Genesis

(1992)
Bent Lorentzen
(7 movements)
Texts from the Holy Bible
Soprano, tenor, bass soli + mixed choir, 3.3.3.3/4.3.4.1/timp/4 perc/arpa/archi
Solo(s) + Symphony orchestra
67:00
1992
B.0209

The Fifth Day of Creation was commissioned by the Danish Amateur Choral Federation and was first performed in 1985 by the Danish Cæcilie Choir, the Gemengd Koor de Vedel (Belgium) and Aarhus Symphony Orchestra at the Venue in Aarhus, conducted by Ole Schmidt. The project was a conglomerate of all the First Seven Days; it was composed by seven different Danish composers and was performed on the same day all over the country. The lyrics are supposedly Anders Sunesen’s creation account in Latin from the 12th century. However, I considered the lyrics to be too quaint, and I preferred  Genesis in Latin, which is simple and elementary and known by everyone. One critic suggested that I tackle all seven days; an idea that Radio Denmark in 1990 considered to be of such interest that it resulted in a commission.

The work is constructed the following way:

I. Dies Unus   Earth is created: it is deserted and empty. In the Universe darkness prevails. There was light with an orchestral ”big bang”. For choir and full orchestra.

II. Dies Secundus   The firmament and the waters are separated. Land appears. For solo bass accompanied by trombone quintet.

III. Dies Tertius   Herbs and trees. For tenor baritone, string orchestra, harp and tubular bells.

IV. Dies Quartus   Sun, moon and stars. For solo soprano, high woodwinds, trumpets and horns.

V. Dies Quintus   Fish and birds (like water and air) and a new orchestral ”big bang”. For choir and full orchestra.

VI. Dies Sextus   Animals on Earth. Human: man and woman.

VII. Dies Septimus   God rests. Great apotheosis with orchestral ”big bang”. For all participants. The soloists resemble Haydn’s "The Creation": Soprano, high baritone and bass.

Big cast bells (church bells) herald each new day. The first day with one strike, the second day with two etc.

- Bent Lorentzen

 


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