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Kats-Chernin, Elena: Big Rhap (2017) 10'
for orchestra


2.picc.2.corA.2.bcl.2.dbn-4.3.2.btrbn.1-timp.perc(3):tam-t/tgl/2cymbals/maracas(opt)/ratchet/t.bells/BD/SD/xyl/vib/tamb/glsp/flexatone/guiro/ chimes/2wdbl/crash cyms/stones/pots & pans/corrugated metal sheet-harp-cel-strings

Abbreviations (PDF)


This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.

World Premiere

Hamer Hall, Melbourne
Melbourne Symphony Orchestra / Bramwell Tovey

Composer's Notes


When I think of Franz Liszt, I think of a virtuoso with an open and seductive nature, and an intriguing composer who was unambiguously dramatic. His music always reminds me of elements like wind, fire and water. My mother used to play the Second Hungarian Rhapsody when we lived in Yaroslavl in Russia. In writing this piece I am transferring my early memories of the spectacle, the merriness and the hyperbole of what I saw and heard in my living room to paper! I didn’t actually consult the score of Rhapsody No.2 so this is not a transcription or an arrangement of the actual notes but a sketch from my young self whose enthusiastic mind’s ear was indeed seduced and enlivened by the high spirits of Liszt’s vision. Certain things imprinted themselves indelibly on my imagination; the noble (and a bit scary) opening that suggests both triumph and treachery, the motoric regularity of the ‘friska’ and the way the ‘lassan’ made me feel the pain of a shivering and wounded heart.
Elena Kats-Chernin

Press Quotes

"A well-filtered reminiscence of childhood memories about her mother playing the well-known Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No.2, the piece has most of the Kats-Chernin trademarks: motor rhythms, simple melodies, lashings of orchestral excitement, just enough hints at the past to bring near-recognition during the relentless forward drive …"
Sydney Morning Herald

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