Settings of this emotionally charged text abound in the repertoire, and this addition successfully employs the sonorous richness that typifies many previous versions. A solo line (either section or single singer) introduces the piece with the contextualizing preface “When David heard …” The languorous, meandering melody carefully sets up linear tritone relationships at pivotal moments in quasi-recitative. This introduction is marked “Dirge 1” and establishes the formal organization. The familiar quotation of David (“O my son Absalom, would I had died instead of you.”) appears as a refrain for full chorus. The tritones of the opening solo reappear first in stark harmonies then as an arresting stack of two juxtaposed tritones. The careful preparation of these intervals avoids an aural interpretation as a French augmented-6th chord, although it is voiced appropriately as such within the key of the piece. Following the refrain, “Dirge 2” repeats the opening text this time in a four-part texture with overlapping entrances that flirt with canonic operations. At the culmination, the French 6th chord reappears, and it begins to take on a role as the signature harmony of the setting. A repeat of the refrain is indicated to follow, then “Dirge 3” sets the opening text in four-part homophony. A final repetition of the refrain caps the piece. …
Completed tonight: TWILIGHT, GOODBYE, PEACE. three songs for low voice, low flutes (alto and bass), and piano, for low flutes virtuoso Peter Sheridan (www.lowflutes.com). Duration: 6:41. It feels like fate that it should be completed on the 15th anniversary of 9/11.
Completed tonight: “Twilight,”#1 from “Twilight, Goodbye, Peace” for low voice, low flutes (bass and alto), and piano. #2, “Goodbye,” was completed in 2013. I am hoping to complete #3, “Peace,” in the foreseeable future after a long hiatus, my muse willing. This trilogy will be dedicated to low flutes virtuoso Peter Sheridan, who has been championing my music for years. To say that I am grateful for his support is an understatement.
I am honored to be ECS Publishing’s composer of the month for September. http://ecspublishing.com
I am honored to report that my work, “Kojo No Tsuki Variant” (aka “Moon Over Ruined Castle”) for contrabass flute duet was performed by David Lamont and Peter Sheridan on Saturday August 13, 2016, at the 44th Annual in the (packed) Terrace Room at the Town and Country Resort in San Diego, CA.
Completed tonight: “Notturno Pastorale” (pastoral nocturne) for trumpet in C for the Vox Novus/Fifteen Minutes of Fame call for scores for trumpeter Kate Amrine.