Steven M. Allen
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Jacob's Ladder

Jacob's Ladder

 
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Lisa Edwards-Burrs, Soprano
Nicholas Catravas, Piano
Mauricio Betanzo, Violoncello

This work was inspired by a visit to the birthplace of Dr. Bethune, located in the slaves quarters of a plantation in Mayesville, South Carolina.

The use of the cello presents a solemn representation of what I could only imagine what plantation life was like for the slave. Set in g minor with additive usage of the Phrygian mode, the arpeggiated structure found in the piano accompaniment is replete with contrary rises and falls to emulate the struggle of a climb for humanity. In Bethune’s case, that climb was toward education and the welfare of poor underprivileged girls.