Sop, Mezzo Sop, Harpsichord
Petrarch’s Canzone No. 129, “Di Pensier in Pensier”, is one of the greatest poems of the late Middle Ages/early Renaissance. In it the poet laments the absence of his love, Laura, in imagery based on the rockstrewn and windswept landscape of Southern France, a landscape I also know well. The music setting makes no attempt to imitate the music contemporaneous to
the poet, but it does have historical roots. I have been fascinated by the music of the early seventeenth century, a time when modern tonality was being invented, but in which the rules were not so well “known” that the results were predictable. The surprising and fresh harmonic progressions of this era continue to inspire me. And so, in this work, while there is much that is chromatic and very much of this time, there is also a strong tonal underpinning, a basically triadic language (albeit extended), a love to ornament, and an attachment to emotional “affect” in accordance with principles of the early Baroque. As such, it is an homage to the great dramatic scena of the period.