by Betty Beath (1975)
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There are two versions of this work: 1. for medium voice and piano 2. for medium voice and instrumental ensemble. Written for a concert of new works sponsored by the ISCM, held in Brisbane in 1975, Askesis is a setting of words by the distinguished German writer Gunter Grass; the first stanza excerpted from that poem follows.
The cat speaks. And what does the cat say? Thou shalt draw with sharpened pencil brides of shade and shade of snow, thou shalt love the colour grey and be beneath a cloudy sky. The cat speaks. And what does the cat say? Thou shalt be clad in the evening paper, clad in sackcloth like potatoes, and thou shalt turn this suit year out year in, and in a new suit never be...
Duration: 3 min.
"Askesis" is a poem from Penguin Modern European Poets series POEMS OF GUNTER GRASS, translated from the German by Christopher Middleton. Translations of selected poems first published in England by Martin Secker & Warburg Limited, 1966. English translation copyright 1966 by Martin Secker & Warburg Limited. The composer sought permission from both Gunter Grass and Martin Secker & Warburg to set 'Askesis' in the versions described above and holds correspondence in which permission was granted.
Performances of this work
16 May 15: Alten Pfarrkirche, Berlin. Featuring Rose Nolan.
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