decketh joy, water destroy (2018)

for soprano & chamber ensemble

ca. 10'

soprano

flute

Bb clarinet

harp

cello

double bass

percussion (see below)

PROGRAM NOTE

 

Water has always fascinated artists. It mesmerizes through the intrinsic beauty of its physicality and its complex relationship with us humans. In our own time, we can be awestruck by its beauty and cognizant of the destruction it increasingly brings in this century, each year more than the last. The text is Ralph Waldo Emerson’s poem, “Water”:

 

The water understands

Civilization well;

It wets my foot, but prettily,

It chills my life, but wittily,

It is not disconcerted,

It is not broken-hearted:

Well used, it decketh joy,

Adorneth, doubleth joy:

Ill used, it will destroy,

In perfect time and measure

With a face of golden pleasure

Elegantly destroy. 

begins at [1:15]

Ensemble Dal Niente (Christian Baldini, conductor), at UC Davis, Nov 2018

percussion instruments:

bass drum, suspended cymbal, triangle, vibes, crotales (only lower octave), pitched gongs (only C4, G4, B4)

© 2012-2019 Ryan Suleiman

 

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