Atlantis – Symphonic Poem (2014)

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When I thought about writing a poem inspired by Atlantis, I inevitably looked to the 1800s. No period has fed the ancient Platonic myth with more fantasy than the nineteenth century. Atlantis was – as with this century – imagined as a perfect “golden” world, traversed by the silent karstic river of decadence. “My” Atlantis, therefore, is not that of marble glitz and the ostentatious shimmer of a Hollywood production; “my” Atlantis is the continent of the end, of ocean mists and sunset flares that are found in a Turner painting, where the ruins of a temple are caressed by golden light, in a perpetual sunset. The “sung” verses of this final place are by Byron: great sailing ships abandoned drowned the marine’s abysses – “And ocean all stood still /And nothing stirred within their silent depths”; or the “other world” horizons of astounding Wagnerian music. I have, however another a poignant vision of Atlantis, a world revealed at sunset, there were no witnesses to its stunning magnificence, its light and reflections, reach us clinging to a memory we no longer recall. Therefore is everything “distant” and “elsewhere”? Only partly, because after all “my” Atlantis “came” to me in my music and only because it speaks of a feeling of the end, of that sense of finality that, in one way or another, spans our West – this “land of the evening” as is its etymological meaning – from eighteen hundreds and onwards.