William Bolcom's Prometheus: The Gift and the Curse of Fire
October 7, 2011
Pianist Jeffrey Biegel and VocalEssence play with matches
St. Paul, Minn. —
It started with a simple request.
Pianist Jeffrey Biegel wanted a new piece for piano, chorus, and orchestra.
Beethoven wrote his Choral Fantasy for that combination; why not a companion piece?
Biegel asked the distinguished composer William Bolcom to compose the work.
Being a choral work, Bolcom needed words. He found them in Byron's poem Prometheus. Although Byron's poem is nearly two hundred years old, Bolcom finds in it a very contemporary -- and cautionary -- tale about modern technology.
To hear Bolcom and Biegel tell it, the torch of technology can save us, and it can kill us.