For bass voice and piano
Text by Percy Bysshe Shelley
Written in 1818, Percy Shelley’s poem “Ozymandias” depicts an ancient, crumbling monument of Ramesses II in the barren Sahara, left to ruin and rot as the winds of time destroy the statue year by year. This imagery of destruction is contrasted, however, by the inscription on the monument’s base, declaring the unparalleled might of its subject. Shelly aims to bring about the point of how all man’s achievements, especially those done as a declaration of power, will ultimately not withstand the test of time, and this composition try to compliment this message with bold, loud statements from the voice and piano over an uneasy bass, ultimately concluding with a crumbling, unresolved statement of the fanfare that makes up a majority of the piece.