JD: The intensity of Sappho’s love, inviting physical and psychological dissolution unto death—is conveyed by the image of the firebird, its wings emanations of flame, and is seen in the poem “He appears to me.” Such intensity is reminiscent of the love described in the biblical Song of Songs,” establishing the concord of love and death:
For love is dire as death,
its grip the grave’s, and grim;
its flames a conflagration,
CC: It is that physical and psychological dissolution, as Jeffrey describes it, that helped me attain the intensity in the second half of From Sappho’s Lyre. The first over intense moment is reached by a highly expressive solo cello and its aftermath (movements VIII and IX; Invocation & Rupture). The intensity continues with the sounds of singing air (movement XII, Cosmic Canticle), the soprano aria (movement XIV, Zenith), and the sonic depiction of multiple realities, including erotic scenes by the sea and memories of war and peace, all within a movement called Dream Within (XV).