Tje Deepest Desire
Four Meditations on Love
A Song Cycle
For Mezzo-Soprano for Flute and Piano
Music by Jake Heggie, words by Sister Helen Prejean.
vocal part reads off the score
The cycle begins with an extended flute solo, which is named “The Call.” It presents a three-note melodic motif that is the core of the piece: a falling major third which then ascends a minor third. The first song is actually a three-part piece: “The Call–“More is Required”–“Love”. This represents Helen's coming to terms with the fact that she could not sit still in her life. The second song, “I Catch on Fire,” recounts a true story from Helen's teaching days when she was still required to wear a nun's traditional black habit. The third song, “The Deepest Desire,” tells of Helen's true spiritual awakening and journey to the heart of the city. Here, she lived and worked with the poor. It was this that led her to becoming a spiritual advisor to death-row inmates and becoming an activist to abolish the death penalty world-wide. The final song is the more peaceful place Helen finds herself today. She works with death-row inmates and advocates tirelessly to eliminate the death penalty throughout the world.