Preface I Programme Note
TENEBRAE was commissioned by the Turku (Abo) Music Festival and composed for Finnish guitarist Timo Korhonen, whom I had known and admired for a long time. Timo gave a brillant premiere of TENEBRAE in Turku on August 13, 1991 and has played it several times since then.
The title is Latin, and means "darkness" or "gloom", but it also refers to the Roman Catholic matins and lauds services in Holy Week. These are held as dusk falls, and the idea is that the sixteen candles that are burning at the beginning of the service are gradually extinguished until, after sixteenprayers, the church is in darkness.
The same development is carried through in TENEBRAE by musical means, so that we have not yet had to resort to acandlelit setting - although it is by no means out of the question.
The piece makes extensive use of the guitar's properties for revealing quiet, intimate feelings, although naturally in a work of this scope there is contrasting material included.
Jouni Kaipainen, 1993