Ode to a nightingale
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“Ode to a Nightingale” is a piece for solo baritone and chamber orchestra set to the poetry of John Ketas. It explores the struggle between life and death through the vehicle of the nightingale’s song, the subliminal beauty of which prompts the protagonist to reflect upon his/her state of depression, and ultimately lifts him/her out of dysphoria to a place of solace. The journey from the protagonist’s distress to enlightened salvation is framed by the sound of bells; in addition, various motivic gestures, including the melodic sixth interval and running ‘birdcall’ arpeggios, act as expressive anchors in this music.