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Classical: Art songs Classical: Twentieth Century Moods: Type: Vocal
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SPECTRA: A Concert of Concert Vocal Music by Connecticut Composers, Inc.

by Connecticut Composers

Contemporary Vocal Music by Connecticut Composers.
Genre: Classical: Art songs
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Michael Slayton: Le soir tombe
Amy Jarman, mezzo-soprano
5:49 album only
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2. Howard Rovics: Grasshopper from Songs for the Harvester of Dreams
Christina Rovics, soprano, Richard Goldsmith, clarinetist, Helen Lin & Howard Rovics, pianists
1:55 album only
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3. Howard Rovics: Loon from Songs for the Harvester of Dreams
Christina Rovics, soprano, Richard Goldsmith, clarinetist, Helen Lin & Howard Rovics, pianists
2:09 album only
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4. Howard Rovics: Squirrel from Songs for the Harvester of Dreams
Christina Rovics, soprano, Richard Goldsmith, clarinetist, Helen Lin & Howard Rovics, pianists
0:59 album only
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5. Howard Rovics: Spider from Songs for the Harvester of Dreams
Christina Rovics, soprano, Richard Goldsmith, clarinetist, Helen Lin & Howard Rovics, pianists
2:15 album only
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6. Howard Rovics: Crow’s Catastrophe from Songs for the Harvester of Dreams
Christina Rovics, soprano, Richard Goldsmith, clarinetist, Helen Lin & Howard Rovics, pianists
1:15 album only
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7. Howard Rovics: Wolf from Songs for the Harvester of Dreams
Christina Rovics, soprano, Richard Goldsmith, clarinetist, Helen Lin & Howard Rovics, pianists
2:23 album only
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8. Allen Brings: Under the Greenwood Tree from Two Songs for Soprano
Amanda Page Smith, soprano; Justin Smith, violinist
2:17 album only
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9. Allen Brings: Dirge in Woods from Two Songs for Soprano and Violin
Amanda Page Smith, soprano; Justin Smith, violinist
3:23 album only
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10. Allen Brings: If thou must love me from Three Sonnets after the Portuguese
The Corelli Trio: Judit Rajk, contralto, Gabor Csonka, violin, Geza Hargitai, bassoon
2:10 album only
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11. Allen Brings: Go from me from Three Sonnets after the Portuguese
The Corelli Trio: Judit Rajk, contralto, Gabor Csonka, violin, Geza Hargitai, bassoon
2:00 album only
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12. Allen Brings: When our two souls from Three Sonnets after the Portuguese
The Corelli Trio: Judit Rajk, contralto, Gabor Csonka, violin, Geza Hargitai, bassoon
1:36 album only
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13. Dave Brubeck: Psalm 104, 24 - 34 from Four Songs on the Theme of Praise
Jennifer Foster, soprano; Allen Brings, pianist
4:15 album only
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14. Dave Brubeck: Psalm 33, 1 - 22 from Four Songs on the Theme of Praise
Jennifer Foster, soprano; Allen Brings, pianist
5:27 album only
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15. Dave Brubeck: Psalm 40, 1 - 3, 8 - 11, 13 from Four Songs on the Theme of Praise
Jennifer Foster, soprano; Allen Brings, pianist
4:11 album only
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16. Dave Brubeck: How Praise a World from Four Songs on the Theme of Praise
Jennifer Foster, soprano; Allen Brings, pianist
5:12 album only
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17. Elizabeth R.Austin: Seit ich ihn gesehen (Since I laid my eyes on him) from
Eun-Jung Auh, soprano; Teresa Crane, pianist
2:36 album only
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18. Elizabeth R.Austin: Er, der herrlichste von allen (He, most wonderful of all) from Frauenliebe und -leben (A Woman’s Love and Life)
Eun-Jung Auh, soprano; Teresa Crane, pianist
2:58 album only
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19. Elizabeth R.Austin: Ich kann’s nicht fassen (I cannot grasp it) from Frauenliebe und -leben (A Woman’s Love and Life)
Eun-Jung Auh, soprano; Teresa Crane, pianist
0:59 album only
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20. Elizabeth R.Austin: Du Ring an meinem Finger (O ring upon my finger) from Frauenliebe und -leben (A Woman’s Love and Life)
Eun-Jung Auh, soprano; Teresa Crane, pianist
2:49 album only
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21. Elizabeth R.Austin: Süsser Freund (Dearest friend) from Frauenliebe und -leben (A Woman’s Love and Life)
Eun-Jung Auh, soprano; Teresa Crane, pianist
3:01 album only
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22. Elizabeth R.Austin: Traum der eignen Tage (Dream of days gone by) from Frauenliebe und -leben (A Woman’s Love and Life)
Eun-Jung Auh, soprano; Teresa Crane, pianist
2:51 album only

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Features outstanding contemporary concert composers from the State of Connecticut -- includes 4 songs by Dave Brubeck.

