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Music Text

Claude Vivier (F-imaginary language)


20 voices in three groups: 2S,A,T,B; 2S,A,T,B; 4S,3A,2T,B; perc:claves/t.bell/arbre de bambou/ant.cym/cowbell; Indian bell/ant.cyms/claves/t.bell

Abbreviations (PDF)


Boosey & Hawkes (Hendon Music)

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


World Premiere
Parochialkirche, Berlin
RIAS Kammerchor / Hans-Christoph Rademann
World stage premiere
Crow's Theatre, Toronto, ON
Soundstreams Canada
Composer's Notes

Two threads join this body to the human spirit: a word and the rhythm assigned to it. I specify these two elements because they belong not to a cosmic certitude, but to human verity. The Music of the End is where all is forever erased, where all becomes infinite silence.

— Claude Vivier

Reproduction Rights:
This program note may be reproduced free of charge in concert programs with a credit to the composer.

Press Quotes

"So shimmering are Vivier’s drones, so sweetly childlike his invented languages and mystical geographies, so energetic his need to communicate his cravings and insecurities, that the effect is one of warmth…a shadowy, otherworldly rite, almost medieval in its soberly overlapping incantations…"
New York Times

"…almost an ambient work, relying on one repeated and gradually morphing motif, a few chanted words that sound very much like Sanskrit mantras, with individual voices emerging and disappearing like fishes darting about in a dark tank. The singers are also actors, babbling to themselves in private monologues of anxiety or conversations in foreign tongues as they group, dressed in black, and separate and then regroup…"
Globe and Mail


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