I was sixteen, immersed in the sometimes shocking avant-garde and “hip” trends of the day, when my first composition instructor cautioned me that “romantic” thoughts would slip into my compositions in the years to come – no matter how “modern” I wished my music to remain. Three years later I was further astonished when my professor at the Academy of Music predicted that in time I would show interest in vocal works.
I yearned to further explore other “romantic” notions. For years I desired to write a composition on the subject of love. I kept searching for an inspiring text, which I found quite unexpectedly among the works of the Polish poet Stanislaw Trafinski. Although I chose to use only two poems, the composition saw a design in four movements. The two middle movements arose around the lines of the poems. The forth movement centered on the thought shared by the two poems – the thought of love and time.
The first movement became something of an enigma. Titled Prelude to Love (Song of Enchantment) it was composed last, late in 2006. Scored for orchestra alone, it sets the mood and the harmonic vocabulary of the whole composition. It is coy, longing, and provocative in turn.
The second movement Time of Love (Czas Milosci) and the third movement Moment in Eternity (Chwila Wiecznosci) were written in the first week of May 2006. The music reflects the poetry, which addresses various notions of love ranging from innocent love, through nostalgic love, to carnal love. Here the soprano soloist is put into the role of a narrator.
The fourth movement, “I have spread my dreams under your feet; tread gently, because you tread on my dreams” was written in the first week of December 2006, and was designed as a vocalise with a marked orchestral presence. It is lyrical, dramatic, and narrative in turn, and contains the climactic point of the whole composition. Various aspects of the previous movements are brought back in a fresh context, just as the whole composition is an expression of a Romantic Ideal in a fresh, XXI century context.
The orchestral writing is demanding and virtuosic at times. The solo part enthrals and compels musical intelligence, sensitivity, and technical agility.
Tapestries of Love was commissioned by Maestro Glen Fast and the Kingston Symphony Orchestra for Maria Knapik, soprano, with financial assistance from the Ontario Arts Council.