Amfortas' Dream

for flute, oboe, clarinet, horn, bassoon and piano (2009)

Duration: 7 minutes

Performed by Gardeskvintetten and Johan Ullén, piano.
Live recording, 25th October 2009, Matteus Kyrka, Stockholm.



Score and parts are published by the Swedish Music Information Centre.


My two foremost objects of pleasure in music are Wagner operas and Argentinian tangos (which is a taste that I share with the late film director Luis Buñuel, who, at the premiere of his surrealist opus "An Andalusian Dog", stood behind the screen with two record players, one playing Argentinian tangos, and the other playing the Prelude from Tristan and Isolde).
I have created a lot of music in the latter category, but this is - so far - my only attempt to incorporate Wagner into my music.

Amfortas is one of the main characters in Wagner's last opera, "Parsifal", although he doesn't sing very much during the almost six hours that the opera lasts. He is the diseased king of the Knights of the Holy Grail. The terrible wound in his side, that was caused by the spear of the evil sorcerer Klingsor, will never heal, and the torments are made even worse when he officiates at the Holy Communion.

The music depicts a feverish dream of Amfortas, filled with penetrating bird sounds, strange hymns and thundering bells. In the end, one can hear the march of the Knights of the Holy Grail approaching - an actual quotation from Wagner's opera - before Amfortas suddenly wakes up from his strange dream.