• Bent Sørensen
  • The Lady of Shalott (1987)

  • Edition Wilhelm Hansen Copenhagen (World)

Version for viola

  • va
  • vn
  • 6 min

Programme Note

In February 1987 I saw in the Tate Gallery in London a painting by the Victorian English painter John William Waterhouse. The painting kept haunting my memory, and as I at the same time planned to write a piece for solo viola, my ideas for the music and the memory of the painting fused more and more. I decided, then, to let my piece borrow the title of Waterhouse’s paint-ing: The Lady of Shalott. The picture of a mad-like, pale, and perhaps singing woman alone in a boat without sculls, which calmly slips out from the rush growth of the river is an illustration for the ending of Alfred Tennyson’s poem by the same title, which again plaits into the old English legends about King Arthur.

My piece tries to meander - like the river at Camelot - among these sources. As suggested above the piece was originally written for viola solo. The version for string quartet is from 1993.

- Bent Sørensen