Completed in Baltimore, Maryland on July 1, 2016, “Berceuse Infinie” (“Infinite Lullaby”) was a commission from the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and is dedicated to Marin Alsop.
It was my wish to compose a cradle song that would be primarily tonal in harmony and gentle (for the most part) in affect. Certainly some inspiration came from Ferruccio Busoni’s remarkable “Berceuse Elegiaque” (1909), though there are no musical correspondences between that work and mine. Except for a brief passage of acceleration, the same rocking tempo is maintained throughout my piece, and the general texture is quite simple, as befits a lullaby. Whether this is a lullaby for a child or an adult is for each listener to decide for him or herself.
“Berceuse Infininie” is scored for two flutes, two oboe, two clarinets, two bassoons, two horns, two trumpets, three trombones, timpani, a small percussion section (two players), harp, and strings. It lasts approximately thirteen minutes.
“Rouse spins a spellbinding, not necessarily soothing lullaby for adults.”
“Rouse grabs the ear with at once dark and beautiful melodic ideas that emerge from a kind of mist.”
“The composer’s sophisticated harmonic language adds color and texture. His familiar mastery of
orchestration is everywhere in evidence, as much in the subtlest percussion touches as in the lushest
“There’s something very private, yet open, about this music.“
Washington Classical Review
“the work provides further evidence of Rouse’s inventive melodic gift, namely to create tunes that
sound like the work of no other composer.”