For Your Consideration

Classical Compendium: “Embracing Sorrow” 
Instrumental Composition: “A Requiem of Two Poems”

From Catherine L. Geach, Violinist:  

"Embracing Sorrow is a journey of Music that embraces and transmutes the sorrow of those who went through the Cambodian Genocide, the Ukrainian Holodomor, the Holocaust, and the grief of Mohammed when he lost his beloved spouse. The Music was inspired by Stephen's friendship and research with Prisoners of War under the Nazis and survivors of the Holocaust and my own experience which I shared with Stephen, drawn from my work in Cambodia during the war and of my Cambodian friend's Book about surviving the Khmer Rouge Genocide, and also more recently, with the Ukrainian Diaspora here in Rome, Italy. With many best wishes for your study and enjoyment."

“Embracing Sorrow”
by © Stephen Melillo, IGNA 2022-2023, 2-3M, STORMWORKS, ASCAP

at your favorite Streaming Service here:


Please download and visit the Libretto here:
Embracing Sorrow, 33-page Libretto


Some thoughts on “A Requiem of Two Poems” #1300 in 5:50

A second version of this work, written for Wind Ensemble, commissioned by The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will be recorded in 2024 as part of STORMWORKS Chapter 89: Worlds Within the World.

On 24 FEB 2022, a Poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay, laden with hurt and pain, loneliness and sorrow inspired Music.  Minutes after writing Musical Haiku #113, I discovered another Poem by the Ukrainian Poet, Taras Shevchenko.  Musical Haiku #113 was retitled, “A Requiem of Two Poems".

Mere hours later, Russia invaded Ukraine. 

Catherine L. Geach, for whom, “Lonely is the Knight” was written some 23 years ago, the person who created a school for war-torn orphans in Cambodia, listened to  “A Requiem of Two Poems". Hearing the Music, she offered a Violin recording made while on her knees in Prayer.

A video of this original, pre-"Embracing Sorrow" version was posted on YouTube.

Then... Only hours after its writing and posting, the recording was played at The Church of Berezdizi near Lviv, Ukraine. The Music was not only played in the Church but all around Ukraine including areas under attack and even during Prayer for Ukrainian soldiers before going into battle.  One must marvel at the workings of God. 

***   ***   ***

Another of the pieces, track 6, on Embracing Sorrow has been visualized with accurate, though potentially disturbing Visuals.  You can read about “Holodomor” in the Libretto.  

Of Special Note regarding “Holodomor”, this work is being used by an Italian Organization, “FORZA UCRAINA.IT” to establish the Holodomor as a historically recognized genocide.

Here is a YouTube link:

Thank you for listening and for your consideration.

Stephen Melillo - 

Wishing you much success always!

Pages from the Embracing Sorrow Libretto.  It is important to understand “why” this Music:



Embracing Sorrow


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