DON QUIXOTE OF LA MANCHA (1994)
Trombone Concerto No. 2
As much as even before the world premiere of the first trombone concerto (the ”Motorbike Concerto” in Dec. 1989) Christian Lindberg and Jan Sandström came up with the idea of another concerto based on Cervantes’ books of Don Quixote.
The second concerto is made up of six movements where the titles are all variations of the same theme: ”To walk where the bold man makes a halt”. The concerto is freely composed around the Cervantes’ stories, and is a personal reflection upon and transmission of the blind lovingness, boldness and richness in visionary force that impresses the novel. In the spirit of Don Quixote the composition process in a sense became a playful settlement of the issue of restrictive rules, impediments and decrees in contemporary art music.
Everything that happens in the trombone concerto has a symbolic value beyond the music itself – very much in a realm of pure ideas, but also in the form of manifestly physical transfers from the stories in the book. As in the 3rd movement f.ex. where the beautiful Zoraida secretly pushes into a prison yard, to some imprisoned slaves, a pipe containing a message. Only at the fourth attempt the message reach the man, the slave she has fallen in love with. The message encloses a prayer of that once be able to go to the country of Lela Marien (virgin Mary). Most of other symbols are either clear enough to be understood by the movements sub-titles, or so poeticaly abstract that they do not need any closer explanations.
1 Introduction – A windmill ride
2 To walk where the bold man makes a halt
(”Who is this man … who looks so strange and talks so oddly?…)
3 To row against a rushing stream
(The dream of Zoraida, the daughter of the Algerian muslim king)
4 To beleive in an insane dream
(The madness of Don Quixote, and the letter to Dulcinea)
5 To smile despite unbearable pain
(The captivity, the bewitchment and the fight against the goat shepheard)
6 And yet when you succumb, try to reach this star in the sky
(Epitaph. A sorrowful tribute to Don Quixote, ”the victor…and looser…of all battles”).
Don Quixote was commissioned by the North Bottnia Chamber Orchestra in 1993.