Dialogue Between the Body and Soul of the Murdered Girl - 1997

26min

 

2 Sopranos, Flute/Picc, Clarinet/Bass Clarinet, Violin, Viola, Cello, Piano

 

  • Premiere: February 23, 1997, Music Gallery, Toronto/Ontario, Richard Mascall - Conductor, Maria Riedstra - Soprano

 

Upon graduating from Eastman, I left with a dangling promise to compose a piece for a Pierot Ensemble that had been formed by my colleagues.  Dialogue was the piece I composed.  

 

The text comes from the poem of same name by British poet Sir Herbert Read.  Part of a trilogy of war poems, Dialogue is a reaction to the horror of finding a mutilated young girl in France by Allied soldiers.  The poem tries to find peace with such tragedy.

 

The language of the music was quite new for me at the time.  I had a growing interest in combining several musical languages within the same piece, but tied together by motives and melodic ideas.  The reason was to try and follow the emotional contour of the poem, which travels from abject terror to sublime peace.