Dillon Ford's visualization of the "Star-Child," based on Boucher's "Sleeping Infant," an undated drawing now at the University of Michigan Museum of Art, and the image titled "Massive Infant Stars Rock Their Cradle," posted at http://oposite.stsci.edu/pubinfo/PR/2001/11/index.html

"In my musical interpretations of A House of Pomegranates, I have endeavored to reveal something of Wilde's multifaceted literary personality, which was alternately romantic and modern, sublime and earthy, brilliantly idealistic and grimly realistic. It is worth noting that in 1891, when Wilde published this collection, the world of keyboard music itself was no less diverse, for Albéniz, Brahms, Debussy, Grieg, and Scriabin were all actively engaged in composition. Rather than focussing on any particular "period style," I decided to allow each of the four pieces to take its own course, with the result that two--"The Young King" and "The Fisherman and His Soul"--are firmly rooted in the romantic tradition, while the remaining two--"The Birthday of the Infanta" and "The Star-Child"--anticipate (or recall) twentieth-century idioms, particularly 'impressionism'."

"'The Star-Child' is written in the ancient Dorian mode on B, with a raised G-sharp for its sixth degree that instantly distinguishes it from the natural minor scale. Although the meter given is three-four, the performer is advised to imagine the entire piece as an extraordinarily soft, seamless "golden tissue" without strong metrical accents. The atmosphere is one of cool, quiet serenity, just as it was in the winter woods where the Star-Child slept before his discovery by the woodcutters. This is my Requiem for Oscar Wilde, whose timeless genius I commemorate by calling for the endless repetition of the entire piece, each time more softly than before, as his light ascends ever higher into the night sky. I realize that this may well be the longest and most difficult work ever conceived for the piano, and that such a performance is frankly impossible for us mere mortals. Nevertheless, I can imagine no better way to embody the ideal of 'Art for Art's Sake,' and encourage all who choose to perform 'Star-Child' to come as close to its attainment as humanly possible."


Last updated June 17, 2003
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© Copyright 2001 by Joseph Dillon Ford