Le soir tombe (Thérèse Planiol) (2007) Michael Slayton

This work, for soprano and piano, four-hands, was commissioned by Mme. Thérèse Planiol, French scientist and poet. The stirring, dream-like poem invokes foggy reminiscences — remembrances of love lost. The piece was commissioned specifically for this somewhat unorthodox, but effective, medium.
Michael Slayton

Le soir tombe Evening falls;
L’ombre s’étale sur la dalle Shadow extends over
De pierre grise. The slab of gray stone.
Que voulez-vous que je vous dise? What do you want me to tell you?

Vous êtes avec moi dans cette allée You are with me in this alley
Qui monte That goes up
Vers un reste de lumière dorée Toward a remnant of golden light
Dans l’entrelacs des branches. In the intertwining of the branches.

Un éclair rose et pâle glisse A flash, pale pink and white, slides
Sur les champs de mauves floraisons Over the fields of flowering mallows
Au pied des tilleuls To the foot of the linden tree,
En défeullaison. Which is losing its leaves.

Vous êtes avec moi autour de l’eau; You are with me around the water;
Vous êtes avec moi sur les marches du perron; You are with me on the steps;
Vous êtes avec moi dans les notes du piano. You are with me in the notes of the piano.

Dans nos cahiers, In our notebooks,
Dans mes souvenirs In my memories
Et dans mes larmes. And in my tears.

En toute saison In any season,
Vous êtes; vous serez là You are; you will be there,
Toujours Always.

Pourquoi souriez-vous? Why are you smiling?

Mme. Thérèse Planiol Translated by Kimberly Reed
(Used with her permission)


Songs for the Harvester of Dreams (Duane Niatum) (1985) Howard Rovics

Songs for the Harvester of Dreams was commissioned by the New York City-based ensemble Continuum in 1984 with funds from the New York State Council on the Arts. The work was premiered at Alice Tully Hall on March 1, 1986 on a program which celebrated the group’s twentieth season. The work was inspired by Ravel’s Histoire Naturelle since each of its parts is built around a different animal poem. Christina Rovics recorded the work in 1999. The two pianists in this recording were Helen Lin and Howard Rovics, and Richard Goldsmith played the clarinet. Max Lifchitz of North/South Consonance Recordings acted as the critical ear in the studio while James McClean engineered the recording. The recording was done at the Hillwood Commons Concert Hall on the C. W. Post Campus of Long Island University and funded by a creative arts research grant from the University itself, where the composer was a professor.

It was Christina, who in 1983 found Duane Niatum’s book Songs for the Harvester of Dreams, published by the University of Washington Press, just two years earlier. In the composer’s own words “the book was a treasure, the fulfillment of a quest for a type of poetry that embodies a timeless connection to the natural world as rooted in North American indigenous life. After composing and recording two song cycles on translations of ancient Chinese poetry, I was searching for its counterpart in my corner of the world.” The themes and images of Duane Niatum’s fifth volume of poetry are, both directly and indirectly, related to his Indian and Northwest background.

Howard Rovics

Grasshopper

Riding the wind on a large orange leaf,
It swirls through the colors
At the end of dry grass moon;
Dreams of migrating geese
Honking across the yellow sky,
Its body awakening to the first chill
Rising like the river.

Loon

It grows lighter in the water
Like a ripple from the black star,

The moon turning the lake to copper.
Is it the carrier of summer's final thread!

Easing effortlessly into evening's darkness,
It dives for the lower reaches of your eyes.


At its place for dreaming, it builds a nest
With twigs made from escaping stars.

Squirrel

O dip your hands into these crimson leaves,
Build your nest with this wind,
Give the storm a way to your heart.
Then one morning when you step softly
Through my soul's shy forest,
The snow will name your footprints,
Keep your promises open to the cold.

Spider (revised February, 1984)

Stop, friends, spin with me past
The morning rain, the morning rain.
Touch the yellow, orange, and green threads-
Feel the thunder that passed my house!

And if by chance, by accidental dance,
We meet where the meadow's a violet ledge,
Don't be frightened of my traces,
They were woven to delight the sun.

There are things about us,
too beautiful to lose;
Our many colored song
not even Raven knows.


Crow's Catastrophe

The wind whips once, twice, three
Times around its body,
Its toes wired to the cold.
Cracking like the leaves,
It squawks at the rain claws

Tearing out its feathers.
Inside, we almost feel guilty
We're not this livid clown
The storm's caw-eyed little brother,
Frozen to another joke.

Wolf

The shy friend that guards your path.
In the wind of seven mornings,
He calls you from the village
With his white-throated song.
Wait quietly, his winter count will take
You back to the first world of snow.

Poems by Duane Niatum from Songs for the Harvester of Dreams, University of Washington Press, Seattle & London
Copyright 1981 by Duane Niatum and used with his permission

Two Songs for Soprano and Violin (2006) Allen Brings
1. Under the Greenwood Tree (William Shakespeare)
2. Dirge in Woods (George Meredith)

Until I heard Amanda and Justin Smith at a concert they gave in New York City in 2006, I was never aware of the rich possibilities that the combination of soprano and violin provided a composer who is always looking for new instrumental combinations to excite his musical imagination. It was, of course, both the quality of the music they chose and their success at presenting it that caught my attention. The idea of setting the text of Under the Greenwood Tree may already have occurred to me even as I listened to them, a text that I had set for voice and piano when I was probably no more than 16 years old. Although the remainder of the current setting is quite different, the opening motive is exactly the same and generates everything thereafter in the music. Being a performer myself, I am acutely aware of how music ought to be programmed in order to be effective so that it seemed clear that Shakespeare’s poem required a companion if its musical setting would ever appear on a concert program. George Meredith’s somber poem seemed a suitable partner even though the liveliness of Shakespeare’s scarcely suggests it. To those who think that the two texts have nothing in common I recommend examining Shakespeare’s more closely; they may discover an ominous undertone that suggests that the meaning is not quite so carefree as seems at first.

