A VISION OF SHOSTAKOVICH'S STRING QUARTET NO 8
A poem by J JEAN MAYFIELD
Poems frequently inspire composers to write music. Schiller's Ode to Joy inspired the fourth movement of Beethoven's Symphony No 9, the poems of Goethe influenced Schubert's lieder, the work of Charles d'Orleans prompted Debussy to write Trois chansons, and the work of Stefan George and Albert Giraud influenced Schoenberg's own. It is not as easy to find the reverse -- poems inspired by musical compositions -- yet, as the title of the classical music magazine Music & Vision suggests, music inspires listeners to travel beyond its notational parameters, inviting them to see imaginatively. That is particularly true when the music contains no words or linguistic cues to guide listeners' visionary abilities.
The poem that follows was influenced by one such composition: Shostakovich's String Quartet No 8...
Copyright © 25 March 2010 J Jean Mayfield,