A Pilgrim’s Progress


piano solo

14 min. ca

I. They climbed a mountain
II. They give birth astride of a grave


Two piano works based on melodies from the Llibre Vermell.

Because of Thomas’s love of things Iberian, I chose melodies from this collection that originated in the Catalan monastery of Montserrat as an important starting point for my pieces – and also because they are beautiful songs that were once the first ‘Early Music’ I heard.  They are now ‘standards’ of medieval musical practice. The collection was meant to put edifying lyrics in the mouths of the elated pilgrims when they finally reached the Black Madonna in the high monastery, so that their wild dances would still retain a certain sacred character. In my pieces, the pilgrims’ arduous journey uphill becomes our long look back through history, in which we leave the present in oblivion and enter a land of strange beauty that may never have been ours but that we still might want to embrace with all the means currently available.

Now that Thomas is working on these two movements, I feel a third and maybe fourth movement coming to mind as well – who knows? Unfortunately, new music is not always good for master pianists’ careers…