Stephen Hartke

O Genus Infelix Humanum

O GENUS INFELIX HUMANUM (2020) for Solo Piano Commissioned by and dedicated to Min Kwon Duration: 3½ Minutes Commissioned by pianist Min Kwon as part of a project involving dozens of American composers, O Genus Infelix Humanum is a variation on America the Beautiful, and hence a reflection on these unsettled and unsettling times.  The title comes from Lucretius and translates as “O hapless human race,” the beginning of a disquisition on human credulity.  My treatment of the melody involves stripping it of its original rhythm and inverting the notes.  A fragment of the original is also heard, but with the new rhythm I have given the inversion.  In the peroration the melody is presented in retrograde inversion.
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