Our Music Commissions Tombeau Julian Anderson - Tombeau "Tombeau sets the famous sonnet Debussy’s friend Stephane Mallarme wrote to honour a writer they both hugely admired, Edgar Allan Poe. Two of Debussy’s unfinished opera projects were to have been settings of Poe tales, so it seemed very appropriate to use Mallarme’s memorial sonnet as a memorial for Debussy himself. The sonnet is one of the poet’s most beautiful and includes a memorable line in which Mallarme likens Poe’s tombstone to a “calm block torn down to earth from some obscure disaster” – as if it were some kind of bizarre meteorite… My setting uses the instruments employed by composers in La Revue musicale Debussy memorial, minus the guitar used by Manuel de Falla. Perhaps for that reason, in both the opening and closing of the work the ensemble is transformed into an imaginary giant guitar. Tombeau was requested by Stephan Meier to whom it is dedicated."