2. Barcarole I
4. O Schmerz!
8. Á Propos
9. Barcarole 2
During at least half a millennium, kings, scientists, rich merchants and others have reserved large or small rooms to contain remarkable natural and manmade objects: unicorn's horns, wondrous corals and giant pearls, artificial nightingales, mermaids' skeletons, breathtaking artifacts, deformed creatures in glass jars. And above it all: a stuffed crocodile appearing to walk upside down under the ceiling.
These Cabinets of Curiosities were efforts to make a representation and mapping of the Universe, both its physical and mystical domains. Athanasius Kircher had this inscription painted on the ceiling of his museum: 'Whosoever perceives the chain that binds the world below to the world above will know the mysteries of nature and achieve miracles.'
I don't expect this collection of musical miniatures to achieve miracles, but I hope it can serve as a small cabinet of musical curiosity for the curious listener.
Curiosity Cabinet was commissioned by Trondheim International Chamber Music Competition 2009 as a mandatory piece.
© Rolf Wallin