Allen Brings

Under the Greenwood Tree

Under the greenwood tree,
Who loves to lie with me,
And turn his merry note
Unto the sweet bird’s throat,
Come hither, come hither, come hither:
Here shall he see
No enemy
But winter and rough weather.

Who doth ambition shun,
And loves to live i’ the sun,
Seeking the food he eats
And pleased with what he gets,
Come hither, come hither, come hither:
Here shall he see
No enemy
But winter and rough weather.
.
William Shakespeare

Dirge in Woods

A wind sways the pines,
And below
Not a breath of wild air;
Still as the mosses that glow
On the flooring and over the lines
Of the roots here and there.

The pine-tree drops its dead;
They are quiet, as under the sea.
Overhead, overhead
Rushes life in a race,
As the clouds the clouds chase;
And we go,

And we drop like the fruits of the tree,
Even we,
Even so.
George Meredith

Three Sonnets after the Portuguese (Elizabeth Barrett Browning) (2006) Allen Brings

It was the endearing performances that alto Judit Rijk gave as the soloist in my In Memoriam with the youth orchestra Il mosaico in Hungary in 2006 that persuaded me to agree to compose a new work for her unusual ensemble of alto voice, violin and bassoon. My suspicion that there was more to Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Sonnets after the Portuguese than her famous How do I love thee led me to investigate several other of these works. The three I chose for this short cycle are, of course, about love, but about more than that. The cycle itself I imagined as a set of movements which mean more when these movements are performed in the intended order. A careful listener may even observe how the musical language changes as the cycle draws to a close.

Allen Brings

If thou must love me

If thou must love me, let it be for naught
Except for love’s sake only. Do not say,
‘I love her for her smile — her look — her way
Of speaking gently, — for a trick of thought
That falls in well with mine, and certes brought
A sense of pleasant ease on such a day’ —
For these things in themselves, Belovèd, may
Be changed, or change for thee — and love, so wrought,
May be unwrought so. Neither love me for
Thine own dear pity’s wiping my cheeks dry:
A creature might forget to weep, who bore
Thy comfort long, and lose thy love thereby!
But love me for love’s sake, that evermore
Thou mayst love on, through love’s eternity.


Go from me

Go from me. Yet I feel that I shall stand
Henceforward in thy shadow. Nevermore
Alone upon the threshold of my door
Of individual life I shall command
The uses of my soul, nor lift my hand
Serenely in the sunshine as before,
Without the sense of that which I forbore —
Thy touch upon the palm. The widest land
Doom takes to part us, leaves thy heart in mine
With pulses that beat double. What I do
And what I dream include thee, as the wine
Must taste of its own grapes. And when I sue
God for myself, He hears that name of thine,
And sees within my eyes the tears of two.


When our two souls

When our two souls stand up erect and strong,
Face to face, silent, drawing nigh and nigher,
Until the lengthening wings break into fire
At either curving point, — what bitter wrong
Can the earth do us, that we should not long
Be here contented? Think! In mounting higher,
The angels would press on us, and aspire
To drop some golden orb of perfect song
Into our deep, dear silence. Let us stay
Rather on earth, Belovèd — where the unfit
Contrarious moods of men recoil away
And isolate pure spirits, and permit
A place to stand and love in for a day,
With darkness and the death-hour rounding it.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning


Four Songs on the Theme of Praise Dave Brubeck

1. Psalm 104: 24 - 34 (2001) 2. Psalm 33: 1 - 22 (2001) 3. Psalm 40: 1 - 3, 8 - 11, 13 (2001)
4. How Praise a World (Mark Van Doren) (1972)

The three psalm settings are dedicated to a fine musician, Terry Sanford of Chattanooga, Tennessee, who has been supportive and helpful to me, encouraging my work in the choral and vocal field for many years. They were originally composed in 2001 for Terry to sing as soloist in church. When looking for proper words to praise and to petition the Almighty, one turns to the source, the Book of Psalms. Psalm 104: 24 - 34 praises the wonder of God’s creation and the natural world. Psalm 33: 1 - 22 urges us to praise through music all God’s creation, which includes “the sons of men.” “From the place of His dwelling He looks on all the inhabitants of the earth; He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works.” Psalm 40: 1 - 3, 8 - 11, 13 fittingly proclaims “He has put a new song in my mouth in praise to our God.”

