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I began writing a piece for baritone and symphony orchestra in the early spring of 2001. It was completed six days prior to the tragedy that took place in the USA on September 11. Although my music is usually sad, or even tragic, I did not dare to dedicate this piece to the memory of the innocent victims. I must confess that I was tempted! However, I was aware that music written after the tragedy would have been different. Therefore, I decided to use the last two words of the title: Don’t Grieve! They are addressed to everyone who endured this tragedy with tears, and still believed in the future.
I have always considered and still deem that great poetry carries great music within itself. By limiting myself to the use of single lines, phrases, or titles from various poems, I am free to create music according to my own interpretation of a given image. Just an image, rather than the ideas behind Shakespeare’s sonnet, for example.
This is not the path of least resistance. This is rather a realistic perception of one’s possibilities. It is beyond my ability to create music which will sound better than the music I sense in the poetry of J. Brodsky or O. Mandelstam. But I am capable, to a certain extent, of creating musical images that reveal the sense of separate words, phrases, lines. Therefore, taking this opportunity, I would like to beg the eminent authors and you, my dear listeners, to forgive me for such a liberal treatment of great poetry.