ROMANCE for violin, cello and piano (1994, rev.2010)
“The course of true love never did run smooth”
This work offers several sonic allusions to the dynamics of love as presented in the above quote from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Act 1, scene 1).
In this play, the young lovers Lysander and Hermia have run into trouble at the very start. Hermia’s father has decided that she shall marry Demetrius, not Lysander; if she refuses, she’ll have to face the law of Athens—that is, either death or consignment to a nunnery. Lysander offers “comfort” with the observation that “the course of true love never did run smooth,” apparently comparing romance to a river current.His examples—which elicit parallel replies from Hermia—include affairs complicated by differences in class (“blood”) or age, or dictated by relations (“friends”).
Musically, the violin and cello engage in lyrical duets, often mirroring each other melodically while the piano provides a flowing harmonic “current.” Inevitably, the ensuing instrumental dialogue results in agitated (even argumentative) outbursts only to be briefly reconciled before they erupt again. The final section of the piece, marked “placido”, would lead us to believe that, at least for now, all is harmonious.
Publisher: Keiser Southern Music
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