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Sofia Gubaidulina’s “Fairy Tale Poem” for orchestra to be first performed in Sweden

Sofia Gubaidulina’s “Fairy Tale Poem” for orchestra to be first performed in Sweden

Sofia Gubaidulina's 1971 “Fairy Tale Poem” is the music for a radio programme for children based on the fairy tale “The Little Piece of Chalk” by the Czech writer Mazourek. This unusual piece is now to have its Swedish premiere in Norrköping on April 2, 2020. Maxime Pascal will conduct the Norrköping Symfoniorkester.

"I liked the fairy tale so much and it seemed so symbolic an artist's fate that I developed a very personal relationship with this work," recalls Sofia Gubaidulina.  The music, written with great pleasure, can also be performed as a standalone orchestral piece without spoken text. The composer explains: “The main character of this fairy tale is a small piece of chalk for writing on blackboards. The piece of chalk dreams of drawing wonderful castles, beautiful gardens with pavilions and the sea.  But day after day it is forced to draw boring words, numbers and geometric figures on the blackboard, and in doing so every day it becomes smaller and smaller, unlike the children who grow every day. Gradually the piece of chalk is in despair increasingly losing hope it will be allowed at some point to draw the sun or the sea. Soon it becomes so small it can no longer be used in the school class and is thrown away. After which the chalk finds itself in total darkness and thinks it has died. This assumed darkness of death, however, turns out to be a boy's pocket. The child's hand takes the chalk out into the daylight and begins to draw castles, gardens with pavilions and the sea with the sun on the pavement.  The chalk is so happy it does not even notice how it is dissolving in the drawing of this beautiful world.” 

Many of Sofia Gubaidulina's instrumental works have a programmatic approach, including the “Fairy tale poem”. The forcefulness of the fairy tale, Gubaidulina's special musical language and the work's clear structuring enable even children to quickly find an intuitive access to the sound spaces of New Music.

Swed. prem. Sofia Gubaidulina, “Fairy Tale Poem” for orchestra
(Norrköping Symfoniorkester
Conductor: Maxime Pascal)

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