It Is Bitter, Bitter (2017)


Chase Jordan’s Whitéd Sepulchre is an expressionist work that is inspired by the white light being shined upon a church at night. The title of the work describes the light on a church, which historically is where people are buried, in a sepulchre.

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SKU: CTJ2017010 Category:


Approximate Duration: 7’15”

Instrumentation Information:

For Solo Viola

World Premiere Information:

Premiered on July 1st, 2017 by Chase Jordan (viola) at Steinway Piano Gallery, Charlotte, NC.

Program Notes

Chase Jordan’s Fantasia for Solo Viola, It is Bitter, Bitter is a musical work inspired by Stephen Crane’s poem,“In the Desert.” The poem is written as an allegory for the human nature to sin and repeat our mistakes, and the music represents this through chaotic and dissonant sections, built around the intervals of the minor second, major second, minor seventh, and major seventh. A middle section, displays the bitterness of the bestial creature of the poem, wavering between major and minor intervals, as the creature recognizes his sin, but also realizes he enjoys.

In the Desert
by Stephen Crane

In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
Who, squatting upon the ground,
Held his heart in his hands and at of it.
I said, “Is it good, friend?”
“It is bitter – bitter,” he answered.

“But I like it
“Because it is bitter,
“And because it is my heart.”

First published in The Black Riders and Other Lines, Copeland and Day, 1895.

Additional information

Ensemble Type

Solo Composition