Wilkinson’s trio for Mezzo Soprano, French Horn and Piano, is a setting of the poem of the same title by Gertrud Kolmar and is sung in the original German. The work has a duration of approximately 11 minutes.
One of the finest poetesses in the German language, the work is an Anti-War Song (AWS). Kolmar, as a German Jew, did not survive internment in Auschwitz in 1943, a victim of war. The poem, Aus dem Dunkel dates from 1917 Berlin and appears in the publication, Gedichte, (poems).
The chamber music piece for the unusual, perhaps unique trio of Mezzo Soprano, French Horn (in F) and Piano, offers broad scope for creating atmosphere. The vocal line is lyric-led and demands an effectively wide tonal and dynamic range from the Mezzo Soprano in intricate interplay within the chamber ensemble. Essentially tonal, melodic elements derive from a twelve-tone row heard in its entirety in the opening horn theme. And then with shifting harmonies, fragments of the melodic elements metamorphose throughout the work. Jazz-infused stylisations evoke a mood of the pre-war street scenes of Berlin. Timbral enhancements with hand-stopped horn and portamenti produce otherworldly effects. The work concludes in Schubertian flattened submediant harmonies in a mood of reconciliation and resignation to fate.
The score and parts are available from United Music Publishing Ltd.
Rachel Britton commissioning the work in 1997 for the Leweston Trio (UK), gave the world premiere performance. The work is a novel addition to the vocal recital repertoire with guest player of the French Horn, or indeed, a French Horn recital with guest Mezzo Soprano.
The Wilkinson UMP Ltd. catalogue includes several chamber, solo and narrated orchestral publications. Visit the Publications Page on this website for the composer’s works from other publishers. And there is a full list of the composer’s output on the Compositions Page.
My thanks to Amori Artist for the stunning cover art.