Anguished Grief -2007                                 

14:30

(s.violin / 0000 / 0000 / 0 / 43221)

 

Composed for and funded by the Toronto Sinfonia and Violinist Phoebe Tsang.

 

  • Premiere: December 14, 2007, Grace Church on-the-Hill, Toronto/Ontario, Toronto Sinfonia, Nurham Arman - conductor,  Phoebe Tsang - violin

 

Anguished Grief is available at the Canadian Music Centre

 

In 2008, I was approached by violinist Phoebe Tsang to write a new work for solo violin and string orchestra.  I was inspired by an earlier work of mine for soprano and string quartet.  In the spirit of works such as William Byrd's "Lacrymosa on Dowland's Flow my Tears" or

Sarasate's "Carmen Fantasy", the solo line is derived from

the original vocal melody, but is highly elaborated creating a

virtuosic violin feature. 

 

The original music was a setting of French renaissance

poet, writer, and philosopher Christine de Pizan's poem

of the same name.  It was written as an elegy to her

recently deceased husband.  Its florid and emotional

language, organized in an interesting form were ideal

for musical treatment.

 

Dueil Engoisseux

 

Dueil engoisseux, rage desmesurée,

Grief desespoir, plein de forsennement,

Langour sanz fin, vie maleürée

Pleine de plour, d'engoisse et de tourment,

Cuer doloreux qui vit obscurement,

Tenebreux corps sus le point de perir,

Ay, sanz cesser, continuellement;

Et si ne puis ne garir ne morir.

 

Fierté, durté de joye separée

Triste penser, parfont gemissement,

Engoisse grant en las cuer enserrée,

Courroux amer porté couvertement,

Morne maintien sanz resjoïssement,

Espoir dolent qui tous biens fait tarir,

Si sont en moy, sanz partir nullement;

Et si ne puis ne garir ne morir.

 

Soussi, anuy qui tous jours a durée,

Aspre veillier, tressaillir en dorment,

Labour en vain, a chiere alangourée

En grief travail infortunéement, .

Et tout le mal, qu'on puet entierement

Dire et penser sanz espoir de garir,

Me tourmentent desmesuréement

Et si ne puis ne garir ne morir.

 

Princes, priez a Dieu que bien briefment

Me doint la mort, s'autrement secourir

Ne veult le mal ou languis durement ;

Et si ne puis ne garir ne morir.

Anguished Grief

 

Anguished grief, immoderate fury,

grievous despair, full of madness,

endless languor and a life of misfortune,

full of tears, anguish and torment,

doleful heart, living in darkness,

wraithlike body on the point of death,

are mine continually without cease;

and thus I can neither be cured nor die.

 

Harsh disdain, bereft of joy,

sad thoughts, deep sighs,

great anguish locked in a weary heart,

bitter distress endured in secret,

mournful demeanor without gladness,

foreboding which dries up all hope,

and in me and never leave me;

and thus I can neither be cured nor die.

 

Worry and annoy everlasting,

bitter waking, troubled sleep,

labor in vain, with languid expression,

destined to grievous torment,

and all the ill which one could ever

say or think, without hope of relief,

torment me immoderately;

and thus I can neither be cured nor die.

 

Princes, pray to God that very soon, he may grant me death, if he does not wish by any other means

to remedy the ill in which I painfully languish

and thus I can neither be cured nor die