Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts
change, metamorphosis, pythagoras
A chamber music composition, approximately eight minutes long, for the above instrumentation. The title refers to a line from Ovid's epic, which reads, "All things are fluid, and every shape is born to change." Ovid puts the words in the mouth of the ancient Greek philosopher Pythagoras, who soliloquizes on the meaning of life, the nature of time, and the interconnectedness of all things. The speech centers around his ideas of reincarnation (either literal or metaphorical), which, as a kind of metamorphosis, links the passage thematically to the rest of the poem. Metamorphoses (15.178) reflects this central notion of change within permanence. Two main musical motives recur throughout the piece and constitute its fundamental fabric, thus paralleling Pythagoras' concept of cosmic unity. Yet each also undergoes metamorphosis: the first, from the ruminative opening melodic statement in the violin to the pounding bass ostinato in the final section; the second, from the playful imitative subject in the Allegro sections to the soaring unison melody at the climax.
Caplan, Max, "Metamorphoses (15.178) for Violin Clarinet Cello and Piano" (2016). Honors Theses and Student Projects. 131.