for mezzo soprano and chamber orchestra

Fl. 1, 2 (piccolo)/Ob./Cl. 1,2/Bsn./Hn. 1,2/Tpt. in Bb, 1,2,/Perc. 1/Piano/Strings (8/4/2/1)

Borges’ poem greatly impressed me with its dreamlike images and its rich reflections on the limitations that we face in our lives. The poem mirrors Borges’ own acceptance of his impending blindness. I sought to capture musically the vivid revelations found in each of the stanzas of the poem. The music centers around the note A 440 which tries dramatically to rise to B-flat but is unsuccessful until the very end of the work, underscoring the lines “space, time, and Borges now are leaving me.” (“Espacio y tiempo y Borges ya me dejan.”)

Listen to recording from the premiere performance in June of 1979

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Copyright © William Grosvenor Neil
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