A song cycle for Tenor, Baritone and Piano four-hands.
Commissioned by Dickinson College in 2008 for The Florestan Recital Project, Musical Artists in Residence
First performance March 4, 2010 Dickinson College, PA
This work is dedicated to Don and Marilyn Conlan
""The seventeen poems selected for this work span many centuries and languages and give very varied views on the subject of love.
There is a mixture of solos and duets which also gives variety. Also there is a difference in the characterization of the two singers; the tenor is more romantic, and the baritone more realistic and cynical. In the penultimate poem by Tyutchev, this split is emphasized in the words ? ??, ????????? ??????! / T? ? ?????????? ? ?????????????. (O love of my last years you are both rapture and desperation). However both singers recognize the power of love.
The work should be sung without a break between the songs, and indeed several of the poems overlap. To emphasize the continuity there are several recurring musical motives: in particular the theme associated with the words from the Shakespeare poem in Twelfth Night “What is love?”
Hopefully the songs can be sung in the original languages (except for the poem from the Haida) however “singable” translations have been provided.
I want to thank the many friends and colleagues who offered much appreciated advice on fully understanding the poems and thus their translations: Henry Garrity, Lilian Groag, Gustavo Lopez Manzitti, Veronica Mitina, Alma Mora, Milen Nachev, Rick Prins, Vic and Laura Sonnino and especially to Frank Dwyer, who suggested the title of the work."