The poem How Praise a World by Mark Van Doren (1894 - 1972) came to my attention in a mysterious way. I received a letter from the playwright and poet Montgomery Hare (1911 - 1998) along with a copy of the poem. In the letter he told me that he had just heard my oratorio The Light in the Wilderness on the radio, and it “hit” him that I was the one who should set to music a recent poem that was sent to him by Mark Van Doren at Christmas. I was immediately struck by the beauty of the poetry and very quickly responded by sending the score and a tape of my playing it to Montgomery Hare. A handwritten note from Mark Van Doren arrived in the mail soon thereafter. It said, “I was delighted to hear that you might want to write some music for my poem, and now I am doubly delighted by what you wrote. Hare gave me a tape of it, and Jan Walker, a dear soprano here in Cornwall, sang it for me, too. The quiet beginning and the gradual — but finally sudden — enlargement of pace and sound seem to me quite perfect; I couldn’t have dreamed a better setting.
Deepest thanks.
Sincerely,
Mark Van Doren.”

In August of 1971, Charlene Peterson, who was soprano soloist for my cantata Truth is Fallen, performed How Praise a World in Cornwall, Connecticut, at a Housatonic Valley Day celebration with Van Doren himself reciting the poem before it was sung. After Van Doren’s death in December, 1972, the Poetry Society of America dedicated its annual meeting to Van Doren, and Charlene Peterson sang it again.

In 1976 the song was performed by Wilton resident, Met soprano Betty Jones, at an all-Brubeck program presented by the Westport Arts Council. She repeated her performance of How Praise a World in June the same year as part of the Connecticut Day program at Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

Dave Brubeck

Psalm 104: 24 - 34

O Lord, how manifold are Thy works!
In wisdom hast Thou made them all;
The earth is full of Thy creatures.
Yonder is the sea great and wide which teems with things innumerable, living things small and great.
There go the ships and Leviathan which Thou didst form to sport in it.
These all look to Thee to give them their food in due season.
When Thou giveth to them, they gather it up; when Thou openist Thy hand, they are filled with good things.
When Thou hidest Thy face, they are dismayed; when Thou takest away their breath they die and return to their dust.
When Thou sendeth forth Thy Spirit, they are created, and Thou reneweth the face of the earth.
May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in His works,
Who looks on earth and it trembles,
Who touches the mountains and they smoke!
I will sing to the Lord as long as I live.
I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
May my meditation be pleasing to Him for I rejoice in my God.


Psalm 33: 1 - 22

Rejoice in the lord, O ye righteous: for it becometh well the just to be thankful.
Praise the Lord with harp:
Sing praises unto Him with the lute.
Sing unto the Lord a new song.
For the word of the Lord is true: and all His works are faithful.
He loveth righteousness and judgement:
The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
By the word of the Lord were the heavens made: and all the hosts of them by the breath of His mouth.
He gathereth the waters of the sea together, as it were upon an heap: and layeth up the deep, as in a treasure house.
Let all the earth fear the Lord: stand in awe of Him, all ye that dwell in the world.
For He spake and it was done:
He commanded and it stood fast.
The Lord bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought, and maketh the devices of the people to be of none effect and casteth out the counsel of princes.
The counsel of the Lord shall endure forever: and the thoughts of His heart from generation to generation.
Blessed are the people whose God is Lord Jehovah and blessed are the folk that He hath chosen.
The Lord looked down from Heaven and beheld all the children of men: from the habitation of His dwelling He considereth all them that dwell on the earth and fashioneth all the hearts of them: and understandeth all their works.
There is no king that can be saved by the multitude of an host: neither is any mighty man delivered by much strength.
Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear Him: and upon them that put their trust in His mercy; to deliver their soul from death,
And to feed them in the time of dearth our soul hath patiently tarried for the Lord:
For He is our help, and our shield.
For our heart shall rejoice in Him: because we have hoped in His holy name.
Let Thy merciful kindness O Lord be upon us: like as we do put our trust in Thee.

Psalm 40: 1 - 3, 8 - 11, 13

I waited patiently for the Lord and He inclined unto me and heard my cry.
He hath brought me up out of the horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock and He hath put a new song in my mouth.
I delight to do Thy will, O my God. Yea, Thy law is within my heart, O my God. I have not hid Thy righteousness;
I have declared Thy faithfulness. I have not concealed Thy kindness and Thy truth.
I delight to do Thy will, O my God. Yea, Thy law is within my heart.
Withhold not Thy tender mercies from me, O Lord. Let Thy loving kindness and Thy truth continually preserve me.
Let all those that seek Thee rejoice and be glad in Thee; Let such as love Thy salvation say continually, the Lord be magnified,
But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me. Thou art my help and my deliverer.
Make no tarrying, O my God. I waited patiently for the Lord and He inclined unto me and heard my cry and He hath put a new song in my mouth.

How Praise a World

How praise a world that will not be
Forever? Stillness then. Time
Sleeping, never to wake. No prince’s
Kiss. No prince. Praise? Even
The echo of it dies, even
Memory, in the last brain
That loved it, withers away, and mind
Not even dozes, being done
With work that mattered not at all.
How then praise nothing?
.
Yet that day
Has never dawned. Here is the world
So beautiful, being old, so
Mindful of its maker — what
Of him when that day comes — you say
It must — what then of him, and of this
Place so crowded with his creatures —
With us all — Oh, praise the time
That’s left, praise here and now, praise
Him that by his own sweet will
May suddenly remake the world

Forever, ever, ever, ever.

