René Mense




To C. From C.  (1996/2004)
Jazz-Poem after Cesare Pavese
for piano, 1'20"

Sheet Music Sample (PDF)

The last poem cycle of the Italian poet Cesare Pavese “Verrà la morte e avrà i tuoi occhi” (“Death will come and it will have your eyes”) from 1950 begins and ends with a poem in the English language. The opening poem is entitled To C. from C. Intended here are Catherine, an American, and Cesare Pavese himself. The cycle is imbued with a deeply melancholic atmosphere, which is probably the result of a very unhappy love affair. The closing poem is called “Last blues, to be read some day”.

The complete cycle, but in particular, the two poems that frame it and the fact that an American, the blues and the year 1950 came together, conjured up in me a music that had traces of the cool jazz current in those days. Then, in 1996, I set the first poem as a jazz ballad, left it in the drawer and didn’t get back to it until the year 2001 when I freely incorporated the ballad into my piano piece Echoes, Speech and Speed. In 2004, I rewrote the entire ballad as a new piano piece.

Audio Sample (MP3) 1.6 MB

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