for tenor, flute, cello, and piano
words by Trumbull Stickney (1874-1904)
For the occasion of a Bacchanalia concert, I decided to bring out the decadent, hedonistic side of this extravagant fin de siecle poem. Instead of a simple exhortation to appreciate life in the moment, I chose to interpret the poem as a dare, a seductive proposition, or even a threat, urging the listener to give into their inner demons and live recklessly. The music is mainly in a lush, neo-Romantic style (as befits the poem's lavish imagery), but obsessive, driving rhythms, eerie harmonies, and occasional biting clusters give the composition a dark, maniacal edge.