I. Black Widow, II. Dead Man's Tango

Duration: 6'

Year of Completion: 2012

Excerpt from 'Black Widow'

Excerpt from 'Dead Man's Tango'


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Program Note:

Death Dances(for oboe, violin, cello and piano) is a two-movement work of often grim and rough force that, akin to Dylan Thomas’s poem ‘Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night,’ rages against the “dying of the light.”

The ‘Black Widow’ is a tarantella, a frenzied dance that was traditionally for the purpose of preventing death from the venom of a spider’s bite. Throughout the movement, what little hope of survival there might have been is vanquished before a tragic ending.

‘Dead Man’s Tango’ is a fantasy work imagining whatever protagonist of the ‘Black Widow’ in some post-death realm, filled with regrets that he didn’t have one last dance with his beloved.

While topically of death and tragedy, Death Dances is not wholly serious.  Rather it thumbs its nose at its themes through twists of macabre wit, a grim smirk, and suave footwork.




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