Melbourne composer David Chisholm has written a song cycle for
the "spare grandeur" and symbolic landscapes of Yves Bonnefoy's
famous poems about snow, writes Peter Craven.
MELBOURNE IS ABOUT to hear the first performances of a new song
cycle written by the Melbourne composer David Chisholm and sung
by Miriam Gordon-Stewart. The work is called The Beginning and
the End of Snow and it sets to music the words of a famous
sequence of poems, Debut et fin de la neige, by the French poet
Yves Bonnefoy, who is a poet of such high reputation that if he
were to win the Nobel prize he would bring more honour to the
award than it would bring to him.
Bonnefoy is the kind of poet who, like Wallace Stevens (or T. S.
Eliot) seems to create symbolic landscapes in which the
contemplation of the world and the way its image shines in the
mind become inseparable aspects of each other. It's a poetry
disclosing worlds of suggested emotion but doing so through
evocations of a world stripped bare of verbal decoration.