Music for Metamorphoses

by Elizabeth W. Greenleaf

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about

Elizabeth's collection of piano pieces, Music for Metamorphoses, was commissioned by the Auburn University Theatre Department for their 2007 production of Mary Zimmerman's Metamorphoses. The recording of the work, performed by the composer, was originally made for the theatre's use. Music for Metamorphoses has been nominated for a Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Award.

Metamorphoses is a modern retelling of a number of myths by Ovid. The stories explore the concept of transformation and the universal feelings of love, anger, greed, joy, sorrow, mistrust, merriment and fear. Elizabeth's piano pieces have a wide variety of emotional expression as well as varied styles. In keeping with the theme of transformation and change, the main melody recurs in varied form throughout the work. The music has many beautiful moments as well as variety, passion, humor, pathos and sensuality.

The following is a list of the pieces included in the work with a short synopsis of the myths:

1. Prelude: Alcyone's Theme
2. Midas'/Silenus' Theme: King Midas and a drunken Silenus have a humorous conversation.
3. Alcyone's Theme: Alcyone begs her husband, King Ceyx, not to take a sea voyage.
4. Voyage and Storm: King Ceyx goes on the voyage and he and his sailors drown.
5. Alcyone Remembers: Alcyone remembers her husband Ceyx's love.
6. Seabird Theme: Alcyone and Ceyx reunite and turn into seabirds.
7. Kingfisher Song: This song honors the kingfisher.
8. Orpheus' Theme: Eurydice dies and she and Orpheus descend to the underworld.
9. Orpheus' Plea: Orpheus prays to have Eurydice restored to life.
10. Myrrha's Theme: Myrrha has an incestuous affair with her father.
11. Myrrha's Prayer: Myrrha is brokenhearted and her body dissolves into the water.
12. Phaeton's Theme: A proud Phaeton demands the keys to the car from his father Apollo.
13. Eros' Theme: Psyche steals a peek at Eros.
14. Seabird Theme: Zeus and Hermes, disguised as beggars, knock on a thousand doors.
15. Transformation of Cottage: The cottage of Baucis and Philemon turns into a grand temple.
16. Postlude: Alcyone's Theme.

credits

released October 20, 2007

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about

Robert & Elizabeth Greenleaf Music Auburn, Alabama

Well known as a composer of piano music, Elizabeth Greenleaf has had numerous pieces published by The FJH Music Company.

Dr. Robert Greenleaf is an Emeritus Professor of Music at Auburn University. His opera Under the Arbor premiered in 1992 and was shown nationally on Public Television in 1994.
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