Songs of Eternity

for Soprano and Orchestra

Behzad Ranjbaran

Rental
Performing Ensemble: Voice and Orchestra
Text: Text from "The Ruba'iyat of Omar Khayyam." English translation by Peter Avery and John Heath-Stubbs.
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

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Additional Information

Composition Date 2002
Duration 17:00
Orchestration Solo Sop.; 2 2(E.H.) 2 2 - 2 2 1 1; Timp. Perc. Hp. Str.
Premiere 14th September, 2002. Ren

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