Composers / Arne Nordheim / Places catalog

John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

The cellist Mstislav Rostropovich commissioned Tenebrae and gave its first performance with the National Symphony Orchestra under Hugh Wolff on 23 November 1982 at the Kennedy Center. The work was inspired by Adrian Leverkühn’s cantata, described by Thomas Mann in his novel Doctor Faustus.

The work’s Latin title, Tenebrae, meaning shadow or darkness, is linked to the Christian tradition of Mattins and Lauds celebrated before dawn on the last three days of Holy Week. The name comes from the opening words of the fifth of the nine responsories for Good Friday Mattins: ‘Tenebrae factae sunt, dum crucifixissent Jesum Judaei’ (Darkness fell when the Jews crucified Jesus). The prayer is accompanied by fifteen candles lit in the dark church, where the congregation experience the Passion drama of Jesus’ fear before his death. After each responsory and canticle, one candle is extinguished; the last, ‘Jesus’, candle remains lit and is hidden behind the altar as a symbol of Jesus’ death. Nordheim’s Tenebrae resounds with the cello’s solo to the rhythm of the candlelight disappearing into the darkness. (jc)

Place Category
13 Øvre Jegerborggate, Larvik Other
3 Olavsgate, Larvik Other
Artists' House Other
Arts Council Norway Other
Bayreuth Appearances
Bekkelaget Sewage Treatment Plant Other
Bergen Festival Appearances
Brekstad in Ørland commune Other
British Broadcasting Corporation Radio / TV
Calmeyergaten Mission House Appearances
City Hall Other
Concertgebouw Appearances
Concert Palace Appearances
Danish National Symphony Orchestra
Den Nationale Scene Appearances
Edition Wilhelm Hansen
Publishers / Bookshops
Feliks Nowowiejski Warmia and Masuria Philharmonic Appearances
Festiviteten Other
Grieghallen Appearances
“Grotto” Flats
Håkonshallen Appearances
Henie-Onstad Art Centre in Baerum Education
Hergisheim Flats
International Bach Academy Appearances
Israeli Radio Radio / TV
Israel Music Institute Other
Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance Other
Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra Appearances
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Appearances
Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music Education
Larvik church Churches / Places of worship
Lillehammer – Winter Olympic Games Other
Lodge Theatre Performance spaces
Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra Appearances
National Library Education
National Theatre Performance spaces
Netherlands Dance Theatre
New Music Association
Nidaros Cathedral Churches / Places of worship
Norwegian Academy of Music Education
Norwegian Opera Other
Norwegian Opera at the Folk Theatre Appearances
Norwegian Society of Composers Other
Norwegian Theatre I Other
Norwegian Theatre II Other
Norwegian University of Science and Technology NTNU Education
NOTAM Education
NRK radio and television Radio / TV
Observatory Other
Old Lodge (Gamle Logen) Appearances
Orchester der Württembergischen Staatsoper Appearances
Osaka Congress Hall (EXPO 70)
Oslo Cathedral Churches / Places of worship
Oslo Conservatory of Music Education
Oslo Philharmonic Appearances
Polish Radio Experimental Studio Radio / TV
Quality Hotel Grand Farris Hotels / Inns
“Rendezvous” for strings Appearances
Rombergata School Education, Other
Royal Norwegian Consulate General, New York Other
Royal Swedish Academy of Music Education
Santori Horu (Suntory Hall) Appearances
Storedal Cultural Centre Other
Swedish Radio Radio / TV
SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg Appearances
Teatro La Fenice Performance spaces
Theatre Café Coffeehouses
Town Hall in Gdańsk Other
Trento Other
University Aula Other
Wailing Wall Churches / Places of worship
Warsaw Autumn Performance spaces
Witold Lutosławski Society Other