Arcana

Christos Hatzis
Compositeur
Christos Hatzis
Date de composition : 1983
Date de révision : 1984
Durée: 00:25:00
Genre: Solo Voice, With Chamber Ensemble, Woodwind(s) / Percussion, Keyboard / String Bowed

Instrumentation:

Instrumentation no. 1:
  • 1 x Clarinette
  • 1 x Percussion - autre
  • 1 x Piano
  • 1 x Mezzo-soprano
  • 1 x Alto
  • 1 x Violoncelle
Notes de programme :
The composer writes: ‘When I first read Gwendolyn MacEwen’s The Nine Arcana of the Kings, I was immediately captured by both the intense imagery and the subject matter. These poems burst with emotion: volcanic eruptions of despair, and numbing pain set against descriptions of water, fountains and especially blinding and intoxicating light. They have the power to carry the reader into the unknown worlds of collective memory and explore its luminous and dark corners. Reading these poems is an enchantment; it is like looking at a multifaceted crystal with “brilliant and original verbal surfaces” (Margaret Atwood).

‘In an effort to make these poems more meaningful from my own point of view which is essentially Christian, and at the same time make them more “open” to personal interpretation on the part of the listener, I have taken them out of their specific historical context (which I presume is the reign of the mysterious and fascinating Pharaoh Achenaton, 1367-1350 BC) and placed them on a more universal plateau. Thus the lament of princess Meritaton over the dead body of her brother/husband Smenkhare (both children of Achenaton and brief successors to his throne) becomes in my own vision the lament of Maria Magdalene over the dead body of Jesus. It is this transposition that has inspired the composition of Arcana.

‘These particular poems of MacEwen carry their own music within them; it was not possible for me to impose on the text any of my own musical ideas. I chose rather to unravel and bring to life what music was already there to begin with. Certain allusions and references to works or styles of other composers have been called for by the text in a non-conscious manner, and it is with these subconscious archetypal threads that the primary fabric of the piece is woven. One such reference is the fugal treatment of the Byzantine chant “Ton Nymphona sou vlepo...” (I see your bridal chamber, my Savior, and I wear not the proper vestments to enter it) at the end of “The Prayer”, and there are several more. These references do not constitute some kind of stylistic trend on my part, but are part of a philosophy of subordinating one's musical personality to the literary requirements of a poem.’

Renseignements sur la création :
Premiered by Christine Frolick (MS), Arraymusic Ensemble, Henry Kucharzyk (dir), Winchester Street Theatre, Toronto, 29 October 1983.

INFOS SUR LE CATALOGUE :

  • Cote:
  • MV 1255 H367ar
  • Genre:
  • Solo Voice, With Chamber Ensemble, Woodwind(s) / Percussion, Keyboard / String Bowed
  • Date d'acquisition :
  • July 18, 2002
  • Type:
  • Partition, éditée
  • Description physique :
  • 1 score ((vi),139 p.);
    145 pages
    Hauteur: 36 cm
  • Information sur la langue
  • Langue du livret: Anglais
  • Renseignements supplémentaires :
  • For mezzo-soprano, clarinet, viola, 'cello, piano and percussion.

    Commissioned by the Array Endemble through the Ontario Arts Council.

    Note: no masters at CMC. See Promethean Editions for purchase and parts.
    1. The Prince -- 2. The Death of the Prince -- 3. The Prayer -- 4. The Centuries.
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