Commissioned by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra with funds provided by the Arts Council of Great Britain
'Poemi' is based on three allegorical paintings by Marc Chagall, each of which is a masterly depiction of a well-known text the Old Testament: The Dream of Jacob, The Sacrifice of Isaac and Jacob in Combat with the Angel. My intention in writing the work was to compose a virtuoso piece for violin and string orchestra, which would recreate in music the poetic essence of Chagall’s paintings.
The soloist is at the centre of the ‘musical stage’ throughout, with the orchestra providing a constantly changing ‘scenery’. The music progresses from the tranquillity of the Dream in the first movement, through the drama of the Sacrifice in the second, to the fast and tense Combat with the Angel which forms the final movement.
'Poemi' was awarded the Nordic Council Prize in March 1986.
© Haflidi Hallgrímsson