Cleveland Orchestra Premieres Susan Botti's Translucence

Classic Arts News   Cleveland Orchestra Premieres Susan Botti's Translucence
The Cleveland Orchestra gives the world-premiere performance of Susan Botti's Translucence tonight at Severance Hall.

The 15-minute orchestral work is an instrumental expansion of Botti's 2003 song "The Exchange," a setting of a poem by May Swenson.

"Now, my body flat, the ground/breathes. I'll be the grass," the poem begins.

Populous and mixed is mind
Earth, take thought. My Mind, be moss.

It celebrates a communion with nature—or perhaps, as Botti points out in her program notes, the literal return of the body to the earth after death.

"Although the song is greatly expanded—exploded is perhaps a better term—and reinterpreted," Botti writes, "I wanted to retain its essence, its lyricism, and my direct reaction to the powerful poem."

Botti, who grew up in Cleveland, is the Cleveland Orchestra's Young Composer Fellow; the group premiered her Impetuosity last season. She is also a singer, and has sometimes appeared in her own works.

Tonight's program, which runs through May 22, also includes Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 1 and Bart‹k's Concerto for Orchestra. Music director Franz Welser-M‹st conducts; Leif Ove Andsnes is the piano soloist.

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