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Bent Sørensen

Publisher: Edition Wilhelm Hansen

The Echoing Garden (1992)
Work Notes
Commissioned by Aarhus Symphony Orchestra
Text Writer
Cohen, Shakespeare, Rilke
Edition Wilhelm Hansen Copenhagen
Chorus and Orchestra/Ensemble
Year Composed
40 Minutes
Soprano, Tenor

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Programme Note
Bent Sørensen The Echoing Garden (1992)
(Romeo and Juliet)

For soprano & tenor solo, choir and orhcestra

Bent Sørensen’s work for soloists, chorus and orchestra, The Echoing Garden, a commission from the Danish Radio, was very succesfully premiered in November 1992 and the composer has since then composed his violin concerto Sterbende Garten, a commission from the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra to be premiered at the Nordic Music Days 1994.


Il y a du silence oimetière où dorment les anciens amants
et leurs amantes. Ils sont bien sages maintenant, les pauvres.
Finies, les attentes des letters, finies les nuits exaltées, finis les
battements moites des jeunes coprs. Au grand dortoir, tout Ça.
Tous allongés, ces regiments de silencieux rigolards osseux qui
furent de vifs amants. Tristes et seuls au cimetière, les amants et
leurs belles. Les rales émerveillés de l’amante stupéfaite de jouis-
sance, soudain ondulante, ses yeux levés de sainte, ses yeux
clos savourant le Plaisir, le nobles seins qu’elle te donna, dans
de la terre, yout Ça. a vos terreuses niches, les amants.

Albert Cohen – “Belle du Seigneur”

Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
Who is already sick and pale with grief
That thou her maid art far more fair than she.
Be not her maid, since she is envious.
Her vestal livery is but sick and green,
And none but fool do wear it. Cast it off.
It is my lady: (O, it is) my love:

Her eye discourses

Two of the fairest starts in all (the) heaven,
(Having some business), do entreat her eyes
To twinkle in their spheres till they return.
What if her eyes were there, they in her head?
The brightness of her cheek would shame these stars
As daylight doth a lamp; her eyes in heaven
Would through the airy region stream so bright
That birds would sing and think it were not night.
See how she leans her cheek upon that hand:
O that I were a glove upon that hand,
That I might touch that cheek:

O speak again, bright angel: for thou art
As glorious to this night, being o’er my head
As is a winged messenger of heaven
Unto the white-upturned wond’ring eyes
Of mortals that fall back to gaze on him
When he bestrides the lazy-pacing clouds
And sails upon bosom of the air

Shakespeare – “Romeo and Juliet”


Engel: Es wäre ein Platz, den wir nicht wissen und dorten,
auf unsäglichem Teppich, zeigten die Liebenden, die’s hier
bis zum Können nie bringen, ihre kühnen
hohen Figuren des Herzschwungs,
ihre Türme aus Lust, ihre
längst wo Boden nie war, nur an einander
lehnenden Leitern, bebend, - und “könntens”,
vor des Zuschauern rings, unzähligen lautlosen Toten:
Wurfen die dann ihre letzten. Immer ersparten,
immer verborgenen, die wir nicht kennen, ewig,
gültigen Münzen des glücks vor das endlich
wahrhaft lächelnde Paar auf gestilltem

Rainer Maria Rilke – ”Duineser Elegien”.

Come, civil night,
Thou sober-suited matron, all in black,
And learn me how to loose winning match,
Played for a pair of stainless maidenhoods.
Hood my unmanned blood, bating in my cheeks,
With thy black mantle till strange love grow bold,
Think true love acted simple modesty.
Come, night; come, Romeo; come, thou day in night;
For thou wilt lie upon the wings of night
Whiter than new snow upon a raven’s back.
Come, gentle night; come, loving, black-browed night;
Give me my Romeo; and, when he shall die,
Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night
And pay no worship to the garish sun

Shakespeare – “Romeo and Juliet”


Und sie leitet ihn leicht durch die weite Landschaft der Klagen,

Abends führt sie ihn hin zu den Gräbern der Alten
aus dem Klage-Geschlecht, den Sibyllen und Warn-
Naht aber den Nacht,

Stehn am Fuss des Gebirgs.
Und da unarmt sie ihn, weinend.

Einsam steigt er dahin, in die Berge des Ur-Leids.

Aber erweckten sie uns, die unendlich Toten, ein Gleichnis,
siehe, sie zeigten vielleicht auf Kätzschen der leeren
Hasel, die hängenden, oder
Meinten den Regen, der fällt auf dunkles Erreich im Frühjahr.-

Rainer Maria Rilke – ”Duineser Elegien .

Score preview

  • Ensemble
    Danish National Symphony Orchestra and Choir
    Åsa Bäverstam (soprano), Martyn Hill (tenor)
    Leif Segerstam
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