Orpheus and Euridice

A Song Cycle In Two Acts for Soprano, Clarinet In Bb and Piano

Ricky Ian Gordon (composer)


Gordon's Orpheus and Euridice provides a retelling of the ancient Greek myth, casting a solo soprano as the narrator and, briefly, also Euridice, while inserting a clarinetist into the role of Orpheus, the player's dynamic instrumental line outlining the voice of this iconic character. Written in honor of his partner Jeffrey Michael Grossi, who died of AIDS in 1996, Gordon’s libretto uses imagery from the AIDS epidemic in altering the plot of the classic story: here, Euridice dies not from snakebite, but from a mysterious disease, while Orpheus is forced to look on helplessly, his lute failing to offer solace. After traveling through the Underworld and playing music for infernal deities in order to appease them, he is granted a second chance at life with Euridice. As in the original tale, he leads her out of the Underworld, eventually turning around to gaze upon her only to watch her vanish. Orpheus is then forced to return to Earth alone, where he is physically shattered by his grief. His spirit is then released from his body, giving birth to new sounds soon dispersed throughout the world.  A recording of Orpheus and Euridice is available on Ghostlight Records.
Publisher: Carl Fischer Music
Score Type: Vocal Score
Product Type: Score
Weight: 0.7 lbs.
UPC: 7-98408-06211-8
ISBN: 978-0-8258-6211-3
Program Notes
About Ricky Ian Gordon
Libretto to Orpheus and Euridice
Act I
Part 1: Orpheus
Part 2: Euridice
Part 3: Bliss
Part 4: Home
Part 5: They dance (Piano Solo)
Part 6: Song
Part 6: Song (Transposed - Major 2nd lower)
Act II
Part 7: Illness
Part 8: Death
Part 9: The Underworld
Part 10: The Journey Back
Part 11: Song 2
Part 12: Conclusion
Part 13: Epilogue
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