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Scoring

This work requires additional technological components and/or amplification.


Abbreviations (PDF)

Territory
This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.

World Premiere
5/23/2011
Merkin Concert Hall, New York, NY
Ethel
Composer's Notes

Shadow of the Words was commissioned by the ETHEL Foundation for the Arts, and was premiered by the New York based string quartet, ETHEL at the Tribeca New Music Festival in New York City.

I wrote Shadow of the Words specifically with the musicians of ETHEL in mind. I hope that the music combines both playful qualities with earthy dissonant passages that they can dig into. The text that comprises the tape part is 'Harmonie du soir' (Evening Harmony) by Charles Baudelaire, and is read by my dear friend and wonderful luthier, Bruno Guastalla.

Harmonie du soir
— Charles Baudelaire, from
Les Fleurs du mal

Voici venir les temps où vibrant sur sa tige
Chaque fleur s'évapore ainsi qu'un encensoir;
Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir;
Valse mélancolique et langoureux vertige!


Chaque fleur s'évapore ainsi qu'un encensoir;
Le violon frémit comme un coeur qu'on afflige;
Valse mélancolique et langoureux vertige!
Le ciel est triste et beau comme un grand reposoir.


Le violon frémit comme un coeur qu'on afflige,
Un coeur tendre, qui hait le néant vaste et noir!
Le ciel est triste et beau comme un grand reposoir;
Le soleil s'est noyé dans son sang qui se fige.


Un coeur tendre, qui hait le néant vaste et noir,
Du passé lumineux recueille tout vestige!
Le soleil s'est noyé dans son sang qui se fige…
Ton souvenir en moi luit comme un ostensoir!


Evening Harmony
— trans. William Aggeler,
The Flowers of Evil
(Fresno, CA: Academy Library Guild, 1954)

The season is at hand when swaying on its stem
Every flower exhales perfume like a censer;
Sounds and perfumes turn in the evening air;
Melancholy waltz and languid vertigo!


Every flower exhales perfume like a censer;
The violin quivers like a tormented heart;
Melancholy waltz and languid vertigo!
The sky is sad and beautiful like an immense altar.


The violin quivers like a tormented heart,
A tender heart, that hates the vast, black void!
The sky is sad and beautiful like an immense altar;
The sun has drowned in his blood which congeals…


A tender heart that hates the vast, black void
Gathers up every shred of the luminous past!
The sun has drowned in his blood which congeals…
Your memory in me glitters like a monstrance


— Anna Clyne

Reproduction Rights:
This program note may be reproduced free of charge in concert programs with a credit to the composer.


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