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ὁδοιπορία (the journey): Six settings of poems by Sappho (For Soprano and Piano)
  • ὁδοιπορία (the journey): Six settings of poems by Sappho (For Soprano and Piano)


    ὁδοιπορία (the journey): Six settings of poems by Sappho


    "ὁδοιπορία (the journey)," six settings of poems by Sappho as translated by Sherod Santos,* was my wedding gift to Kayleen Sánchez when we were married. For a detailed discussion, see Dr. Michael Morey's "A Fulfilled Promise Continues: The Reemergence of Sappho as a Figure of Hope in Paul Sánchez’s ὁδοιπορία (the journey)" and his book chapter “Sappho as a Figure of Hope in Paul Sánchez’s 'The Journey,'" published by Routledge in the book Twentieth- and Twenty-First-Century Song Cycles for Voice and Piano (2020), alongside chapters on works by Samuel Barber, William Bolcom, George Crumb, Benjamin Britten, Jennifer Higdon, Libby Larson, Francis Poulenc, Dmitri Shostakovich, and other composers.

    "Stepping out from the shadow of heroes and gods, the lyric poem began in song scaled to the measure of human experience. Paul Sánchez’s “ὁδοιπορία (the journey)” brilliantly captures Sappho's spectral, eerie, sensual voice, an incarnation of one of the most "carnate" sensibilities in Western literature. At the same time, the song cycle gives rise to an expressive grandeur that is uniquely inspired, uniquely its own, as if to prove once again that music is a process, not of being, but of becoming. This is a magnificent achievement, a work of great innovation and hypnotic effect, impossible to walk away from unmoved."

    – Sherod Santos

    * "Aphrodite's Return", "The Dance", "Eros", "For Atthis", "Nocturne", "Evening Star", from GREEK LYRIC POETRY: A NEW TRANSLATION, translated by Sherod Santos. Copyright © 2005 by Sherod Santos. Used by permission of W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.



    Soprano and piano


    16 minutes


    α'. The Dance (1'20)

    β'. Nocturne (1'35)

    γ'. Evening Star (1')

    δ'. Aphrodite's Return (2')

    ε'. Eros (1')

    ζ'. For Atthis (8'40)


    Magus Insipiens: 3 Song Cycles on Poems by Taliesin, Payne, and Sappho


    2009–2010, revised 2013


    Dedicated to my wife, Kayleen Sánchez, as a wedding present. 

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