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  The Apocalypse on the Slopes of Kamenice – 1st part

This work is the conclusion to Bok’s trilogy of oratorios, preceded by The Gnomes from the Valley of Křinice and Saint Zdislava. The initial idea of this Epilogue appears as far as in the composer’s very first composition, his Tisian Piano Concerto from 1982-5. It is further developed in The Gnomes from the Valley of Křinice, as Bok intended to have an ending of the work that would take place on the Slopes of Kamenice, but the long gestation of The Gnomes oratorio caused the Epilogue to be postponed. Saint Zdislava elaborates the theme individually and its coda is deliberately open to be followed up with The Apocalypse. Ten years have passed between Saint Zdislava and The Apocalypse during which the composer has written many works prefiguring The Apocalypse, especially in their harmony and counterpoint. In that respect, we can state the Credo in F sharp minor, the Funeral music, the De profundis, the Psalm 131 or the Magnificat.
The Apocalypse on the Slopes of Kamenice is Bok’s crowning work. More than 30 themes and leitmotivs from his previous works appear in it, shifted into new expressional levels and contexts. Formally, the first part of The Apocalypse draws from the first part of Saint Zdislava, especially in its grandiose sonata setting, yet, from all of Bok’s compositions, it is the one that most resembles a Wagnerian drama, as it is a compact flow of music and expression with a less pompous, and a more internal counterpoint. There is also shift in the orchestration, reminding that of the Credo in F sharp minor. Bok here first uses an alternation of horns and Wagner tubas, and setting of the trombones for three tenor ones and four bass ones.
This monumental, 50 minutes, and rather abstract music constitutes an overture for the intended second and third parts, in are to evoke the return of the Gnomes from the Tower of Komáří vížka and the advent of the Apocalypse. But it was also conceived as to be able to conclude the whole trilogy if the two missing parts were not to be completed.

Orchestration: 2 piccolos, 3 flutes, 3 oboes, cor anglais, 2 clarinets in E flat, 3 clarinets in B, bass clarinet, 3 bassoons, contrabassoon, 8 horns, 5 trumpets, 4 trombones, tuba, timpani 2 players, percussion, 3 harps, organ and strings, soli: SATB, children choir SA, choir SATB

Durata 48 min




















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