Mark Van Doren
(Used with his permission)


Frauenliebe und -leben (Adelbert von Chamisso) (1999) Elizabeth R. Austin

I Seit ich ihn gesehen (Since I laid my eyes on him)
II Er, der herrlichste von allen (He, most wonderful of all)
III Ich kann’s nicht fassen (I cannot grasp it)
IV Du Ring an meinem Finger (O ring upon my finger)
V Süsser Freund, du blickest (Dearest friend)
VI Traum der eignen Tage (Dream of days gone by)

Having been commissioned to set Chamisso’s poems, I wondered how I could set such texts in today’s world, gender relationships having changed so much since the mid-nineteenth century. As with Schumann’s well-known setting of these poems, I wished to honor the authentic feelings of the woman chronicled in her various stages of life by Chamisso. Whereas she pours forth her adoration in a language which reveals absolute devotion without question, we may also perceive an ambivalence in her intense emotional outbursts.

I found literary clues to the creation of my setting in the novel Malina (1971) by the Austrian poetess, Ingeborg Bachmann. There are three main characters in Malina, which is narrated by the nameless Frau, the Ich (I). Her confidante is Malina, a seemingly male character, who is a strong, enigmatic, almost shadowy figure. The Frau converses with Malina about her writings, her feelings, and her actions, especially as to how they relate to her uncaring lover, Ivan. Malina pleads with the narrator to control her emotions so that she may continue to write. It soon becomes evident that we are encountering two sides of the same persona. The rational side is concentrated in Malina, the emotional in the narrating Ich. Through this dichotomy, Bachmann probes the extreme, presenting a woman in the grip of near-hysteria as she exposes her inner ambiguities. Her extreme passion — that of an absolute surrendering of the will — is movingly laid out as the woman struggles with Malina for justification of such overwhelming feeling.

The Ich experiences a desperate love for the destructive Ivan which lays no claim on rationality. Bachmann indicates that such radical emotion cannot be maintained; her narrator lets herself fall into a situation without any options, becoming more and more isolated. Her gradual disintegration, due to the urge to live her life based solely on feeling, yields a tragic image at the novel’s conclusion: she disappears into a crack in the wall.

My alternative psychological/musical interpretation of the narrator’s thoughts embodied in Chamisso’s poetry encompasses questions and doubts, particularly in the piano, often set in a starkly contrasting tone to the vocal line. When the narrator’s feverish feelings reach the edge of hysteria, our empathy involves the imminent danger of a looming catastrophe: a seemingly one-sided devotion threatening to envelop a broken heart.

In the first three songs the moods of the voice and piano contradict one another to portray a subconscious ambivalence on the part of the young girl, whose voice seems bold and confident, while the piano part is clipped and nervous. Malina’s concerns are projected onto the piano’s furtive lines. The last three songs of this cycle, however, turn from a sense of hysteria and doubt to a far more genuine outpouring of affection and delight. In the fourth song the deep joy inherent in a happy marriage, with the wedding ring as its precious symbol, is undeniable. This song’s formal layout is rounded, as in Schumann’s setting, and there are other rhythmic and melodic “nods” to his music. Throughout the cycle I have paid homage to Schumann by using, for example, his choice of keys to begin my own setting of the same poem. Phrase contours, rhythmic figures and certain formal aspects are also similar to those of Schumann.

The ecstatic announcement of her pregnancy in the fifth song comes in a sort of musical rush to convey the tumult and rapture of the mother-to-be. Towards the end of this song the listener may hear the rocking of the cradle in the piano’s triplet figures (“Hier an meinem Bette. . .”). Certain harmonic settings seem ambivalent though, as if to indicate the hesitancy and unsettled feelings of the young wife.

The final song text is personally dear to me since I myself am a grandmother. Beginning in the same ecstatic mood as in the preceding song, this music gradually becomes more metrically stable, reflecting grateful retrospection at the end of “a woman’s love and life.”

There is a pianistic reprise to all of the songs, similar to Schumann’s writing, to conclude the cycle.
Elizabeth R. Austin


I Seit ich ihn gesehen I Since I laid my eyes on him

Seit ich ihn gesehen, Since I laid my eyes on him
Glaub ich blind zu sein; I have been blinded.
Wo ich hin nur blicke, Wherever I look,
Seh ich ihn allein; I see him alone.
Wie im wachen Traume Like in a waking dream,
Schwebt sein Bild mir vor, His image hovers over me,
Taucht aus tiefstem Dunkel Emerging from deepest darkness,
Heller nur empor. Rising ever bright.

Sonst ist licht- und farblos Everything around me
Alles um mich her, Without color and light,
Nach der Schwestern Spiele I yearn no longer
Nicht begehr ich mehr, To play with my sisters
Möchte lieber weinen I have no desire.
Still im Kämmerlein; I would rather be weeping
Seit ich ihn gesehen, In my little room;
Glaub ich blind zu sein. Since I laid my eyes on him,
I have been blinded.

