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Stephen Scott
Minerva's Web; The Tears of Niobe
NA026

Scored for grand piano bowed and plucked by ten musicians, performed by the composer with the Colorado College New Music Ensemble

 

A dense web of sound that rumbles and moans impressively, hinting at dark mysteries.

--San Francisco Chronicle

 

The two pieces are thematically related, both musically and in their literary reference. "Minerva's Web" refers to the storied weaving contest between the goddess Minerva and the mortal Arachne; it also suggests the webs of material used in the piano and a web-like arrangement of musical ideas in the composition. Like Arachne, Niobe is too proud to play second fiddle to the gods; daughter of Tantalus, Queen of Thebes and "a notable figure in Phrygian robes wrought with threads of gold, and beautiful as far as anger suffered her to be," she forbids the women of Thebes to worship the goddess Latona, saying, "I am queen of Cadmus' royal house, and the walls of Thebes, erected by the magic of my husband's lyre, together with its people, acknowledge me and him as their rulers." (Ovid, Metamorphoses, Book VI, translated by Frank Justus Miller, Harvard University Press, 1977) Latona's anger at this affront is quickly translated to revenge, at the hands of her children, Apolla and Diana. Soon all of Niobe's seven sons and seven daughters lay slain by divine arrows, and her husband Amphion kills himself in despair.

 

Track List

1. Minerva's Web 26:35
2. The Tears of Niobe 25:45

Total: 52:30

 

Available on iTunes

 

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