Nattliga Toner (Night Music) (2020)

Music for the silent film by Georg af Klercker (1918) for violin and harp with optional film accompaniment

Georg af Klercker

Publisher: Bardic Edition

Duration: 35 minutes, 30 seconds


First performance: Friday 24 January 2020; Youngblood Gallery, Cape Town; X[iksa]: Yasutaka Hemmi violin and Takayo Matsumura harp.

Programme note

"Nattliga Toner (Night Music)" is one of many films by forgotten Swedish director Georg af Klercker. His work was rediscovered in the 1990s and he was championed by Ingmar Bergman, who personally financed and supervised the restoration of this film. The story concerns the rich Baron von Meislingen, who dreams of being a poet, but unfortunately has no talent to speak of. In one of his apartments lives the talented but poor poet Peter Långhår. Von Meislingen steals his latest work from him and publishes it under his own name. ‘His’ poems achieve great success and Von Meislingen becomes regarded as one of the greatest living poets. Once when day Långhår categorically refused to sell the baron his magnum opus, a play called Night Music, the young poet is found dead in his home. The musical material is largely drawn from Arnold Schönberg’s "Accompaniment to a Film Scene Op 34", a film score for an imaginary film, and used in ways Schönberg would never have entertained. The music for "Nattaliga Toner" has a parallel existence to the film and can be performed independently of the film.


"The mood was respectively vague and tense, muted, subtle and wonderfully conjuring. It was so perfect in fact, I do not think I could watch the film without feeling at a loss without Blake’s score." (Jonathan Blair, Blog)


Dramatic works