cl, vn, vc, pn
Dreams of Orpheus is an impressionistic re-telling of the Orpheus myth. The work is built from the transformation of three musical ideas, each representing different elements of Orpheus' character. A rock-influenced repeating chord idea, played by the piano, represents Orpheus strumming his lyre. Pizzicato scales in the strings represent Orpheus' thoughts, and an angular melody played by the clarinet represents his intoxicating song. The first slow, lyrical section of the piece sets a pastoral scene in slow motion, interrupted by the kidnapping of Euridice and Orpheus' descent into the underworld. In the second section, Orpheus and Euridice's ascent out of the underworld is depicted through a series of faster and faster variations on the angular clarinet theme, which climaxes at the tragic moment when Orpheus looks upon Euridice, sending her back to the underworld. The work ends with a warped repetition of the last strains of Orpheus' song accompanied by fractured versions of the other motives as he reflects on his tragic story.
Dreams of Orpheus was Commissioned by Music in the Loft for Antares and funded in part by the Composer Assistance Program of the American Music Center.
November 22, 2008
Garrick Zoeter, clarinet; Jesse Mills, violin; Rebecca Patterson, cello; Eric Huebner, piano