Pity the fate of composer Charles Griffes, born right across the lake from Toronto in 1884, and nearly forgotten within a generation after succumbing to a flu in 1920. So here, in the memory of an American Impressionist is a magical, refreshing splash in a Roman fountain (Aqua Paola), courtesy of pianist Stephen Beus, in a February recital.
Each of the four Roman Sketches, published in 1917, comes with a companion poem by William Sharp. For Aqua Paola:
As through the Aurora’s
Wild polar fires
Flashed in thy happy bubbles, died in thy foam.