On Conversing with Paradise(2008)
Ezra Pound (E)
0.0.1(=bcl).bcl(=cbcl).0--18.104.22.168--perc(5):I=large log dr/Japanese wdbl/nipple gong/2congas/splash cym; II=guiro/maracas/cym/metal wind chimes/3tom-t/4bongos; III=tam-t/almglocken/2SD/2cym/4ot.bl; IV=BD/SD/gong/bamboo wind chimes/small log dr/2pipes; V=sm BD/3SD/3cym/4wdbls/glsp/crot --pft--strings(2/2/2/2/2)
Boosey & Hawkes (Hendon Music)
Snape Maltings, Aldeburgh
Leigh Melrose, baritone / Birmingham Contemporary Music Group / Oliver Knussen
Ezra Pound, one of America’s leading poets and influences in the early twentieth century, lived in Italy during the Second World War. During that time he was occasionally allowed by the Fascist controlled radio to broadcast in English his rather fanatical ideas that the American bankers and banking system was destroying the US, a country he loved. When the American Army liberated Italy he was arrested as a traitor and imprisoned in a camp hear Pisa where he continued to write Cantos that he had worked on for most of his life. Later, at his trial in Washington, D.C. he was declared insane and interned at St. Elizabeth’s Asylum, during which time he was visited by many of the most respected American poets.
I have set parts of Canto 81 and 120, where he despairs of not having written the perfect poem, which to him was paradise.
My title is a quote from William Blake that Pound considered as a title for an early book of his own poems.
Jan. 27, 2009
Leigh Melrose/Birmingham Contemporary Music Group/Oliver Knussen
Bridge Records 9314 A/B