SEPTEMBER 29TH - OCTOBER 8TH 2000
(ISCM Luxembourg Section)
Proverbs of Hell
The title Proverbs of hell and the text of this composition are extracted from The marriage of
heaven and hell composed by William Blake about 1790. Each interposition of the soprano in the
instrumental texture announces a different proverb and changes the direction of musical aims.
Blake's text is very symbolic, metaphorical, sometimes obscure. But the Proverbs of hell are
cruelly or ironically realistic, and the approach of poetic images and crude reality is sometimes
Often, the monster, in fancy, is made by the composition of anatomically irreconcilable parts
of different animals. In the same way, with the polystylism in art, the fusion of different
styles and techniques historically and geographically irreconcilable may be very natural. This
polymorphism in music (constructed by using quotations and different styles) is not a pure
Prometheic creation, just tragic and monstrous. In fact, polymorphism in music arises from
aesthetic and expressive needs and manifests itself both with temporal and geographic mixing.
In the XIIIth Century this proverbs must look, for hypocrisy, really infernal, but today they can
appear, sometimes, really wise. Are we perhaps living in the hell of XIIIth Century? Joke or evolution...