Dueil  Angoisseux (Anguished Grief)  - 2004                           

15:00

 

Soprano, String Quartet

Text by Christine de Pizan.

 

  • Premiere: March 15, 2004, Art Word theater, Toronto/Ontario, I Furiosi, Gabrielle McLaughlin - Soprano.

 

To my surprise and delight, I was approached by I Furiosi to compose an original work for an upcoming concert. 

 

As this was to be a work with voice, text was of paramount importance.  Drew Stevens, a horn playing musicologist friend, introduced me to the poem Dueil Angoisseux, of Christine de Pizan.  Its fluid, highly emotive text drew me in at first read.  The sound of the words work beautifully with Gabrielle McLaughlin's clear, early music style.  As well, the form of the poem bleeds music in structure, and recurring concluding refrain.

 

The melancholic song is book-ended by two "furious" instrumental fugues, allowing for the ensemble to express the underlying turmoil. 

 

Review:
 

Talisker Players’ thoughtful programming shows off local singers’ art

John Terauds, Musical Toronto, March 6, 2013

 

"This led us to Toronto trombonist and composer Scott Good’s Dueil angoisseux (Painful Mourning), which sets an early 15th century text by Christine de Pizan. It’s a big work that deserves to be called a cantata for solo soprano. It was premiered by baroque ensemble I Furiosi in 2002.

 

The instrumental portions provide a nice undertow of bubbling tumult as well as melancholy under a vocal part seemingly written to show off Huhtanen’s finest attributes, especially her way to modulate a narrative, from a vocal slow burn to all-out lament. It’s a long, subtle musical arc that she masterfully shaped for best dramatic effect."

 

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.