This multimedia page is intended for those with fast Internet connections (cable, DSL, etc.) whose systems are configured to play embedded mp3s. If you connect to the Internet via a dial-up modem, download time will be longer. To download music only, please click the link below.
Les sept péchés capitaux, subtitled Huit variations fantasques d'après Jérôme Bosch, was composed expressly for French bassoonist Franck Leblois and the participants of the Colloque Fou de Basson for a performance in June 2008 at the Conservatoire Gabriel Fauré in Angoulême. The score was begun by early February 2008 and completed the following 25 March.
Fascinated by Bosch's Table of the Seven Deadly Sins, which he saw at the Prado Museum in the summer of 1982, Ford was equally intrigued by the fact that Bosch's cartoon-like sequence of images representing each sin was similar to the comic strips, known in French as bandes dessinées, that are celebrated each year since 1974 at the Festival International de la Bande Dessinée d'Angoulême (Angoulême International Comics Festival). With this in mind, and in the same jocular spirit as Erik Satie's Sports et divertissements, Ford composed a short rhymed text in French evoking each of the sins on Bosch's famous tabletop. Whenever Les sept péchés capitaux is performed along with projections of Bosch's original images, the Latin name of each sin and its corresponding verse (English versions by the composer are also available) may be recited (preferably by an actor) before each variation. (The Latin text of the finale appears beneath the figure of Jesus in the middle of Bosch's painted table.) The performance should be preceded by a projection of Bosch's entire tabletop. (Performances without projections and narrator are also possible.)
Ford has not followed the same sequential order that Bosch chose to present the seven deadly sins. The sequence Ford chose is derived from the medieval Latin mnemonic "saligia," a word signifying the commission of a deadly sin, which is formed by combining the first letters of Superbia, Avaritia, Luxuria, Invidia, Gula, Ira, and Acedia. For good luck, Ford has reversed the order of the sins in his theme and variations scheme, and ends with an evocation of divine love and forgiveness.
For further information about this score, please e-mail Joseph Dillon Ford at the following:
Composer's Web Site