New Music at Carnegie Hall: Carnegie Hall Commissions
Commission at a Glance
Helen Enfettered
Kate Soper
Recorded on May 10, 2009
at Zankel Hall


Melanie Conly, Soprano; Jamie Van Eyck, Mezzo-Soprano

Workshop Ensemble: Alan Pierson, Conductor; Carol McGonnell, Clarinet; Nathan Botts, Trumpet; John Ostrowski, Percussion; Jared Soldiviero, Percussion; Matti Kovler, Piano; Yael Manor, Piano; Brandon Seabrook, Guitar; William Holshouser, Accordion; Keats Dieffenbach, Violin; You-Young Kim, Viola; Lev “Ljova” Zhrubin, Famiola; Claire Bryant, Cello; Jane Cords-O’Hara, Cello; Kristoffer Saebo, Bass; Jeremy Flower, Laptop

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Notes on the Work

The text of Helen Enfettered is from Christian Bök’s Eunoia (Beautiful Thinking or Well Mind), in which five chapters of prose poetry use only one vowel apiece. Chapter E describes the character and ordeal of Helen of Troy. The excerpts used in Helen Enfettered focus on her psychological journey from anxiety and wretched despair to spiritual release and literary immortality, tracing this transformation in language which, despite the constraint, is rich, surprising, and musical.

—Kate Soper