vo piangendo io tra voi

for tenor saxophone and 10-string guitar

James Erber

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for tenor saxophone and 10-string guitar

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Composer James Erber
Year of Composition 2021
Duration ca.9'
Instrumentation 10-string Guitar, Tenor Saxophone
Categories (all composers) , , ,
Catalogue ID ce-je1vpi1


I wrote vo piangendo io tra voi after reading the sonnet “Strani rupi, aspri monti, alte tremanti” by the 16th century neapolitan poet Luigi Tansillo, the second of a pair of sonnets written in the aftermath of the volcanic eruption of the Campi Flegrei on the 29th September 1538, which dramatically altered the surrounding landscape and caused the formation of Montenuovo.

In true Petrachan style, the poet imagines himself wandering round the post-eruption landscape, contrasting his own sorrows with the desolation that he sees around him. The guitar represents the landscape, presenting a 27 bar grid in five defective versions. The saxophone represents the poet. Its music divides the grid into five subsection, each of which makes a different journey through nine different variative types.

vo piangendo io tra voi was written between May and July 2021 for the Duo Galeano/Javaid, with funds made available by Artists Scholarship North Rhine-Westphalia. The Duo gave the work’s premiere at Kraftwerk, Chemnitz, on 19th October 2021.