La Luce eterna

for Soprano and Orchestra

Francis Thorne

Duration: 00:21:00
Publisher: Merion Music, Inc.
Print Status: Rental

Quick Overview

In New York in 1977, I felt that my music was being corrupted by the 12-tone mafia, and so I returned to Florence, where I had studied with David Diamond, to try and recapture my true musical self. After sitting and looking at blank paper for several weeks, I began to read sections of Dante to improve my Italian. I was enough moved by the final 39 lines of ?Paradiso? to set them to music for high voice and orchestra, in Italian.

These final lines describe the vision of the eternal light that radiates from heaven. For reasons of musical contrast, I took a few lines in the middle of my chosen text to make a short, fast section with the two slow segments on either side. This work brought me back to tonality and long lyric lines.

The words are set as they appear on paper except for the repetition of the word ?amor,? i.e., ?love,? at the work?s end. My friend Ned Rorem gently chastised me for not setting an English translation. Oh well, we do what we must.

The work has a duration of 21 minutes, and had its premiere with the Juilliard Orchestra in 1979, Jos

Additional Information

Commission Written on a fellowship grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Composition Date 1978
Orchestration Solo Sop.; 2 2 2 2 - 4 2 3(B.Tbn.) 1; Timp. 2Perc. Hp. Str.
Premiere January, 1980. Carole Farley, Soprano, Juilliard Orchestra, conducted by Jos