....DIAMONDS OF A MOST PRAISÈD WATER.......
The title is a line from Shakespeare's late romance 'Pericles, Prince of Tyre' (c.1608). During a violent storm, Pericles new bride, Thaisa, apparently dies in childbirth while onboard a ship at sea. The sailors are superstitious,and demand that the corpse is cast into the waves, and so she is sealed into a coffin and thrown overboard. This coffin is washed up the following morning and brought to the house of Cerimon, who, with the aid of alchemy and heavenly music, brings Thaisa back to life. As she wakes, she weeps:
CERIMON: She is alive: behold her eyelids,
Cases to those heavenly jewels which Pericles hath lost,
Begin to part their fringes of bright gold;
The diamonds of a most praisèd water doth appear,
To make the world twice rich.
Commissioned by Thalia Myers for her Spectrum series - books of music by contemporary composers designed to be easy to perform.