This piece was composed as a musical response to the delay of ice forming in northern Canada, which has prevented polar bears from being able to hunt for food. While polar bears have been gathering at the shoreline, they have been losing weight at alarming rates, which has caused concern within the scientific and environmental communities, fearing that many would perish before the ice would reach the shore.
The first tone poem (L’Ours Polaire sur la Banquise) is a dialogue between the polar bear and ice concerning the unseasonably warm temperatures, which has been preventing ice from reaching the shore. The second half of the work (Rondeau de la Baleine) describes a whale waking up to hear the polar bear’s cries, at which point the whale swims to the shore and takes the polar bear out to the nearest ice flo where it can hunt and survive.
Deux Poèmes Sur La Formation Des Glaces was a finalist (by audience vote) of Baroque Idol 2011.
Deux Poèmes Sur La Formation Des Glaces
by Spy Dénommé-Welch & Catherine Magowan
This work is available in two formats:
– Chamber ensemble: oboe or recorder, bassoon, 1st/2nd violin, viola, cello, harpsichord
– Chamber orchestra: oboe, bassoon, horn, 1st/2nd violin, viola, cello, double bass, harpsichord
February 5, 2011: Baroque Idol, Aradia Ensemble, Glenn Gould Studio, Toronto, Ontario
May 14, 2012: Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra, St. Paul’s L’Amoureaux Centre, Toronto, Ontario