Cor Cordium

for Guitar Quartet and Chamber Orchestra (String Quartet, Double Bass, Flute, Clarinet, and 3 Percussion)

Cor Cordium was written during my residency in Rome, Italy. During that time I visited Shelly’s tomb in the Protestant Cemetery and saw the words, “Cor Cordium” (heart of hearts) on Shelly’s gravestone. The words refer to the event following Shelly’s death where his friends were cremating his body on the beach. E. J. Trelawny writes: “The fire was so fierce as to produce a white heat on the iron, and to reduce its contents to grey ashes. The only portions that were not consumed were some fragments of bones, the jaw, and the skull, but

what surprised us all, was that the heart remained entire. In snatching this relic from the fiery furnace, my hand was severely burnt; and had any one seen me do the act I should have been put into quarantine.” Upon reading this, my thoughts of the heart surviving tragedy and travesty became the inspiration for this composition.




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