Chief Work5

Chief Work5 - ChiefWorks

Info iconThis preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Chief Works An early display of Stevens' expertise, "Peter Quince at the Clavier" (1923) employs a four-part  symphonic form to intone modernist dissonance. A hymn to impermanence, the musical stanzas,  each in its distinctive rhythm and line length, arise from the playing on a Renaissance keyboard  instrument by a rustic laborer, the director of the masque "Pyramus and Thisbe," which concludes  William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Through a graphic scenario, his thoughts on  the effects of music on the spirit draw an analogy with the beauty of Susanna, whose naked  loveliness stirred the elders to pry into her private bliss. With a pun on bass/base, the poet ridicules  the throb of passion in the old men that produces "pizzicati of Hosannas," a reference to the plucking  of strings to produce a lightly separated flow of melody. In Stanza 2, Stevens slows the four beats of the previous tetrameter to an emotionally composed 
Background image of page 1
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 11/23/2011 for the course ENG 101 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '08 term at Texas State.

Ask a homework question - tutors are online