Last poems (mezzo-soprano with clarinet)
by Becky Llewellyn (1990, this version: 1994)
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This sample is from the Mezzo-Soprano with viola version of this work
Performance by Lauris Elms, Deborah de Graaff from the CD Selected Works by AMC Represented Artists, vol. 113.
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Some people have such an intense presence when alive that to actively mourn/celebrate them when dead needs the most minimal musical forces. Becky wrote these three movements in 1990, during the AIDS epidemic before treatment options became available, when she heard conductor Stuart Challender was dying. For a man of the orchestra, the use of one string instrument seemed to convey the poignancy of the loss and the beauty of his life. The text, by D.H. Lawrence who was dying when he wrote this, is an affirmation of our humanity. The outer two movements are appropriate for funerals and memorial services for exceptional individuals and for musicians who are mourning.
"I was approached by the wonderful mezzo-soprano Lauris Elms, to re-cast my Last Poems work so she could play it with her daughter, clarinetist Deborah de Graaff. The combination of the voice and clarinet is equally as magnetic as that of the original voice and viola. The text by D.H. Lawrence comes alive in the combination. There are three songs in the series Last Poems: each could be done in recital or at a funeral/memorial service for an exceptional person."
Year: 1990, this version: 1994
Instrumentation: Mezzo-soprano, clarinet in A.
Duration: 11 min.
Contents note: Song of death -- Shadows -- All souls' day.
Dedication note: Dedicated to Stuart Challender. Dedicated to a giant in Australian music, Stuart Challender.
Performances of this work
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