Hope. Fear. Anything. (2022)

Mezzo-Soprano and String Quartet

Duration: 30 minutes | Composed: 2022 | Commissioned by John and Irene Garran for the Flinders Quartet and Ashlyn Tymms |

Camille Claudel: such a remarkable woman was living in a remarkable age. Perhaps not so remarkable for women, however, since conventional society was still paternal and rigid in its view of acceptable behaviour for women. Claudel charted her course showing all those personal characteristics mentioned by her peers. Writer Henry de Braisne said of her that she “led the way for a more enlightened treatment of women in the art world”.
This work takes selected texts from Camille Claudel’s Correspondences and sets them in a string of movements that bond across and throughout the entire work. After having spent such a long period of time connecting with Claudel’s letters in the original French (and so with my past love of the language), it became an almost impossible task to choose and settle on a comparatively small selection for this composition. Consequently I know my work with setting her words and thoughts is far from done! In this song cycle, however, I chose two texts that focus on her parents, and a selection of salutations and valedictions that span the 68 years of her recorded letters.


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