Gregory Mertl, On To Stillness

Gregory Mertl (b. 1969)
On to Stillness
text by Georg Trakl (1887-1914), translated by Stephen Tapscott
The Sun
The Evening
The Eastern Front
On the Moor
Night Song

Claire Weber, mezzo-soprano
Andrea Copland, oboe
Nathan Cornelius, guitar
Colin Crandal, percussion
Gregory Mertl studied composition at Yale University and the Eastman School of Music and is now a freelance composer based in Connecticut. This song-cycle sets texts by Georg Trakl, a German poet with links to both German expressionism and French symbolism. Most of Trakl’s work dates to the last two years of his brief life, before he died of a cocaine overdose in a military hospital during World War I. The poems selected are strongly shaded by the horrors Trakl saw overshadowing Europe in the great war. While hauntingly beautiful pastoral scenes provide some relief, the undertone of brooding disaster never departs. Mertl’s music often echoes the images of Trakl’s poetry, while at other times painting powerful and unexpected sonic landscapes of its own.


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