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Karel Husa

Publisher: AMP

Two Sonnets from Michelangelo (1971)
Associated Music Publishers Inc
Year Composed
16 Minutes

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Programme Note
Karel Husa Two Sonnets from Michelangelo (1971)
Composer Note:

As a student in Prague, I was seriously interested in music and painting and admired Michelangelo not only for his paintings, sculptures, frescoes, but also for his poetry. I was – and still am today – fascinated by the great strength in expression for which Michelangelo was striving in all his art. The poems are as powerful as everything this giant of the Renaissance has touched. It also seems to me that both sonnets “La notte” and “A Dio,” although over 450 years old, retain the same power; even more, they are so close to us in our everyday rushed life, which too, makes us forget all the beauties of this world. The music intends to express Michelangelo’s meditation rather closely, perhaps in the similar way Debussy musically followed Mallarme’s poem “L’Apres-midi d’un faune.”

— Karel Husa

  • Ensemble
    The Louisville Orchestra
  • Ensemble
    Louisville Orchestra
    Akira Endo
    First Edition:
Fields of sound, shot through with bright tones. Fleeting patterns, changing as the strings sweep past. Musical impressions of two poems by Michelangelo were created by composer Karel Husa and presented in world premiere last weekend by the Evanston Symphony Orchestra. The work, commissioned by the orchestra by means of a grant from the W. Clement and Jessie V. Stone Foundation, was fashioned around two sonnets “La notte” and “A Dio” by the master Italian artist. And the Evanston Symphony was equal to the task. One cannot speak of melodies, as such, in this music. Bits of tones, improbably laced together have to suffice. But there are compensations at every measure. There are overlays of sound, texture against texture. Without conventional melodies to “listen to” the ear searches for subtleties and interplay, much as the eye begins to see color anew in an abstract painting.
Evanston Review,04/05/1972
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