Infanta Marina (1960) by Vincent Persichetti
for viola and piano

This piece by Persichetti, an American, is for viola and piano and is based on a literary source, a Wallace Stevens poem titled Infanta Marina. The dreamlike text depicts a young woman emerging from the sea into a world where "Her terrace was the sand / And the palms and the twilight." In life, an infanta was the daughter of a Spanish or Portuguese monarch.

Infanta Marina
by Wallace Stevens

Her terrace was the sand
And the palms and the twilight.
She made of the motions of her wrist
The grandiose gestures
Of her thought.
The rumpling of the plumes
Of this creature of the evening
Came to be sleights of sails
Over the sea.
And thus she roamed
In the roamings of her fan,
Partaking of the sea,
And of the evening,
As they flowed around
And uttered their subsiding sound.

[from program for September 18, 2006 concert]