new zealand electronic poetry centre


Mark Young

online works

A second ficcione

Elsebet Schwarzvogel, consumptive
third daughter of the fourth
Grand Duke of Lower Saxony,
is reputed to have been
so enraptured by the resonance
of the cello she gave instructions
& a large sum of her fatherís money
that on her death her intestines
were to be taken out & stretched
& strung on a quintet of instruments
she had had especially made
by those craftsmen from Cremona.
She also commissioned small works
from some of the greatest composers
of the time, & asked, without
the accompaniment of money, that
they be performed on each
anniversary of her passing. Sadly
nothing now is left except the tale
& a fragment of music
that emerged in the 1930s as
Bye Bye Blackbird
& was
also destined for erasure until re-
vitalised by this recording made,
in a nice twist of synchronicity,
on the tercentenary of her death
by that great quintet of Miles Davis
from the early fifties, with Coltrane
on tenor & Philly Joe Jones driving it
along. Close your eyes. Listen for
the cello breathing in the background.



© Mark Young

Last updated 14 July, 2004