for counter-tenor, 2 sopranos, oboe, and guitar (1996)
Premiered at the Università I.U.L.M., Milan Italy, 1996
Possente Spirito was written for an Italian Opera class that I attended in Milan. I thought it fit to end where be began, with the legend of Orpheus. The text is by Alessandro Striggio from the opera Orfeo by Monteverdi.
The part of Orfeo is intended to sound like a castrato. The two voice parts (either females or male falsettists) were conceived as vocal fractions with an instrumental quality to them. The oboe acts as a connecting unit between the purely instrumetal sonorities of the guitar and the purely vocal sonorities of Orfeo, and the guitar is representative of Orfeo’s lyre, which he uses to influence Pluto. The piece is dedicated to my composition professor in Milan, Dr. Roberto Andreoni.
|Original Italian||English Translation|
|Possente Spirito e formidabile nume,
Senza vui far passaggio a l’altra riva
Alma da corpo sciolta in van presume.
Non viv’io, no, che poi di vita è priva
A lei volt’ho il cammin per l’aer cieco,
Orfeo son io che d’Euridice i passi
O de le luci mie luci serene,
Sol tu nobid dio puoi darmi aita
|Mighty spirit and powerful divinity,
Without whom the souls freed from their bodies
Hope in vain to reach the other bank.
I am not alive, no, after the death of
To her I have turned my path through the dark air,
I am Orpheus, who follows the steps of Euridice
O serene light of my eyes,
Only thou noble god, canst aid me,