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After Three Statues (2013-15)

I. Bronze Statue of a Man
II. Marble Statue of Aphrodite
III. Ambiguous Angel
mezzo soprano/piano

commissioned by Concert Artists Guild with support from Martin L. and Lucy Miller Murray for Naomi O’Connell
text: Lucy Miller Murray

III. Ambiguous is also arranged for Mezzo Soprano, Clarinet in B-flat, and Piano.
This song was premiered at Chamber Music Northwest in Portland, Oregon on July 10, 2015 by Evanna Chiew, Yevgeny Yontov, and David Shifrin.

After Three Statues for Mezzo-Soprano and Piano is inspired poetry by Lucy Miller Murray. Ms. Miller Murray wrote three poems based on her reflections on statues she encountered at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The first poem is based on a bronze statue of a man from the Greek/Hellenistic era. The statue is ghostly and tragic and I tried to capture this quality in setting the text to music. The piano writing features gently flowing and hushed sonorities in a 6/8 meter and the vocal writing echoes the piano's vulnerable and lonely atmosphere. The second poem, "Marble Statue of Aphrodite", reflects upon the so-called Venus from the Roman Imperial era. The poem is more outgoing and the music contrasts with the first movement by featuring loud and bombastic piano sonorities with jagged lines and changing meters. The vocal writing is full-bodied and ecstatic and highlights the seductive charm of the poem and statue. The third and final poem, "Ambiguous Angel" after The Angel Gabriel from the Italian Renaissance, returns to a similar lonely rhythm of the opening movement. In my setting of Ambiguous Angel, the music is quite slow, almost as if time stops. Quiet and repetitive chords put us in a timeless space in front of a statue that has achieved immortality.

Listen

III. Ambiguous Angel

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