirens Cycle

The Sirens Cycle

for coloratura soprano (or soprano) and string quartet

Texts by James Joyce, Homer and Franz Kafka


  • Instrumentation: coloratura soprano (or soprano) and string quartet
  • Edition: score and parts
  • Language: English - Ancient Greek - German

Description
The Sirens Cycle consists of three movements for string quartet with soprano and two electronic interludes. The negation of song in Franz Kafka’s Das Schweigen der Sirenen [The Silence of the Sirens] inspired me to compose a work reflecting on song itself. I took an extract from Ulysses by James Joyce and requested IRCAM in Paris to transform the text through spectral analysis into pitches, note values and tone colours. In the first movement, I strictly adhered to the resulting note sequence, but increasingly became liberated from it during the progress of the work. I linked the quartet movements with interludes evoking audible associations with the song of the sirens. Peter Eötvös
Details
Auftragswerk : Co-commissioned by Wigmore Hall with the support of André Hoffmann, president of the Fondation Hoffmann, a Swiss grantmaking foundation; Tonhalle-Gesellschaft Zürich; Alte Oper Frankfurt; Centro Nacional de Difusión Musical, Madrid; Ircam-Centre Pompidou, Paris; ProQuartet-Centre européen de musique de chambre, Paris and by the Südwestrundfunk (Kompositionsauftrag des Südwestrundfunks)
Content text: I James Joyce (Ulysses)
Interlude ad lib. (electronics)
II Homer (Odysseia)
Interlude ad lib. (electronics)
III Franz Kafka (Das Schweigen der Sirenen)
Performance duration: 45'0"
Publisher: Schott Music
Uraufführung : 1. Oktober 2016 London, Wigmore Hall (UK) · Piia Komsi, soprano; Calder Quartet (Uraufführung ohne Live-Elektronik)

12. Oktober 2016 Paris, IRCAM (F) · Audrey Luna, soprano; Calder Quartet (Uraufführung mit Live-Elektronik)
Year of composition: 2015-2016
Performances
2022-02-16 | Basel (Switzerland), Stadtcasino
2016-10-16 | Donaueschingen (Germany) — 14:00
2016-10-15 | Donaueschingen (Germany) — 14:00 | national Premiere
2016-10-12 | Paris (France), IRCAM | World Premiere
2016-10-05 | Frankfurt (Germany), Alte Oper | national Premiere
2016-10-03 | Madrid (Spain), Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía | national Premiere
2016-10-02 | Zürich (Switzerland), Tonhalle | national Premiere
2016-10-01 | London (United Kingdom), Wigmore Hall | World Premiere
Audio Stream
The Sirens Cycle consists of three movements for string quartet with soprano and two electronic interludes. The negation of song in Franz Kafka’s Das Schweigen der Sirenen [The Silence of the Sirens] inspired me to compose a work reflecting on song itself. I took an extract from Ulysses by James Joyce and requested IRCAM in Paris to transform the text through spectral analysis into pitches, note values and tone colours. In the first movement, I strictly adhered to the resulting note sequence, but increasingly became liberated from it during the progress of the work. I linked the quartet movements with interludes evoking audible associations with the song of the sirens. Peter Eötvös
Auftragswerk : Co-commissioned by Wigmore Hall with the support of André Hoffmann, president of the Fondation Hoffmann, a Swiss grantmaking foundation; Tonhalle-Gesellschaft Zürich; Alte Oper Frankfurt; Centro Nacional de Difusión Musical, Madrid; Ircam-Centre Pompidou, Paris; ProQuartet-Centre européen de musique de chambre, Paris and by the Südwestrundfunk (Kompositionsauftrag des Südwestrundfunks)
Content text: I James Joyce (Ulysses)
Interlude ad lib. (electronics)
II Homer (Odysseia)
Interlude ad lib. (electronics)
III Franz Kafka (Das Schweigen der Sirenen)
Performance duration: 45'0"
Publisher: Schott Music
Uraufführung : 1. Oktober 2016 London, Wigmore Hall (UK) · Piia Komsi, soprano; Calder Quartet (Uraufführung ohne Live-Elektronik)

12. Oktober 2016 Paris, IRCAM (F) · Audrey Luna, soprano; Calder Quartet (Uraufführung mit Live-Elektronik)
Year of composition: 2015-2016
2022-02-16 | Basel (Switzerland), Stadtcasino
2016-10-16 | Donaueschingen (Germany) — 14:00
2016-10-15 | Donaueschingen (Germany) — 14:00 | national Premiere
2016-10-12 | Paris (France), IRCAM | World Premiere
2016-10-05 | Frankfurt (Germany), Alte Oper | national Premiere
2016-10-03 | Madrid (Spain), Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía | national Premiere
2016-10-02 | Zürich (Switzerland), Tonhalle | national Premiere
2016-10-01 | London (United Kingdom), Wigmore Hall | World Premiere