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Nine Poems from "The Book of Questions"

for soprano, viola, piano and percussion

Year:  1995 Instrumentation:  percussion: vibraphone, snare drum, tubular bells

Year:  1995
Instrumentation  percussion: vibraphone, sna...

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Sample Score

Sample: Pages 4,8,14,29,32,46-47,

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Settings for soprano, viola, piano and percussion of nine poems from The Book of Questions by Pablo Neruda, in the translation by William O'Daly. From Neruda's wonderfully whimsical utterances I chose the following poems (in order of appearance): I, II, XVI, III, XLV, XXIX, XXIII, XVI and LXVII. The accompanying instrumentation varies for each song; the vocal line is often rather angular, but this is softened by the freely triadic harmonies of the accompanying figures, which lend each song its particular mood. The rhetorical flavour and free associations of the poetic imagery are reflected in the musical language, with its uncertainty of resolution.

Commissioned note

Commissioned by Gina Sanders, with funding from Creative New Zealand

Contents note

  1. Poem I
  2. Poem II
  3. Poem XVI
  4. Poem III
  5. Poem XIV
  6. Poem XXIX
  7. Poem XXIII
  8. Poem XXVI
  9. Poem LXVII

Text note

Pablo Neruda, translation by William O'Daly and used with the kind permission of Copper Canyon Press, Port Townsend, Washington, United States of America