Mascara III : for strings
by Phillip Wilcher (2013)
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Score & Part
Library shelf no. 784.7/WIL 6 [Not for loan]
The Mascara series of musical portraits is a set of 15 works in
all, the inspiration for which were black and white photographic
portraits of legendary actresses from the golden years of the
silver screen. The actresses chosen for the third set in the
series were Sophia Loren, Ingrid Bergman and Frances Farmer.
Sophia Loren began her career as a child entering a beauty pageant. Her beauty was her "calling card" and to this day she remains one of the most sensuous of women ever to have graced the silver screen.
Named after Princess Ingrid of Sweden, Ingrid Bergman could well have been born a princess herself. In the early days of her vast career it was said she brought to the screen a "Nordic freshness and vitality" coupled with beauty and intelligence.
The American actress Frances Farmer lived a tragic life. Considered somewhat rebellious, resisting any attempts made by film studios to glamorise her life, her temperament proved a challenge to the sustaining of her career. The photo image that "inspired" this piece showed a woman reclining her head on folded arms, her arms appearing as waves. I hope in this piece I have given to her life a degree of buoyancy that might have served her as a balm.
Instrumentation: String orchestra (without double bass), piano. Chimes and solo violin in 'Frances Farmer'.
Duration: 11 min.
Contents note: Sophia Loren (c. 3 min., 30 sec.) -- Ingrid Bergman (c. 3 min., 20 sec.) -- Frances Farmer (c. 3 min., 50 sec.).
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