Canto I

for soprano and piano
4 minutes

Program Note

From The Divine Comedy by Dante, Translation by H.R. Huse

To move over better waters now hoists sail
the little vessel of my mind
which leaves behind so rough a sea;
and I will sing of the second realm
where the human spirit is cleansed
and becomes worthy to rise.
Here, O holy Muses, since I am yours,
let dead poetry be revived
and let Calliope arise,
accompanying my song with the music
which struck the ears of the wretched magpies
so that they despaired of pardon.

This work was commissioned by Neva Pilgrim and the Syracuse Society for New Music as part of their 2007 rising stars program. The text is derived from Dante’s The Divine Comedy and immediately struck me for its dramatism. Originally I wanted to set a single canto but kept finding more that was interesting within the pages, because of this, this piece will become part of a larger work exploring the journey of Dante from his journey out of the forest.