Some terrible Secret

Some terrible Secret (1997)

with financial support of the Fonds voor de Scheppende Toonkunst
first performance: June 27-1997, Neanderkirche, Düsseldorf
Duo Contemporain, consisting of
Henri Bok – bass clarinet
Miguel Bernat – marimba

This piece is based on a fragment from the travel report by the Frisian adventurer Leonardo Faber (1840-1896), in which he describes his perilous journey to Helsinki. Halfway and at the end the composition this fragment is whispered by the instrumentalists, as a ’terrible secret’ is revealed.
The original Frisian has been translated into English.


Yesterday I met my trumpet player again in a bar. He invited me to a drink and I sat opposite him. He was in a nervous state. Wringing his hands he kept staring at me in sad silence.

At last he opened his mouth and started to whisper in a language I could not understand, but I felt he was telling me some terrible secret.

8-3-1896, from the travel report (private archive) by Leonardo Faber (1840-1896)