Berenice is a four movement work for soprano, string quartet and string orchestra. It was completed in early 2003 and premiered later that year by soprano Maja Lundbeck and string players at the School of Music in Piteå, conducted by Hans Bergqvist.
The lyrics of the piece are based upon the story "Berenice" by Edgar Allan Poe; rather than setting music to a finished poem, I decided to use this story as a raw material, deconstructing it by fragmentation and then reconstructing these fragments as verse in four individual songs.
This produced an interesting musical-dramatic result. Instead of laying out the story in full, I opted to only show one side of the story; the protagonist's love and passion for Berenice, while leaving the story's dark tragedies and morbities out of the lyrics. Instead, I chose to hint at these things in the musical dimension; the music paints a picture of a psychologically unstable person living in denial of the horrors he/she is actually responsible of; the music constantly "shapeshifts" as dark emotions and aspects start drifting up to the surface in the mind of the protagonist, who tries to push them right back.
To order/hire score and orchestral parts, please contact the Swedish Music Information Centre.
LISTEN:Excerpt, song 1. [ DOWNLOAD MP3 ]
Excerpt, song 2. [ DOWNLOAD MP3 ]
Excerpt, song 3. [ DOWNLOAD MP3 ]
Excerpt, song 4. [ DOWNLOAD MP3 ]