MUTABILITY – Elizabeth Raum – Alexander Panizza

Composed by Elizabeth Raum; Performed by Alexander Panizza, piano Video and audio recording and editing by Alexander Panizza. Post-Porduction video editing by Eero Daniel-Raum

Programme notes from the composer: Jane Gordon, the lady for whom Mutability was written, commissioned this piece as a present to herself for her 60th birthday. The reason for the commission is best described in her own words. The following is a letter I received from Jane on July 2, 2002: “In my non-musical life I am a professor of Sociology and Women’s Studies at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax. Although I had piano lessons as a child, I gave it up as soon as I could. However, I kept the piano and the books and at age 55 (after I’d finished years of paying for my children’s lessons, from the cultural to the athletic) I decided it was my turn and I started piano again. In my scholarly work, I have spent most of my academic career looking at issues around women’s lives, particularly the paid and unpaid work women do, in the academy and in the home and my research is tied to my teaching areas, primarily the family and work. …as a tie in with my academic interests, I began to learn what I could by Canadian women composers. Last year, as part of the Mount’s celebration of International Women’s Week, I arranged a short performance and lecture called “Canadian Women of Note”. In my recent Grade 7 exam I did (from the old Royal Conservatory syllabus) a study by Nancy Telfer and “Sparks” by Barbara Pentland. In my observation, the experience of women composers parallels that of women in other professional areas: less visible, less valued. I try to use my music (and I am really just an intermediate level student) to share the work of contemporary Canadian women composers, though most of the ‘sharing’ is recitals organized by my teacher and university based opportunities, such as the community hobby and talent show.” Before I began working on this piece for Jane, I found myself drawn to a book of poems by Shelley and upon opening it, the first poem that caught my eye was Mutability. This poem became the inspiration for Jane’s new work for piano.

MUTABILITY — by Percy Bysshe Shelley

We are as clouds that veil the midnight moon;

How restlessly they speed, and gleam, and quiver,

Streaking the darkness radiantly! -yet soon

Night closes round, and they are lost for ever:

Or like forgotten lyres, whose dissonant strings

Give various response to each varying blast,

To whose frail frame no second motion brings

One mood or modulation like the last.

We rest. A dream has power to poison sleep;

We rise. One wandering thought pollutes the day;

We feel, conceive or reason, laugh or weep;

Embrace fond woe, or cast our cares away:

It is the same! For, be it joy or sorrow,

The path of its departure still is free:

Man’s yesterday may ne’er be like his morrow;

Nought may endure but Mutablilty.

For more information on the composer, Elizabeth Raum:

For more information on the pianist, Alexander Panizza:

Wascana Park – Elizabeth Raum – SPO Chamber Ensemble 

Elizabeth Raum, composer; SPO Chamber Ensemble, performers

Originally performed and recorded: February 8, 2020 Audio recorded and produced by John S. Gray Video edited and produced by Devin Scott.

Notes from the Composer: “Well, that brought me back!! I used to walk around the lake every day for exercise. The pictures were very beautiful and worked great with the music. This video is a nostalgic experience, seeing the pictures. Wascana Park is indeed a beautiful place to go for walks. We used to be able to skate on the lake in the winter and once a week, the fire department would come and smooth out the surface. It was the Waskimo Festival with ice sculptures and various other activities, but then we had a couple of warm winters where the lake wasn’t safe although I gather it’s been pretty cold there lately. I just looked it up and it did start up again.”

To learn more about Elizabeth Raum, please visit her website: To learn more about the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra, visit: