Siddhartha, inspired by the book by Hermann Hesse depicting a spiritual journey of a young man in search of enlightenment, is one of Vivier’s few works for orchestra. An attention-grabbing opening settles to focus on chamber music combinations within the ensemble, featuring music of great intimacy and delicacy. Though an Asian influence is apparent in the score, Vivier composed this ambitious piece before his own spiritual and life-changing journey to Asia.
© Bob Gilmore
Note reproduced by permission of the author.
"Inspiration, as experienced by the Brahmin’s son Siddhartha on the verge of suicide in Hermann Hesse’s tale, is what Vivier longed for. And this led to the magnificent symphonic poem Siddhartha in 1976… Harsh blocks contrast with romantically-sparked melody. Towards the end Goethe’s last request seems to be fulfilled: "Mehr Licht!" – "More Light!".