Classical Caber: “Eclogue No. 6”

As I’ve written about recently, my husband Dirk has an amazing talent for composing classical music. I’m biased, of course… but listen for yourself. I’ve already shared a few of his efforts, but the one I’m posting today is the lushest I’ve shared so far. It’s an eclogue, a form of pastoral music that presents an original theme and then explores different variations of that theme. He’s written a number of them, but Eclogue No. 6 is my favorite. Dirk explains his inspiration for the piece as follows:

openquote
The Eclogues were experiments in orchestration for me, each using a particular variation on a chamber orchestra of not more than 24 or 25 players. Each was also based loosely on a literary source, usually a poem. Eclogue No. 6 draws on a verse by the 16th century English poet and composer Thomas Whythorne:

As thy shadow itself apply’th
To follow thee whereso thou go,
And when thou bends, itself it wry’th,
Turning as thou both to and fro:
The flatterer doth even so,
And shopes himself the same to gloze,
With many a fawning and gay show,
Whom he would frame for his purpose.

Whythorne’s poem talks about imitation which, despite often being a wan copy, is still the sincerest form of flattery. Musically, this suggests to me an original theme that spawns a myriad of subsequent variations. Eclogue No. 6 is an attempt to set this concept in a musical form that mimics a style of dance called a “sicilienne” which was common in Whythorne’s time.

I find this piece absolutely enchanting. Every single time I listen, I start crying by the end. You might cry too, so when you listen, be prepared for waterworks!

As I wrote last week in my post “Every Rose Has Its Porn,” while Dirk has a supreme gift for writing music, right now he’s really struggling. The move to Boston has proved especially challenging for him, as he’s had to uproot himself from the classical music scenes in New York and Chicago — where he once lived — and start afresh in Boston. He’s having trouble finding work, and is getting really discouraged; Boston’s scene is well-established and difficult to break into. His creative output is a fraction of what it once was, and it kills me to think that his sublime talent might even be silenced. I’m thinking of launching a Kickstarter campaign to help him afford to produce an album, and we’re also exploring the possibility of making his work available on iTunes. In the meantime, though, here’s a simple way you can support him: Share his music. Send it to your friends. Even if they’re not porn fans, you can share his SoundCloud page with them, which has many examples of his work… I’ve even made it simple for you… just click here to post a link to it on your Facebook wall. Let the world hear the beauty that my husband has to offer. Once word gets out about his talent, maybe the tide will start to turn in his favor.

You can listen to more of Dirk’s music at http://soundcloud.com/dirkcaber, and for Dirk’s own take on his musical influences, you can read the blog post he wrote entitled “Musing on My Muses.”

Thank you.

English Court Dance

9 replies
  1. Mark F.
    Mark F. says:

    Very nice, I can hear the influences of a number of composers from Mozart to Ravel to to,Ralph von Williams

    Reply
  2. Sam Glass Jr.
    Sam Glass Jr. says:

    Has Dirk considered hiring himself out as a composer/arranger in other avenues? Movie scores, commercials and other media? Email or PM me on Facebook and I can send you a couple of links. I’m not even sure how well or how little work like that would pay, but it’s still a way to keep the creative juices flowing for him…

    Reply
  3. Julian
    Julian says:

    It deffinently has influences from Ralph Von Williams. It is simply beautiful. I would love a copy of it.

    Reply
  4. rhonda
    rhonda says:

    the I tunes idea sounds good . but might I add some videos on youtube of him playing would be nice as well .

    Reply
  5. Lance Lankford
    Lance Lankford says:

    This piece is gorgeous!! Does Dirk sell sheet music of his compositions? I am a dyed-in-the-wool showtune queen but my accompanist/vocal coach/music director is a classical pianist and she would LOVE this.

    Reply
    • Jesse
      Jesse says:

      Hi there! To date, Dirk has written a bunch of stuff on commission, but I’m not sure if he sells any sheet music. He does enjoy having his work performed, though, and to that end licenses it to artists for specific performances. I believe a group in Colorado is premiering a cello sonata of his this summer, for example. If you’re interested, you can contact him on his Facebook page; just go to http://facebook.com/dirkcaber and look for the Message button.

      Reply

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Eclogue No. 4 and Eclogue No. 6 fit their names perfectly as pastoral musical poetry. The conversation between the instruments is […]

  2. […] of Dirk’s Eclogues have ever been recorded: Nos. 4, 6, and 7. (I’ve already posted Eclogue No. 6, a lush pastoral piece that reminds me of our recent trip to Ireland.) We’re exploring the […]

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