Canzoni d'Amore

(Cavalcanti, Petrarca, Stampa, Tasso)

Year: 2021

Instrumentation: soprano & string orchestra

Duration: 22 minutes

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Program Notes

So, here’s a confession. If anyone asked me to name my favorite singer, I wouldn’t hesitate. I simply revel in the sound of Cecelia Bartoli’s voice – and have long harbored a secret fantasy that one day she might sing one of my songs. Of course, it would help if I actually wrote something for her first, but I guess that’s not how fantasies generally work. But recently, after listening to her singing one of the songs from Arie Antiche, I decided, why the heck not. Write something.

Sitting in the poetry section of my little attic library, mostly ignored for many years, was a small volume of Italian love songs, so now that I was on a mission, I turned to that first and selected several poems to set. Working in my usual way with poetry in a language other than English, I looked to see if I could find any videos on-line of someone reading the poems, so that I could hear the phrasing and rhythms of the spoken poems. Because I could not find several that were in my little book, ultimately I selected four poems, some from the book, some not, that I was able to listen to, while parsing syllables and scribbling accent marks down on the page.

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