Orchestration: Soprano + vlc
Duration: 7 minutes

Geoffrey Gordon Composer

Wilde Lieder Marx.Music Prizewinner in the Ensemble Category

Performances Harmonie will be performed in Trier on Saturday 1 September, and in Birmingham on Tuesday 4 September.

Programme Note

Karl Marx (b. 1818, Trier, d. 1883, London) has entered the history books primarily as philosopher, economist, historian, political theorist, sociologist, journalist and, above all, revolutionary socialist. But Marx had a different side, a poetic, romantic one. As a young man, Marx wrote glowing love letters and poems, most of which he dedicated to his fiancée and later wife, Baroness Jenny von Westphalen. Steeped in Romanticism - the spirit of the time - Marx wrote with a virtuoso sense of language and an ability to draw on the fullness of poetic expression. On the bicentenary of the birth of Karl Marx and contributing to BCMG’s 2018 Wilde Lieder project, Harmonie sets for soprano and solo cello Marx’s exquisite poem of that name, dedicated to his love, Jenny, from Buch der Lieder 1836. In duet, the fluid lines of voice and cello articulate the depth and declamation of the text with sustained intensity, revealing its special rhythm and rhyme and sharing in the poet’s fascination with Love’s inherent magic. Harmonie draws on a central harmonic and melodic motive through which the composer explores colour, harmony and line, matching the passionate wonder and aesthetic impulse of the language of the poem - the inner turmoil and outwards expression of Marx’s words, providing perspective, intensity and sonic beauty with fleet-fingered virtuosity and masterful melodic phrasing.

Programme note copyright Geoffrey Gordon 2018 and may not be reproduced without permission