for the straight way was lost

Viola or Cello with Clarinet or Bass Clarinet or Alto Saxophone, 1 movement, (2002) ca. 8’
Commissioned and premiered by the Darkwood Consort, Boise, Idaho.

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Here’s a video with Uldis Lipskis, clarinet, and Dina Puķite, Cello, from their recent performance with my ensemble at Rigas Jaunais Teatris in Riga, Latvia:

Program Note:

For the straight way was lost was commissioned and premiered by The Darkwood Consort in Boise, Idaho. The title became unintentionally more and more appropriate over time, as the work has undergone multiple revisions and tweakings and experiments. The title comes from a passage in Dante’s The Divine Comedy, and I chose it because, first, it includes the name of the ensemble that commissioned it from me, but second, it also seems a good description of how the compositional process sometimes goes; sometimes a piece takes unexpected turns (almost of its own volition) that then must be dealt with:

Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita
mi retrovai per una selva oscura,
che la diritta via era smarrita.

In the middle of the journey of our life
I found myself in a dark wood,
for the straight way was lost.

-Dante, from The Divine Comedy

One comment

  1. What a fantastic piece! We performed the bass clarinet and viola version for the Long Island Composers Alliance concert in March 2007. The interplay of lines and balance of colors is wonderful, plus it rocks-great rhythmic intensity! Really a great work that works in a variety of settings.

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