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for Soprano and Organ

Composer: Cooman, Carson

  • 80101426

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Set includes 2 scores

Circe (2010–11), a cantata for soprano and organ, takes a contemporary approach to the genre of the baroque secular solo cantata. As with many baroque works, the subject matter is taken from the classical world; in this case it is the story of Circe, the sorceress (or minor goddess: daughter of the sun god Helios and the sea nymph Perse) from Homer’s Odyssey. However,in the spirit of contemporary adaptation, the texts are three poems by American poet Louise Glück from her book "Meadowlands" (1996), a large section of which contains poems related to characters from the Odyssey. In the Odyssey, Odysseus and his men, returning home from the Trojan War, are lured to Circe’s island (Aeaea). Through her magic, Circe transforms Odysseus’s men into animals, but with help from the god Hermes, Odysseus is able to resist her magic himself, and Circe is forced to restore his men to human form. For the next year, Odysseus and his men remain on the island in leisure, and Odysseus becomes Circe’s lover. However, after the year has passed, Odysseus decides to continue the journey home to Ithaca (to return to his wife Penelope, who is patiently waiting for him). Circe reluctantly lets him go. Despite her divine heritage, the Circe of Glück’s poems is consumed with the quite human emotions of longing, bitterness, and jealousy. The musical language of the work is contemporary, though there is a great deal of allusion to baroque style and specific musical forms (including sarabande, loure, ground, plaint, and musette).

Instrumentation: Soprano and Organ
Duration: 9’
Composed: 2010
Published by: Zimbel Press

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