II Er, der herrlichste von allen II He, most wonderful of all

Er, der herrlichste von allen, He, most wonderful of all,
Wie so milde, wie so gut! O, so gentle, O, so good!
Holde Lippen, klares Auge, Purest lips, clearest eyes,
Heller Sinn und fester Mut. Radiant mind, courageous soul!

So wie dort in blauer Tiefe, As the firmament is deep,
Hell und herrlich, jener Stern, Bright and dazzling, yonder star
Also er an meinem Himmel, So he is in my own heaven,
Hell und herrlich, hoch und fern. Bright and noble, high above.

Wandle, wandle deine Bahnen; Wander, move in your orbit,
Nur betrachten deinen Schein, In reflecting how you shine,
Nur in Demut ihn betrachten, Humbly watching him with wonder,
Selig nur und traurig sein! Blessed, yes, and also sad.

Höre nicht mein stilles Beten Listen not to my quiet praying,
Deinem Glücke nur geweiht; Only spoken for your good;
Darfst mich, neidre Magd, nicht kennen, Do not stoop to one so lowly,
Hoher Stern der Herrlichkeit! Brilliant star so wonderful!

Nur die Würdigste von allen Only she who is most worthy,
Soll beglücken deine Wahl, Made so happy by your choice,
Und ich will die Hohe segnen, I shall also bless your chosen,
Segnen viele tausend Mal. Bless her many thousand times.

Will mich freuen dann und weinen, Happy even though I weep,
Selig, selig bin ich dann, Blessed, blessed I shall be,
Sollte mir das Herz auch brechen, If my heart comes close to breaking,
'Brich, o Herz, was liegt daran! Break, O heart, accept your fate!


III Ich kann's nicht fassen III I cannot grasp it

Ich kann's nicht fassen, nicht glauben, I cannot grasp it, believe it,
Es hat ein Traum mich berückt; I was bewitched by a dream;
Wie hätt er doch unter allen Selected above all others,
Mich Arme erhöht und beglückt? How could he choose me above all?

Mir war's, er habe gesprochen: It was as if he had spoken:
Ich bin auf ewig dein - I am forever yours —
Mir war's - ich träume noch immer, I dream it over and over,
Es kann ja nimmer so sein. Though it can never be so.

O lass im Traume mich sterben O let me die with this dream,
Gewieget an seiner Brust, Cradled in his arms,
Den seligsten Tod mich schlürfen The happiest death enfold me,
In Tränen unendlicher Lust. In tear of endless desire.

IV Du Ring an meinem Finger IV O ring upon my finger

Du Ring an meinem Finger, O ring upon my finger
Mein goldnes Ringelein, My little golden ring,
Ich drücke dich fromm an die Lippen, I press you close to my lips,
Dich fromm an das Herze mein. Close to my heart.

Ich hatt ihn ausgeträumet, I’ve had enough of dreaming,
Der Kindheit friedlichen Traum, Those lovely, peaceful childhood dreams,
Ich fand allein mich verloren I am alone, all alone
Im öden unendlichen Raum. In desolate, unending space.

Du Ring an meinem Finger, O ring upon my finger,
Da hast du mich erst belehrt, Now you have instructed me,
Hast meinem Blick erschlossen You have made me see the value,
Des Lebens unendlichen Wert. The infinite value of life itself.

Ich werd ihm dienen, ihm leben, I shall serve him, shall live for him,
Ihm angehören ganz, Give myself only to him,
Hin selber mich geben und finden Belong to him only and find
Verklärt in seinem Glanz. Myself transformed in his gaze.

V* Süsser Freund, du blickest V Dearest friend

Süsser Freund, du blickest Dearest friend, you look
Mich verwundert an, Amazed upon me,
Kannst es nicht begreifen, Can you not realize
Wie ich weinen kann; That I’m weeping;
Lass der feuchten Perlen Allow these misty pearls,
Ungewohnte Zier Unaccustomed tears,
Freudig hell erzittern Glistening so brightly
In dem Auge mir. In my eyes.

Wie so bang mein Busen, Why am I so frightened?
Wie so wonnevoll! Why so full of awe!
Wüsst ich nur mit Worten, If I only knew the words,
Wie ich's sagen soll; What I have to say;
Komm und birg dein Antlitz Come and nestle your face
Hier an meiner Brust, Here upon my breast,
Will in's Ohr dir flüstern I will whisper
Alle meine Lust. All my heart’s desire.

Hab’ ob manchen Zeichen Have already asked Mama
Mutter schon gefragt, What these feelings mean,
Hat die gute Mutter, And my darling mother
Alles mir gesagt, Told me everything,
Hat mich unterwiesen, She made me understand
Wie nach allem Schein, All of these are signs,
Bald für eine Wiege That a little cradle
Muss gesorget sein. Must be put in place.

Hier an meinem Bette Here at my bedside
Hat die Wiege Raum, Can the cradle stand,
Wo sie still verberge Where it protects
Meinen holden Traum; My most beloved dream;
Kommen wird der Morgen, When the morning comes
Wo der Traum erwacht, And the little dream awakes,
Und daraus dein Bildnis, With your very image
Mir entgegen lacht. Smiling up at me.

