One Last Scherzo

One Last Scherzo

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Reviews for One Last Scherzo

Far beyond a mere meeting of art forms, Margaret Chula‘s One Last Scherzo opens up intricate worlds in which works of chamber music, some quite well known, are given a new voice with which to speak. Chula reminds us in these poems something practicing musicians often forget: music doesn’t need to stop when sound does.

–James Falzone, Composer & Clarinetist, Chair of Music, Cornish College of the Arts


Poetry and music have walked hand in hand for centuries, but Margaret Chula—in this exciting new collection—leads us on a parallel but very different path. Instead of words about pieces she heard during her stint as Poet Laureate for Friends of Chamber Music in Portland, Oregon—pieces composed by world-renowned as well as less widely known artists—Chula gives us the emotional essence of the compositions themselves. Through exquisitely rendered images and narratives, each poem becomes music’s verbal equivalent.

Scriabin saw musical notes as colors. Chula sees them as cohesive parts of a painting or photograph, sometimes static, sometimes in motion. In One Last Scherzo, she captures, in the details as well as the pacing of each poem, the heart and soul of each composer at the moment of creation and, sometimes, the life events behind each note. Here strolls Johannes Brahms, with his beloved, but untouchable, Clara Schumann; here is Shostakovich’s rendition of wartime terror; here, Vivaldi’s mercurial nature. Here, also, is music heard as pictures in the poet’s own mind, as she sits in the audience, letting her thoughts wander where they will, letting the soul of the music conjure images out of lived experience or out of imagination. If you love chamber music—and even if you don’t—what a bounty of beauty and insight awaits!

–Ingrid Wendt, Oregon Book Award recipient, author of Singing the Mozart Requiem and Evensong.


“This is amazing! Her poetry so represents the program Tapestry put together. Thank you so much for having a Poet Laureate and for having one with such perception and insight. I will not only forward this to Tapestry, but also to some of the composers whose music was presented. Reading this, they will want to write some more.

–Shupp Artist Management for Tap