Geht auf wie eine Blume

Program note

The title, geht auf wie eine Blume, comes from the first half of Martin Luther’s German translation of Job 14:2.

In English, the full verse reads, “They spring up like flowers and wither away; like fleeting shadows, they do not endure.”

In 1534, Luther published a complete translation of the bible into German, believing that people should be able to read it in their own language, and thus contributed enormously to the development of the language itself.

Analogously, this piece is a translation of my musical influences into a language I have yet to fully comprehend. It is comprised of sounds that are fragile and ephemeral, qualities that recall the relentless passing of time.

Claude Vivier sought to translate his experiences as a traveller into his music, as in Shiraz for solo piano, in which he draws inspiration from his own experience of following two blind singers in Shiraz. The chorale near the end of the work that resembles an intense prayer evokes his personal conflicted feelings about death and religion.

geht auf wie eine Blume” is not a prayer, but an expression of personal uncertainty in the infinite”

- William Kuo



Year of composition
Commissioned by Paramirabo

Last performances