Dark night of the soul
As part of this year’s BBC Proms, Jeroen Berwaerts performs the UK premiere of Tobias Broström’s new work Nigredo: Dark Night of the Soul, a double concerto for two trumpets and orchestra. Directed by Markus Stenz, the piece is a co-commission by BBC and Malmö Symphony Orchestra (performed here by BBC National Orchestra of Wales), and was written specifically for Jeroen Berwaerts.
Broström explains the title thus: ‘The manner in which I have composed the music and chosen the title of the work is linked to Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung’s definition of “nigredo”, which can be described as a moment of ultimate desperation, and this is a prerequisite for personal development’. In alchemy, ‘nigredo’ (blackness) is a process of decay or decomposition – the first step, via ‘albedo’ (whiteness), ‘citrinitas’ (yellowness) and ‘rubedo’ (redness), to the philosopher’s stone; Jung stated that the ‘rediscovery of the principles of alchemy came to be an important part of my work as a pioneer of psychology’.
Royal Albert Hall