Bella Above

Bella Above

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Scoring & Instrumentation
Mezzo-Soprano, Cello, and Piano
Alternate Title

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Year Authored (or revised)
Duration (min)
5
Movements

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Detail

Description

Composer's Note:

This piece is a setting of an ekphrastic poem by Jeri Theriault, a dreamy meditation on Marc Chagall’s famous painting called “The Promenade.” In it, he depicts his wife Bella floating in the air, lightly touching his fingers as he reaches up towards her. The image is evoked musically by the wide spacing of the pianist’s left and right hands, playing similar pitch material, but with a half step added to the multiple octaves separating them. In other words, an E in the lowest octave is doubled by an F in the highest. Because of the way we perceive pitch, these notes actually seem to create a truer blend for the ear than if they were both E’s. This aural illusion is an apt metaphor for Chagall’s kaleidoscopic world, freed from gravity and the normal concepts of up and down. Singer and cellist stroll through this realm, often hand in hand. In the middle of the piece, where the text suggests an awareness of distant troubles, a slow, drab march briefly intrudes on the colorful landscape. The music ends, as does the poem, with a sparkling return to “… blue air, green. More green. Roses.”

Comments

Vocal Range: G#3 - F5

First Perfomance

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Recording

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Text Language - Non English

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Text Source/Author
"Bella Above" copyright 2016 by Jeri Theriault, from Radost, my red (Moonpie Press). Used with permission.
Title Number

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Ensemble Type
solo voice(s)+2 to 6 instruments
Genre/Theme

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Instrument
Mezzo-Soprano

Files & Media

Audio

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Video

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Sample Pages

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