Sunrise After (2009)

Watch a video of the Moscow premiere (2021):

Sunrise After (2009)

for tango sextet & chamber orchestra (and in alternate arrangements, see below)
commissioned by Kristjan Järvi and the Absolute Ensemble, and Carel Kraayenhof

“Sunrise After” is a based on a dream I had of what Michelangelo could have felt on the day after finishing work on the Sistine Chapel — a chapel I got to see, for a few minutes, during my time as a violist in the Spoleto Italy festival in 1998. What could it have been, to finish such a transformative work of art, and then to move on? I tried to paint this moment in music, of the artist as a mortal and his immortal art. 

Of course, the piece also deals with the history of the bandoneon, its origins in German church music, its continuation in the Argentine brothels, and its presence in films and the concert stage.  The musical materials are full of allusions to Bach-like polyphony (the note signature B-A-C-H appears at least once), tango-influenced bass lines, a sense of dialogue between devotion and maybe a triumph.

CATEGORY chamber music
INSTRUMENTATION original instrumentation:
tango sextet (2 bandoneons | 2 violins | piano | bass) & chamber orchestra (Flute, English Horn, Bass Clarinet, Bassoon, Trumpet, Trombone, Piano, 2 violins, viola, cello, bass)


also available in arrangements for:
— bandoneon (accordion, bayan) and string quartet
— accordion (bandoneon, bayan), flute, oboe, string quintet (2 violins, viola, cello, bass)
— bayan (bandoneon, accordion), flute, oboe (or soprano sax), string quintet (2 violins, viola, cello, bass, and piano) – arranged by Mikhail Bourlakov, as in the video above

DURATION 8 minutes
WORLD PREMIERE August 26 2009
Die Glocke, Bremen, Germany
as part of Musikfest Bremen
WORLD PREMIERE PERFORMERS Carel Kraayenhof Tango Sextet
Absolute Ensemble
Kristjan Järvi, conductor
OTHER NOTABLE PERFORMANCES April 17 2021 in Moscow, Russia (Gnesin Academy) — Mikhail Bourlakov (bayan) and ensemble “Gnesin-Forum”


August 15 2015 in Bethlehem New Hampshire (Colonial Theatre) – Patrick Farrell (accordion) and the North Country Chamber Players


RECORDING see video above
SCORE AVAILABILITY All arrangements are available for sale via PDF or mail delivery; arrangements for combinations not listed above may be commissioned on request. [contact for more info]