* V is Chamisso’s VI

VI* Traum der eignen Tage VI Dream of days gone by

Traum der eignen Tage, Dream of days gone by,
Die nun ferne sind, Now so far away,
Tochter meiner Tochter, Daughter of my daughter,
Du mein süsses Kind, My darling child,
Nimm, bevor die Müde Take my words of blessing,
Deckt das Leichentuch, Before I die,
Nimm ins frische Leben Take into your life
Meinen Segensspruch. My blessing.

Siehst mich grau von Haaren, Now I’m gray and wrinkled,
Abgezehrt und bleich, Weary and pale,
Bin, wie du, gewesen T’was like you so full of joy,
Jung und wonnereich, Young and glorious,
Liebte, wie du liebest, Loved, like you love,
Ward, wie du, auch Braut, Was also bride.

Lass die Zeit im Fluge Let the time pass
Wandeln fort und fort, Flying by and by,
Glück ist nur die Liebe, Happiness means loving,
Liebe nur ist Glück. Love alone is life.

* VI is Chamisso’s IX Translation by Elizabeth R. Austin

Adelbert von Chamisso (1781 - 1838)


About the composers —

Michael Slayton is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Music Composition and Theory at Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music. His music, published through American Composers Alliance, has been performed most recently in Chemnitz, Seitz, Leipzig, Droyssig, and Weimar, Germany; Paris, Tours, and Marquette-lez-Lille, France; Kristiansund, Norway; Aviero, Portugal; Brussels, Belgium; Johannesburg and Potchefstroom, South Africa; and London. Since moving to Nashville, Tennessee, in 1999, he has received numerous commissions for choral, solo, and chamber works including two works for the Nashville Ballet’s ongoing Emergence project. During his MM and DMA studies at the Moore’s School of Music in Houston, Texas, he was a student of Michael Horvit and David Ashley White and has since received several awards for his teaching and writing including the Louisa Stude Sarofim Prize in Composition and the TMTA Composer of the Year Award in 2001. He currently serves as author and editor-in-chief of a book detailing the lives and music of several of America’s distinguished women in composition.

Howard Rovics, a resident of Connecticut since 1969, taught on the full-time faculty of C. W. Post College on Long Island for 35 years. He also taught at the Manhattan School of Music in the 1970s and at Western Connecticut State University in the 1980s. In the early 1990s he was president of Connecticut Composers for four years. Now retired from college teaching, he works as a freelance organist throughout Fairfield County in Connecticut, accompanying singers and continuing to compose.


A native of New York City, Allen Brings received a Bachelor of Arts degree magna cum laude from Queens College and a Master of Arts degree from Columbia University, where he was a Mosenthal Fellow and a student of Otto Luening, and a doctorate in theory and composition from Boston University, where he was a student of Gardner Read. In 1962 he was a Naumburg Fellow at Princeton University, where he studied with Roger Sessions. He has twice served as chairman of the eastern region of the American Society of University Composers and is currently vice-president of Connecticut Composers. Each year since 1975 he has received an ASCAP Award. In 1988 he was awarded an Individual Artist Grant by the Connecticut Commission on the Arts. His published compositions, which include works for orchestra, band, chorus, a wide variety of chamber ensembles, piano, organ, harpsichord, guitar, and voice, have been recorded for Capstone, Centaur, Grenadilla, Contemporary Record Society, North/South Recordings, Arizona University Recordings, and Vienna Modern Masters.

A pianist as well as a composer, Brings has performed extensively both here and abroad especially in programs of music for piano, four-hands, with Genevieve Chinn, with whom he has recorded for Orion, CRI, and Centaur. He is also co-author of A New Approach to Keyboard Harmony, published by W. W. Norton, and has contributed articles to College Music Symposium, Contemporary Music Newsletter, New Music Connoisseur, Society of Composers Newsletter, New Oxford Review, ComposerUSA, sounding board, and Adoremus Bulletin.
Brings is Professor Emeritus of Music at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College of the City University of New York, where he was co-ordinator of the theory and ear training program, and is a director of the Weston Music Center and School of the Performing Arts in Weston, Connecticut, where he teaches piano and theory. He lives in Wilton, Connecticut. www.amc.net/allenbrings

A jazz artist noted for his improvisations, Dave Brubeck (born December 6, 1920) is also a composer of many fully-notated works. These include ballet suites, a string quartet, orchestral pieces, and large-scale works for chorus and orchestra, most notably a mass To Hope! and the oratorios The Voice of the Holy Spirit and The Light in the Wilderness. Following Army service in World War II Brubeck studied composition with the French composer Darius Milhaud, who encouraged him to compose using the languages of jazz as well as classical music. This led to the founding of the experimental Dave Brubeck Octet, out of which grew the Dave Brubeck Trio and Quartet. In 1954 Time Magazine acknowledged his achievement in jazz with a cover story on him and his quartet that featured alto saxophonist Paul Desmond. Since that time Brubeck has received many honors including several honorary degrees from universities in the United States, Canada, Germany and England, a Jazz Masters award from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Presidential Medal of the Arts, and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2003 he was elected to the American Classical Music Hall of Fame. The Library of Congress gave him the title “Living Legend,” and at Kennedy Center in 2007 he was honored as a “Jazz Legend.” In April, 2008, the Department of State presented him with the Benjamin Franklin Award for citizen diplomacy in recognition of his years as an international “cultural ambassador.” In addition to touring with his current jazz quartet he serves as Chairman of the Brubeck Institute at the University of the Pacific, where the arts of improvisation, jazz, and contemporary music are studied and performed.

