Eppur Si Muove


Eppur Si Muove (And Yet it Does Move) is inspired by the lives and achievements of two great scientists, philosophers and writers: Nicolaus Copernicus and Galileo Galilei. The title of the piece comes from the words which, according to legend, Galileo said to himself after leaving the session of the Inquisition that had found him guilty of heresy and believing in the Copernican notion that the Sun, not the Earth, is at the center of the universe. The piece is divided into two main sections. The lyrics of the first section are chosen from Commentariolus (Little Commentary), a manuscript that Copernicus distributed to his friends in 1514, and in which he introduced, for the first time, his hypothesis of heavenly motions, with the Sun at the center of the universe. Commentariolus itself contains seven axioms, the principles on which Copernicus based his theory, which was depicted in great detail in his major work De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Motions), published in 1543. Those seven axioms are set to music in the first part of the piece in its original Latin version.

The second part of the piece (attaca) is set to two texts by Galileo Galilei. The texts are carefully chosen to illustrate the difficulties faced by those who promoted the new heliocentric theory and to honor the courage and genius of individuals like Galileo Galilei, who devoted their lives to popularizing it and proving its accuracy. During it's premiere the piece was presented with video created by visual artist Julie Rafalski. Eppur Si Muove is dedicated to my parents, Karolina and Tadeusz Wolek.
Krzysztof Wolek



Full recording of the piece available on
CD Accord Music Edition ACD 188


First Performance:
May 19, 2006, Chicago
Roosevelt University Ganz Hall
Contempo, The University of Chicago
Contemporary Chamber Players
Soprano: Tony Arnold
cond: Cliff Colnott