by Lacy Rose

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Lacy Rose’s song cycle, “Ria,” is a meditation on three portraits of Ria Munk by the Viennese painter, Gustav Klimt. Ria was unlucky in love: when her fiancé broke off their engagement, a heartbroken Ria took her own life, shooting herself in the chest on December 28, 1911. Her mother hired Klimt to paint her daughter’s posthumous portrait. The mother complained that the first portrait portrayed Ria as “too dead.” She found the second too sensuous, as it depicted Ria’s robe hanging open, revealing her breasts. Perhaps fittingly, Gustav Klimt died before he could finish the third.

The three movements of Lacy Rose’s “Ria” song cycle are inspired by Klimt’s portraits. The first movement begins inside the painting, Ria Munk I, with Ria asking her bereavers to "close and coin her eyes." In the second movement, inspired by Ria Munk II (also known as “The Dancer”), the woman "who holds the marigolds with swan-soft hands" asks the spectator to ponder her double identity and origin of inspiration. For the third movement, the unfinished figure in Ria Munk III exclaims that she "begins and ends in death."


released December 28, 2018

Music for “Ria” was recorded at Oktaven Audio by producer Ryan Streber (June 2018)

Lacy Rose (Music, Lyrics) - www.Lacyrosemusic.com
John K. Stone (string arrangements) - www.johnkstone.com
Lacy Rose, Alaina Ferris (vocals)
Theresa Salomon, Mariya Polishchuk (violin)
Ron Lawrence (viola)
Maria Jeffers (cello)


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Lacy Rose New York, New York

Lacy Rose is a NYC-based classically trained vocalist, composer and poet.

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Track Name: Ria Munk I
Ria Munk I

O close and coin my eyes
For I have seen the last light

Lay me down on poppy sheets
Oblivion my caul
Balm my lips
Nepenthe's kiss
So grief can find me not

O close and coin my eyes
For I have seen the last light

In the velvet blue-lined casket
Roses round my head
Crownèd queen
I star-bound sleep
On cushioned palanquin

O close and coin my eyes
For I have seen the last light
Track Name: Ria Munk II
Ria Munk II

Where goes my gaze but to my love
Where? To the poet with cravat and cigar
Where? To the painter who forms one from two
Where goes my gaze but to my love

Who holds the marigolds with swan soft hands
Who? She, the lover with ghost gauzed visage
Who? She, the dancer unveiling her pleasures
Who holds the marigolds with swan soft hands?

Incandescence or shadow-shine
Poppy in water or Lethe-soaked stone
Flower gown or kimono shroud
Did I dance or did I die?

When will the roses wraithed crack ope’ our mirror?
When? 'Soon as diamonds transmute into spears
When? 'Soon as two, not one, we women seen
Then will the roses wraithed crack ope’ our mirror!
Track Name: Ria Munk III
Ria Munk III

I begin and end in death
Like a rose-wraithed Ouroboros

Remember, remember
My daggers, not diamonds
Remember, remember
My smile so sought the scythe

Charcoal ghost smoked
Urned in ash

My faint frame Unfinished

Remember, Remember
My lilies bunched, be-withered
Remember, remember
My nocturne sung as swan

Like a rose-wraithed Ouroboros
I begin and end in death

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