Stephen Cabell

COMPOSER

Stephen Cabell (b. 1984) is a New York-based composer of sonically engaging and arrestingly wrought music that attempts to grab the listener from the very first moments and never lets go. His artistic mission is to write music that can be understood and appreciated by both casual and expert listeners.

Perdono

  • Instrumentation: 2(II=pic).2.2.2 - 2.2.1.1 - timp.perc (3) - pno - strings
  • Duration: 9 minutes
  • Completed: 2013

PROGRAM NOTE

Why do we forgive? When is it appropriate? When is it commendable? In the final scene of Mozart’s comic opera Le Nozze di Figaro, just before the rousing finale, Count Almaviva asks forgiveness from the Countess for his adulterous impropriety. “Perdono…” he pleads repeatedly—“forgiveness.” PERDONO is based on the melody which follows as the Countess, through the voice of Mozart and Da Ponte, his librettist, immediately forgives the Count. I consider this moment to be some of the most poignant and beautiful music in all of Mozart's output, but the narrative logic perplexes me and defies all reason. This piece gives voice to the Countess's rage and anger we do not encounter in Mozart's opera.

Commissioned by the Atlantic Music Festival for their fifth season anniversary, PERDONO was premiered by the Atlantic Music Festival Orchestra conducted by Jonathan Schiffman in July of 2013 at Colby College's Lorimer Chapel in Waterville, ME. It was premiered alongside a concertized version of the Le Nozze di Figaro and Chopin's Second Piano Concerto, which played a significant role in the composition of this piece.

-Stephen Cabell

© Copyright 2018 Stephen Cabell