Two of my pieces for viola da gamba (as in the picture, below the hat) and piano are finalists in a call for scores for viola da gamba and piano. They may "be recorded by violist da gamba Andrew Arceci and/or presented on concerts throughout the United States, Italy, and/or Thailand."
Both pieces are Prayers from inside the Ark, which I have blogged about before. The inspiration is a selection of poems by Carmen Bernos de Gasztold called Prières dans l'Arche. This time, they are the prayers of the glow-worm (prière du ver luisant) and the butterfly (prière du papillon).
The picture opposite is A young woman playing a viola da gamba by Gerrit Van Honthorst (1592 - 1656). He was a prolific artist, who cultivated the style of Caravaggio, often tavern scenes with musicians, gamblers and people eating. He had great skill at chiaroscuro, often painting scenes illuminated by a single candle.
Carmen Bernos de Gasztold was a French nun of Lithuanian descent. Prières dans L'Arche (Prayers from inside the Ark) were intended for children, and are imaginative and moving views of what the various animals in the Ark (and Noah) might ask for. The cat says it doesn't really want anything, but if there happened to be some milk, it might know someone who would appreciate it. The dog wants security; the monkey wants to be taken seriously. The raven revels in the destruction of the flood, and the dove wants to bring hope to those in the Ark.
These two prayers are from the scatter-brained butterfly and the feeble glow-worm who says, ‘My God, won’t you move your light a little further away? I am just a cinder, and my heart can only shine at night: a feeble star of hope to show a gleam of joy to other hearts. So be it – Amen.’
The butterfly prays, ‘Lord! Where was I? Oh yes! This flower, the sun – thank you. Creation is beautiful, the scent of roses… Where was I? Dew rolls fiery joy into the heart of a lily. I must go… but where, I don’t know. The wind has painted its fantasies on my wings. Where was I? Oh yes Lord, I have something to tell you.’
The Composer's Voice has uploaded a video of the concert on Broadway on 24 October 2015 when Stephen Porter played my piece, Leise flehen die Lieder for piano. Mine was the first in a series of fifteen one-minute pieces related to Schubert.
The video is on YouTube.
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