Hieronymus Bosch. Paradise: Terrestrial Paradise. 1500-04. Palazzo Ducale, Venice.

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Bosch's Paradise

This work was prepared as part of the Delian Suite No. IV. The Delian Society is an international group dedicated to the tonal tradition in Western Music.

The challenge, for 2008, was to write a chamber work featuring the bassoon. The work was to be in response to, and evocative of, one of the panels of Hieronymus Bosch. I chose to use Bosch's panel entitled "Paradise." This panel depicts angels gathering together the dead and directing them towards heaven. The opening descending sequence in the violin is meant to convey the descent, from heaven, of the angels. Variations on this thematic unit bind the work together.

The event depicted in the painting is a joyous one, as we can see from the birds in the fountain and perching on the arm of one of the risen, but there is an ominous image of the black dog in the background eating carrion. The black dog appears to represent the world of death, pain, and decay from which the dead are now being rescued.

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Last updated May 31, 2008
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