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Heloise and abelard


Composed in 2015

For violin, clarinet, and piano

Duration: 7:30


Héloïse d’Argenteuil and Peter Abélard were two renowned scholars in early 12-century France. They began a passionate affair which ended in tragedy when Héloïse became pregnant out of wedlock, and in retaliation, her guardian had Abélard attacked and castrated. The two lovers were forced to separate and take refuge in monasteries, but years later, now as an abbot and a nun, the two began a famous correspondence, which is still read today. In particular, the letters of Héloïse to Abélard are known for their passion and beauty.


My Heloise and Abelard is not meant as a dramatization of their life story, but rather as an evocation of their passion for each other, both intellectual and romantic, with violent upheaval and wistful longing. The piece takes the form of a melancholic theme with three variations. The first is contrapuntal and interlaced; the second, powerful and intense; the third, meditative and restrained.



First Performance: December 8th, 2015

Fannin Performance Hall, Richland College, Dallas, TX

Leah Greenfield, violin; Sharon Knox Deuby, clarinet;

Boriana Savova, piano


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