Lines from Poetry (1992) by Ronald Caltabiano
for violin

Lines from Poetry was written in 1992 for my good friend, Mitchell Stern. Each of the nine movements is based on personal impressions of one or two brief poetic statements, which are shown below. The relationship of the music to the poetry is more impressionistic than programmatic. It was my desire to compose a work that would highlight both the virtuosic and lyrical aspects of the violin. These elements are often juxtaposed between movements (as between the first and second), and sometimes within one movement (as in the third). To provide unity, all the movements share an ever-varying cantus firmus, as well as motivic elements. Moreover, movements are attacca except for two short pauses.

I. Moderato
"The air broke into a mist with bells"
[Robert Browning: The Patriot]

II. Allegro flessibile
"An avalanche of stars, last night the Leonids fired every farm with ancient light"
[Jim Barnes: Last Night in La Plata]

III. Andante
[C.P. Cavafy: Walls (copyright restrictions)

IV. Andante moderato
"The sobbing of the bells"
[Walt Whitman: Leaves of Grass]


V. Adagio molto
[Sandro Penna: La veneta piazzetta (copyright restrictions)]

VI. Andante moderato
[e. e. cummings: the first of all my dreams was of (copyright restrictions)]


VII. Adagio molto: Andante
[W. H. Auden: Aubade (copyright restrictions)]

VIII. Presto
[John Ashbery: Heibun 4 (copyright restrictions)]
[Margaret Atwood: The Red Shirt (copyright restrictions)]

IX. Andante
"The breezy call of incense breathing Morn"
[Thomas Gray: Elegy in a Country Churchyard]
"Now fades the glimmering landscape on the night"
[Thomas Gray: Elegy in a Country Churchyard]

— R. C.    

[from program for September 18, 2006 concert]