Thomas Larcher: Ouroboros for cello and orchestra
Jean-Guihen Queyras, cello
Per Kristian Skalstad, conductor
Norwegian Chamber Orchestra
Recorded live at Sentralen, Oslo 13 September 2016
The ouroboros or uroborus (/ˌjʊərəˈbɒrəs/) is an ancient symbol depicting a serpent or dragon eating its own tail. Originating in ancient Egyptian iconography, the ouroboros entered western tradition via Greek magical tradition and was adopted as a symbol in Gnosticism and Hermeticism and most notably in alchemy. Via medieval alchemical tradition, the symbol entered Renaissance magic and modern symbolism, often taken to symbolize introspection, the eternal return or cyclicality, especially in the sense of something constantly re-creating itself. It also represents the infinite cycle of nature's endless creation and destruction, life, and death. The term derives from Ancient Greek: οὐροβόρος, from οὐρά (oura), "tail" + βορά (bora), "food", from βιβρώσκω (bibrōskō), "I eat".