MIXED CHAMBER: VOCAL

Voices of Longing and Futile Rage

for soprano, baritone, oboe, bassoon, viola, bass, piano, and two percussionists (1985)

Performances: 11/89 in Bowling Green, OH.Awards: 1986 First Prize, Ohio Federation of Music Clubs Composition Competition.

Flowers of Heaven

for soprano and violoncello (2018)

Commissioned by Moon-Sook Park, premiered by Moon-Sook Park and Dominic Kyungseu Na, violoncello, Feb. 2018, Fayetteville, AR.

Five Songs of Winter

for soprano, oboe, and piano (1996)

Performances: 4/96, 6/96, and 3/99 in Fayetteville, Ar. with Janice Yoes, sop.; Theresa Delaplain, oboe; Robert Mueller, piano.

 

Kolybelniye Pesni (Cradle Songs)

for soprano, baritone, flute, oboe, bassoon, violin/viola, cello, bass, and piano (1994)

Russian texts adapted by the composer from poems of Anna Akhmatova, Marina Tsvetayeva, and Alexei Arsenev]. Premiere Performance: 10/95 in Fayetteville with Janice Yoes, soprano; Jason Marus, baritone; Ronda Mains, flute; Theresa Delaplain, oboe; Richard Ramey, bassoon; Rico McNeela, violin/viola; Stephen Gates, cello; James Greeson, bass; and Alan Chow, piano.

The Bell of Ivan Velikii

for baritone, percussion, and piano (1990)

Text adapted and translated by the composer from a series of poems by Robert Schumann. Commissioned by the Music Teachers National Association and the Arkansas State Music Teachers Association. Performances: 11/90 and 1/92 inFayetteville, AR by Alan Eggleston, baritone, Bruce Roberts, percussion and Robert Mueller, piano; and 10/93 in Bowling Green, OH by Andreas Poulemenos, baritone, Heath Shelton, percussion, and Marilyn Shrude, piano (as part of the 14th Annual New Music Camp; Art Festival at Bowling Green State University).

Return to Solitude

for soprano, two pianos, and three percussionists (1988)

Performances: 5/88 in Cincinnati, OH by Verda Tudor, soprano and the CCM Contemporary Music Ensemble, Robert Mueller, conducting; and 4/89 in Fayetteville, AR by Janice Yoes, soprano and an ensemble of UA faculty conducted by Robert Mueller.

 

I

It is a moonlit, windy night.

The moon has pushed out the Milky Way.

Clouds are hardly alive, and the grass leaping.

It is the hour of return.

 

II

We want to go back, to return to the sea,

The sea of solitary corridors,

And halls of wild nights,

Explosions of grief,

Diving into the sea of death,

Like the stars of the Wheeling Bear.

 

III

What shall we find when we return?

Friends changed, houses moved,

Trees perhaps, with new leaves.

 

Drei kleine geistliche Lieder

for soprano and piano (1985)
Performances: 5/87 in Cincinnati, OH; and 9/89 in Fayetteville, AR by Janice Yoes, soprano and Carolyn Hickson, piano. Awards: Second Prize, Bowling Green Liturgical Arts Society Composition Contest.

Songs of Silence

for tenor and soprano (1988)

Completed in 1988 for a tenor and a soprano in Superior, Wisconsin, but actually receives its premiere tonight in Fayetteville. It is a setting of five poems by the Minnesota poet Robert Bly, all taken from his first book of poetry Silence in the Snowy Fields. Poems 1, 3, and 5 are duets for the soloists, with the second song a solo for the soprano and the fourth a solo for the tenor.

 

Naturally, this is a very understated and contemplative work, with the piano basically a background instrument. The text is what is important here -- the sound, the cadence, and the sheer musical beauty of the prose is the prime focus. There is much here that suggests sound, and musical sound.: the ringing of tower bells, water moving under the ice, a clear moonlit road going on into the night, the heavy silence of an oppressive heat, drifting in a boat at dawn, the privacy of a deserted wintery street late at night.....

The five poems are:

1. After Working

2. A Late Spring Day in my Life

3. After Drinking All Night With a Friend, we go out in a Boat at  Dawn to see who can write the Best Poem

4. Driving to Town Late to Mail a Letter

5. Snowfall in the Afternoon