Night in Appen(Nacht in Appen) op. 186 (2009/20)
Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin / Vladimir Jurowski
Once, in late autumn, I spent a week with Sofia Gubaidulina in her house in the small village of Appen. When I went to bed the first night, shortly after I had closed my eyes, I heard strange, irregular knocking noises from the roof of the house above my bed. I couldn’t explain what was causing it. I was a little afraid, had restless dreams that night and woke up frequently. The next morning Sofia explained to me that the noises came from the acorns falling from the oak tree next to the house. In this orchestral piece I wanted to describe that strange night - how at first there was a rather soft, mysterious knocking from the roof, which gradually grew louder and then turned into a real nightmare in a series of surreal dreams. Then, in the early morning, I heard the singing of birds mingling with the sounds of church bells from the next village, interspersed with soft rain. At the end of the piece, one hears again the memory of the atmosphere of the previous night.