Existentia premiered by BMOP on January 24

My orchestra piece "Existentia" is premiered by BMOP in Jordan Hall on January 24. To purchase tickets go to the BMOP webpage.

Existentia is a symphonic poem in three movements, inspired by three short poems by Sándor Weöres. I attempt to reflect the qualities I most appreciate in his works: rhythm, lyricism, simple forms and his sensitivity to the unique sonorities of the Hungarian language. The cimbalom is prominently featured in all movements, and a Transylvanian folk song from Gyimes appears in the second and third movements. The folk melody is heard briefly towards the end of “Existantia” and is featured in its original form in “Post Existentia,” a movement is based on the opening motive of Liszt’s last symphonic poem “From the Craddle to the Grave.” The concluding movement also features a solo violin and a soprano quoting the words of Post-existentia.

Weöres Sándor: Existentia

I. PRAE-EXISTENTIA


Isten gondol öröktől fogva téged,
elméjében léted mint szikla áll.
Mi ehhez mérve habfodornyi élted?
És mit változtat rajtad a halál?





To God you are a thought for eternity, your existence a steady rock. But here your life is like the sea foam.  What could death then bring you?

II. EXISTENTIA 


Felébredek: nem az vagyok, ki voltam.
Elalszom: holnap megint más leszek.
De élve, holtan, utcán, kriptaboltban
én emlékezem és én feledek.





I wake up, I am not who I was. I fall asleep, tomorrow I will be different/someone else. But alive, dead, on the streets and in the crypt, I remember and I forget.

III. POST-EXISTENTIA


Nem nyughatsz addig, se halva, se élve,
míg át nem szőtted árnyad és szined
a szerelem végtelen szőttesébe, a béke aztán lesz csak a tied.

You will not rest, dead or alive until you saw your shade and color into the eternal homespun of love. Peace will only be with you then.

Featured folk tune:

KELET FELE VAN EGY HOMÁLY
(Gyimesi lassú Magyaros folk tune)
 
Kelet fele van egy homály
Az én rózsám allatta vár
Gyere ki rózsám alóla
Megver az esö alatta
(Haj da da da)

 Ölelnélek egy óráig
Úgysem látlak már sokáig
Gyere ide jer ide hogy üljek az ölödbe
Hogy nézzek a két ragyogó szemedbe
(Haj da da da) 

A rózsamhoz elkerülek
A hegyeken fölkereslek
Minnél inkább tiltnak töled
Annál inkább szólok véled
(Haj da da da)

 Rough translation: 
There is a cloud in the East
My rose is waiting for me beneath
Come away my rose
Lest the rain lash against you
(Haj da da da)

I would hug you for an hour
I won’t see you for much longer
Come here, right here, so I may sit on your lap
So I may look into your brilliant eyes
(Haj da da da)

 To my rose I would go
I seek you in the mountains
The more they forbid us
The more I speak of you
(Haj da da da)

Instrumentation:

 Soprano Solo
Flute, change to piccolo
Oboe
Clar I in Bb
Clar II change to Bass Clarinet and Eb
Bassoon
Horn in F
Trumpet
Tenor Trombone 
Percussion I:
Vibraphone, Cymbals, Bass Drums, Xylo, Glockenspiel, Crotales, Tam-Tam, 2 timpani
Percussion II:
Cimbalom, susp. cymbal
Harp
Celesta
Violin I-II
Viola
Cello
Double Bass