World Wide Webbing and T.S. Eliot

I had a pretty cosmpolitan morning at the computer.

Chatted with Jeremy in China for a bit… then later with Sarah in the UK. The internet is nifty.

Way back in 1981, I wrote a little cantata called “Ash Wednesday” that I have been thinking about lately.

The text is from T.S. Eliot‘s poem of the same name.

Originally it was written for SATB, soprano, alto, and tenor soloists (I think in the performance I had my brother sing the alto as a baritone solo), oboe (doubling on recorder in one movement), guitar, harpsichord, and cello.

Anyway, I never did a finished score and performed it from a messy draft score.

I think about this poem quite a bit. Especially the part that says: “Teach us to care. And not to care. Teach us to sit still.” This is still an important thought for me.

Ash Wednesday is probably too close to consider vamping this piece up for this year. But nevertheless I spent some time today trying to piece together the original score. This involved copying parts into a score just to see what the heck I wrote.

There were several instrumental movements (that I called Death Dances) plus the choral/solo movements. I like what I can remember and see in the messy scores so far. I’m thinking I could probably salvage parts of it and make one or two anthems and some instrumental pieces out of it.

The first step is to reconstruct the original intent. Then evaluate.

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