Melville's Dream

Year: 2017

Instrumentation: alto flute, viola, violoncello

Duration: 12 minutes

Program Notes

The first movement is a re-arrangement of my setting for voice and piano of Hart Crane’s poem “At Melville’s Tomb.” The remainder of the music is inspired by images from this mysterious, evocative poem.

Often beneath the wave, wide from this ledge
The dice of drowned men’s bones he saw bequeath
An embassy. Their numbers as he watched,
Beat on the dusty shore and were obscured.

And wrecks passed without sound of bells,
The calyx of death’s bounty giving back
A scattered chapter, livid hieroglyph,
The portent wound in corridors of shells.

Then in the circuit calm of one vast coil,
Its lashings charmed and malice reconciled,
Frosted eyes there were that lifted altars;
And silent answers crept across the stars.

Compass, quadrant and sextant contrive
No farther tides … High in the azure steeps
Monody shall not wake the mariner.
This fabulous shadow only the sea keeps.

Alternate PDF Downloads

Melville’s Dream – Parts
Separate parts for alto flute, viola and violoncello combined into one pdf.

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