Poem in Depression

Poem in Depression, at Wei Village for soprano, flute, viola, cello and piano (1965; rev. 1985)

‘Poem in Depression, at Wei Village’ is a setting of a translation by Arthur Waley of a Chinese poem by Po Chüi. The song is, first, a response to the challenge of making something bigger than a miniature (in both manner and size) out of a miniature text. Secondly there is an attempt to create a coherent harmonic language by serial means. The series is grouped into four three-note chords (heard in the opening bars) which, towards the climax of the work, are made to clash with triadic outbursts in the piano part which are not derived from the series.

© 1966 Tim Souster