Ken Keuffel wrote:
>Hello. A cancer survivor I know in Winston-Salem has written poems
>about her illness and had them set to music. She tells me that most
>other efforts of this kind are pop songs for chorus that talk about
>the victim fighting his/her disease. Art songs are few and far between.
>Does anybody on the list know of other works that explore cancer/cancer
Specifically cancer, I don't know, but there are many songs about facing
illness and possible death. Some have been quite therapeutic for some
people, it depends on whatever helps. Ironically, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson
was something of a pioneer in this, when she semi staged Bach. Several
of her family had been taken by the illness before she got it and she
wanted to express how the music could help people face the sitiuation.
It horrified a lot of people because she performed in a hospital gown
with tubes etc but being shocking and direct was part of the point. I
can listen to her sing Ich habe genug on several levels now, and all the
better for that. A dear friend found relief in Mahler's Ninth, for
example. So what if it wasn't "literal". I think it shows how music
can operate on a deep, personal level I'd be interested to know what
your friend wrote, and how she felt about the process.
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