Marilyn Bliss


Year: 1989

Duration (in minutes): 12'

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: solo instrument other than piano, solo string instrument

Instruments: violin

Publisher: American Composers Alliance

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Description: Bestiary, for violin solo, is a suite of four movements, each depicting a mythological beast. The first movement, "Chimæra," like its namesake, is composed of several broadly diverse elements that improbably are brought together to make a whole. The second movement, "Minotaur (the Maze)," depicts the Cretan labyrinth that housed the Minotaur through an intricate stream of notes that doubles back on itself, encounters walls, finds the maze's center, and retraces its path out to safety. The "Sphinx" offers its question three times: first, to a very nervous traveler who answers incorrectly and is devoured; next, to a traveler who answers with bravado -- but still incorrectly -- and is also eaten; and, finally, to Oedipus, who answers with somber assurance, destroying the Sphinx. The final movement, "Pegasus," is a galloping romp through the sky by the beautiful winged white horse. Bestiary was written for and is dedicated to the violinist Mia Wu. "Theatrically descriptive... offering lovely two-part writing..." Philadelphia Inquirer.

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