Composer Paul Moravec has been awarded the Pulitzer for Tempest Fantasy, a chamber work written for piano, violin, cello and clarinet. Moravec, currently head of the music department at Adelphi University, has taught at Harvard, Columbia, Dartmouth and Hunter College.
NPR's Lisa Simeone speaks with Performance Today commentator Terry Teachout about Moravec.
The version of "Sweet Airs" (the fourth movement of "Tempest Fantasy") above is taken from a performance at the 2003 Grand Canyon Chamber Music Festival (now known simply as the Grand Canyon Music Festival). The Trio Solisti — Maria Bachmann, violin, Alexis Pia Gerlach, cello, and Jon Klibonoff, piano — is accompanied by clarinetist Alan R. Kay.
Below is an excerpt from the program notes written by Paul Moravec for the performance, courtesy of the Grand Canyon Chamber Music Festival organizers.
"Tempest Fantasy is a musical meditation on various characters, moods, situations, and lines of text from my favorite Shakespeare play, The Tempest. Rather than trying to depict these elements in programmatic terms, the music simply uses them as points of departure for flights of purely musical fancy.
"The first three movements spring from the nature and selected speeches of the three eponymous individuals. The fourth movement begins from Caliban's uncharacteristically elegant speech from Act III, scene 2:
'Be not afeard: the isle is full of noises, Sounds and sweet airs, that give delight, and hurt not.'
"The fifth movement is the most 'fantastic' flight of all, elaborating on the numerous musical strands of the previous movements and drawing them all together into a convivial finale.
"Tempest Fantasy is dedicated with great admiration and affection to David Krakauer and the members of Trio Solisti."