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If You Forget Me

If  You Forget Me (2008)


Pablo Neruda is a celebrated Chilean poet known for his rich, romantic imagery. I had read through a lot of his poetry, and looked forward to working with one of his most beautiful poems. I began writing sketches for If You Forget Me in late fall of 2007. This was my first time writing for either string or vocal quartets, and I was excited to begin working with this more intricate ensemble. Throughout the piece’s composition, I tried to use a rich, full melodic and harmonic language to mirror that of Neruda’s. From my first read, several lines of text jumped out at me concerning Neruda’s description of a complex relationship, and spent a good deal of time thinking about the “threat” that Neruda makes in the middle of the text and how he contrasts that with the line, “my love feeds on your love.” After Stating the poem in it’s entirety, I take four lines from the poem and their melodic contours, restate them, then juxtapose them in a new order that I feel matches Neruda’s original sentiments as well as my own.


This piece was originally premiered on November 13th, 2008; this revised edition was premiered on March 1st, 2009 by Stephanie Meyer (Soprano), Erin Rocke (Alto), Tommy Carreras (Tenor), Jeremy Bell (Bass), Heidi Schick, Kate Lesniak (Violins),Hannah Salazar (Viola),Chris Adams-Wenger (Cello), and Kaity Klingman (Conductor) for Peoria Lunaire.

Brian Spicklemire,
Apr 29, 2011, 8:46 PM
Brian Spicklemire,
May 3, 2011, 8:25 PM