"Juliet" was commissioned by Kypros Markou and the Wayne State University Symphony Orchestra to follow Michael Gordon's "Romeo" as part of an evening celebrating Romeo & Juliet orchestral music. This work was inspired by two incarnations of Juliet.
The first is depicted in Joseph Wright of Derby's 1790 painting "Romeo and Juliet: the Tomb Scene." The painting shows Juliet, kneeling beside Romeo's body, who upon hearing a footstep, draws Romeo's dagger to end her life ("Yea, noise? Then I'll be brief. O happy dagger!").
The second is astronomic, specifically one of the inner moons of planet Uranus (each moon has been assigned names of Shakespearean characters). Juliet, first discovered by Voyager 2 in 1986, was initially designated S/1986U2. The unstable orbital paths of Uranus' inner moons set up the demise of Juliet, which scientists predict will collide with neighboring moon Desdemona in the distant future.
Wayne State University Symphony Orchestra
Kypros Markou, conductor
Kimberly Allen, concertmaster
October 7, 2013
Max M. Fisher Music Center
Orchestra Hall, Detroit MI
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