Three Settings from Imitations by Robert Lowell
for Mezzo-Soprano and Piano
Robert Lowell, sixth U.S.. Poet Laureate, winner of the 1960 National Book Award ("Life Studies"), and twice awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, took a minor detour in 1961 to ponder the works of international poets, writing a set of "loose translations" which became his Imitations - he considered them imitations, not translations, since he pictured the texts as being written in current times in America. Today, Sharaf takes three "imitations" on poems of Baudelaire to create his Three Settings for mezzo-soprano and piano. About the music, he says, "These settings are atonal musically, but frequent appoggiaturas suggest the resolution of inner conflict in Lowell’s life. A medium tessitura is suggested for performance." Texts used are The Injured Moon, Meditation, and The Voyage by Baudelaire, "translated" by Robert Lowell from his Collected Poems. For advanced performers.