Exit, Pursued by a Bear
Instrumentation: Solo Cello; Solo Viola
Exit, Pursued by a Bear gets its title from a famous stage direction in the Shakespeare play, The Winter’s Tale. The moment when this direction occurs is the pivotal point in the play, when it ceases to become a tragedy, and begins its progression to the happy ending usually reserved for comedies. I was drawn by the stage direction in two ways. One, because of its rather laconic and succinct format, scattered among the usual flowery, Shakespearean language. However, more importantly, I was drawn in by the frightening image of a savage, extinct bear (wild bears were unknown to 17th century English audiences, as they had been extinct on the island since the 11th century) chasing me endlessly through a strange, Bohemian forest. This feral, violent chase is the primary inspiration for the piece.
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