Karim Al-Zand: Music: A Measure In Trance


A Measure In Trance

six songs for choir on poetry of Al-Mutazz

These six brief songs use texts by the Arab classical poet Ibn Al-Mutazz (861–908 C.E.). Al-Mutazz was a prince in the Persian imperial house during the Abbasid period, though he had no particular political ambitions himself. For most of his life he was content to hunt, ride horses and write poetry. He wrote numerous volumes of verse and several critical works on the poetic art. Later in his life, during a time of political turmoil in the region, he was persuaded to leadership and was hastily proclaimed caliph. The very same day, the ill-fated monarch was overthrown and Al-Mutazz fled to the house of a friend. It was there, twelve days later, that he was found and put to death. The titles of the songs have been added here—poems from this era are typically classified by rhyme and rhyme scheme. But the texts chosen for A Measure in Trance are similar in that they each evoke a single poignant image: the colorful new moon signaling the end of Ramadan; a mysterious performer singing to the accompaniment of a lute; a love-crazed young man; the advent of spring; a woman enjoying a guilty pleasure in music-making. The text of the first song is especially touching as it seems to refer to Mutazz’s brief sanctuary before his execution. Translations by Charles Greville Tuetey; Published by Kegan Paul, Inc. Used with permission.

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score
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DATE
2000

DURATION
8 minutes

INSTRUMENTATION
choir acapella SSAATTB

COMMISSION
New England Conservatory Camerata | Lorna Cooke deVaron, director

PREMIÈRE
May 24, 2000
The New England Conservatory Camerata | Lorna Cooke deVaron, director | Jordan Hall. Boston MA

MOVEMENTS
I. Fateful Shackles
II. Silver Galleon
III. A Black Amour
IV. Incantations and Spells
V. Her Inscrutable Self
VI. Dreaming Nights Awake


AUDIO
I. Fateful Shakles
II. Silver Galleon
III. A Black Amour
IV. Incantations and Spells
V. Her Inscrutable Self
VI. Dreaming Nights Awake


SCORE
PDF
© 2015 KARIM AL-ZAND