World Enough and Time: Rhapsody for Cello and Orchestra
An expression of feelings engendered by the sudden end of
The Cold War: Joy and hope mingled with fear and skepticism.
Cellist Terry King and the Monroe (Louisiana) Symphony
Orchestra under the direction of Bruce Chamberlain.
Program Notes: This piece was written in 1989 in response
to the end of the Cold War. The horror that began in 1914
had finally run its course; millions were hopeful that history
could finally get back on track. Perhaps we could now devote
our energies to 'betterment' instead of 'armament.' Feelings
of relief and joy and tentative hopefulness are expressed
in the piece, but also ominous, fearful feelings... Knowing
human nature, can the peace endure?
The piece was also inspired by my sense of what kinds of
gestures would be worthy of the extraordinary talents of cellist
Terry King. His playing has brought to me and to many other
delighted listeners a new sense of the marvels that can be
fashioned by a human being equipped with a cello and a bow.
In the rhapsody, the cellist represents the individual human
being -- tender, passionate, noble -- but just a single, faint
voice, after all. The soloist does not bend the orchestra
to its will, as in a Beethoven concerto. Rather, the soloist
is swept along by the great events occurring in the orchestra
and can only comment on them.
No one of us brought about the end of the Cold War, nor can
any one of us shape the future. We are almost helpless, and
that is where the pathos lies.
Yet we can hope.
The title comes from Andrew Marvel's longing phrase, "Had
we but world enough and time..."