Songs of Eternity

for Soprano and Orchestra

Behzad Ranjbaran

Performing Ensemble: Voice and Orchestra
Text: Text from "The Ruba'iyat of Omar Khayyam." English translation by Peter Avery and John Heath-Stubbs.
Duration: 17:00
Publisher: Theodore Presser Company
Print Status: Rental

Quick Overview

Ever since I read the Ruba’iyat of Omar Khayyam (12th century Persian poet) in my teenage years, I fell under the spell of his poetry. When the time came to write a work for my dear friend, Renée Fleming, I set my sights on Khayyam’s poems. The challenge was to choose nine Ruba’is (two-lined stanza of Persian poetry), out of hundreds, to read like a cohesive selection of poems.

During the period of compositional sketching, Khayyam’s poetry forced me to reevaluate many of my philosophical and moral values concerning life. Once I settled on the essence of my musical response to Khayyam’s poetry and the meaning of life, the work progressed rapidly. Songs of Eternity is a musical documentation of my emotional journey, an expression of love and peace, and an affirmation of eternal life.

The basic musical idea of Songs of Eternity comes from a four-note motive that is heard throughout the three connected songs in a variety of moods and musical textures. The four-note motive functions as the source of both unity and contrast in the entire piece.

The score of Songs of Eternity is dedicated to Renée Fleming.
—Behzad Ranjbaran

Additional Information

Composition Date 2002
Orchestration Solo Sop.; 2 2(E.H.) 2 2 - 2 2 1 1; Timp. Perc. Hp. Str.
Premiere 14th September, 2002. Ren

Score Preview