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Love, Beauty, Desire

According to Classical scholar Albert Smith, for Aphrodite (Latin: Venus) to appear at any human encounter, these three elements must be present: Love, Beauty and Desire. My work for voices and orchestra is a meditation of these themes.

The work is in several movements, opening with a movement for orchestra alone which elides into the second movement, a trembling invocation of Desire for soprano and orchestra on Atom Egoyan's text: "In you alone, desire gives birth to delirium". This is followed by an ode on Love's power for choir alone on text by the 17th Century translator of Ovid into English, George Sandys. The fourth movement is for baritone and strings on my own text (in German and English) which asks a very modern question, how is it possible to fully love another and one's self?  As light and image are changed when reflected in water, so the fifth movement, Echo, is a distorted mirror of  the second movement, Desire. The reference is to "Echo and Narcissus", from Ovid'sMetamorphoses.   This is followed by a song for baritone with text in German by the Dutch author, Gerard Reve: "Before I go into the night, that glows in darkness for eternity, I want to speak one last time, and say this: that I have searched for nothing else than you, than you, than you alone."

Love, Beauty, Desire was commissioned by the Vancouver Symphony with the generous assistance of the Canada Council.

- Rodney Sharman
 
 
Love, Beauty, Desire
 
I. At Dusk
orchestra
II. Desire
soprano, choir & orchestra
III. Love
choir
IV. Liebesleid (Lovepain)
baritone & orchestra
V. Echo
soprano, choir & orchestra
VI. In die Nacht (Into Night)
baritone, choir & orchestra
 
Texts:
 
II.     In you alone, desire gives birth to delirium!
        - Atom Egoyan
 
III.     FIRE, AIRE EARTH, WATER, all the Opposites
        That strove in Chaos, powrefull LOVE unites;
        And from their Discord drew this Harmonie

        - George Sandys
 
IV.    Mein Herz, es bricht in Zwei.
        My heart breaks in two.
        Across tables,
        Across rooms,
        Cities,
        Oceans
 
        Torn apart,
        Torn.
 
        My love for you.
        My love for me.
 
        Wenn ich dich liebe,
        Wenn ich mich liebe,
        Kann ich dich und mich lieben?

        - Rodney Sharman
 
V.    Ah! You alone.
        - Rodney Sharman
 
VI.    Bevor ich in die Nacht geh,
        die fuer Ewig lichtlos glueht,
        will ich noch einmal sprechen, und dies sagen:
        Dass ich nicht andres hab gesucht
        als Dich,
        als Dich,
        als Dich allein.

        - Gerard Reve
 
"Before I go into the night,
that glows in darkness for eternity,
I want to speak one more time, and say this:
that I have searched for nothing else
than you,
than you,
than you alone." translation Rodney Sharman
 

All texts are used with permission of the author or are in public domain.