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Samuel Barber

Publisher: G. Schirmer

Medea — Cave of the Heart (1947)
Work Notes
Choreographed by Martha Graham as “The Serpent Heart” (1946) and “Cave of the Heart” (1947).
G Schirmer Inc
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Year Composed
29 Minutes

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Programme Note
Samuel Barber Medea — Cave of the Heart (1947)
The choreography and music were conceived, as it were, on two time levels, the ancient mythical and the contemporary. Medea and Jason first appear as godlike, super-human figures of the Greek tragedy. As the tension and conflict between them increases, they step out of their legendary roles from lime to time and become the modern man and woman, caught in the nets of jealousy and destructive love; and at the end reassume their mythical quality. In both the dancing and music, archaic and contemporary idioms are used. Medea, in her final scene after the denouement, becomes once more the descendant of the sun.

...written for Martha Graham's ballet company, and that meant economy of means... Later...Mr. Barber recast his work as Medea's Meditation and Dance of Vengeance. In getting back to the originals, Andrew Schenck...bares the raw fierceness of the Medea ballet. But more than that, Mr. Schenck and company turn in performances of danceable pulse and suppleness, all recorded in vibrant colors.
Lawrence B. Johnson, The New York Times,02/12/1990
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