Pont de la mer


subtitle morceau de concert pour cor et orchestre

french horn solo and orchestra
- 2*2*2*2* 22cornets11 02 00, str .

commissioned by Malmö Symphony Orchestra with support from Kulturrådet
(National Council of Cultural Affairs).

year of production 2015

dedication Einar Öhman and Malmö Symphony Orchestra

duration 12‘  

first performance
April 29th 2016,

Malmö Live Concert Hall, Malmö
Einar Öhman, horn solo

Malmö Symphony Orchestra

Marc Soustrot, conductor



work comments

One day was reading Baudelaire's poem Albatross of the poetry collection Flowers of Evil. I saw during the reading session a sea bridge in the horizon. 
The poem's first stanzas reads:

[…] ”Often, to amuse themselves, the men of the crew

Catch those great birds of the seas, the albatrosses,

lazy companions of the voyage, who follow

The ship that slips through bitter gulfs.” […]

Geoffrey Wagner, Selected Poems of Charles Baudelaire (NY: Grove Press, 1974)

The horn solo have the role of "lead singer without words" and the orchestra "choir" and Obligato-horn players that in part shows up backstage, sit in the orchestra, and then walking out
towards the end of the piece.


About the world premiere:
Malmö SO/Marc Soustrot; soloist Einar Öhman, French horn

[…] ”Han plockar upp färger och stämningar och blandar dem till närmast impressionistiskt glitter. Mot detta lägger han hornets solostämma, nästan överdådig i sin melodirikedom, dessutom förstärkt av obligathornister som dyker upp och förenar sig med orkestern. Det är mycket tonskönt…Jag skulle vilja kalla ”Pont de la mer” för Benjamin Staerns hittills vackraste komposition.” […]

”He picks up colours and moods and mixes them into an almost impressionistic shimmer. Over against this he places the French horn´s solo part, almost luxurious in its melodic abundance. In addition, this is reinforced by obligato horns that crop up and join in with the orchestra. These are lovely sonorities... I would call “Pont de la mer” Benjamin Staern´s most beautiful composition thus far.”

Skånska Dagbladet/ Lars-Erik Larsson

[…] ”En ensam valthornston som sätts an av den mäktiga stortrumman och växer till en uråldrig och samtidigt tidlös klang som liksom aldrig kan bli …En närmast ceremoniell inledning av ett inåtblickande och klanginriktat verk, vars titel "Pont de la Mer" öppnar för tydliga visuella kopplingar.…får mig att känna som inför målaren William Turners mystiska och detaljerade dis, en gåtfullhet som inte är sluten utan öppen.” […]

The first note in his “Horn Concertino” is a single French horn tone that starts out with the mighty bass drum and grows into an ancient and simultaneously timeless sound that, as it were, can never be standardised… An almost ceremonious opening of an introspective and sonorous work, whose title “Pont de la mer” is conducive to distinctly visual associations… it makes me feel as if I were standing before the painter William Turner´s mystical and detailed haze, a mysteriousness that is not closed but open.

Sydsvenska Dagbladet / Matti Edén / 1.5. 2016