Born in Baltimore in 1938, Elizabeth R. Austin has taught composition and theory in Hartford, Connecticut. Her association with The Hartt School of the University of Hartford, where she earned an MM degree, included the establishment of a faculty/student exchange with the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik Heidelberg-Mannheim. During her Ph. D. studies at the University of Connecticut, she won First Prize in the Lipscomb Electronic Music Competition in Nashville, Tennessee. Other awards have included a Connecticut Commission on the Arts grant, First Prize in the IAWM’s 1998 Miriam Gideon Competition, a Rockefeller Foundation grant, and an American Music Center grant.

Performed in Europe, Scandinavia, South Africa, as well as in the United States and the
Caribbean, Elizabeth Austin’s music has been received with distinction and has been broadcast worldwide, especially featured on Germany’s Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk. GEDOK Mannheim (Germany) has sponsored many portrait concerts of her music. She serves as organist/choir
director at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Windham Center, Connecticut. Doctor Austin is also on the alumni board of The Walden School (for young composers) in New Hampshire.

Published by Arsis Press, Tonger Musikverlag, and Peer Musik, and recorded on the Capstone and Leonarda labels, Elizabeth Austin’s music is also represented on the 1994 Society of Composers compact disc and in volume 20 of its Journal of Music Scores. Her scores are available through the American Composers Alliance. Dr. Teresa Crane at the University of Illinois wrote a dissertation on her song cycles (2007), and Karianne Westfal-Larsen discussed her songs in her master’s thesis (Norway, 2007). Writings on Austin’s life and music will be part of a forthcoming book on contemporary women composers edited by Dr. Michael K. Slayton for Scarecrow Press. www.elizabethaustinmusic.com

About the performers —

The singing of Amy Jarman has been praised for its “exquisite legato” and “focused tone and wide palette of vocal color.” She has coached with and performed music by composers Robert Beaser, William Bolcom, John Harbison, Jake Heggie, Joseph Schwantner and Michael Torke and has premiered new works by British composer Philip Wilby and American composers J. Mark Scearce, Michael Alec Rose, Michael Kurek, Carl Smith and Stan B. Link. Ms. Jarman has been a featured artist at many concert series and festivals including the Dame Myra Hess Concert Series at the Chicago Cultural Center, the Festival of American and Bulgarian Music in Sofia, Bulgaria, the City of Leeds (England) International Concert Series, and the Baroque Festival of Corona del Mar in California. In addition to her several oratorio roles she has appeared with Nashville Opera in productions of La bohème and The Mikado and has also sung the roles of Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor, Lucy in The Telephone, Lily in The Secret Garden, and Desirée Armfeldt in A Little Night Music. She attended the University of California, Santa Cruz; the University of Evansville (Indiana), the Conservatorio di Morlacchi in Perugia, Italy; and the Royal College of Music in London, England. Ms. Jarman is a member of the voice faculty at the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University.

Melissa Rose has performed as a collaborative pianist in Russia, Argentina, and throughout the United States. She is the pianist-in-residence with the Summerfest Chamber Music Series in Kansas City and appears regularly as a guest pianist with the Alias Chamber Ensemble in Nashville, Tennessee. She has worked extensively in song recital/chamber music settings and has served as an official pianist for national and international music competitions and conferences. As an advocate of contemporary music, she has premiered numerous works including Michael Kurek’s Piano Trio, recorded J. Mark Scearce’s Magritte Variations and collaborated with composers Joan Tower, John Luther Adams, Jake Heggie, and Robert Beaser. Dr. Rose is active as an adjudicator and workshop presenter and serves as an executive board member and chair of the instrumental/vocal auditions for the Tennessee Music Teachers Association. A native of western Pennsylvania, she received degrees in solo piano performance from Yale University and West Chester University of Pennsylvania and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in piano, chamber music and accompanying from the University of Michigan. She is Associate Professor of Piano and Assistant Dean at Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music.

Jerome A. Reed holds MM and DMA degrees in piano performance from the Catholic University of America and currently serves as Professor of Piano and Composition at Lipscomb University. He has performed extensively in the US, South America, and Europe, appearing in such venues as the Mendelssohnhaus in Leipzig, Germany, the Musikhochschule in Graz, Austria, and the Conservatoire Royale in Brussels. His work has been broadcast over US, German, and Australian public radio. Dr. Reed is the director of the music division of the Governor's School for the Arts, past president of the southern division of the Music Teachers National Association, and former music critic for the Tennessean. His recordings on Capstone Records include an album premiering new music for piano and tape. During the 2002-03 season he performed the Concord Sonata of Charles Ives together with a multimedia presentation and readings from Ives' writings in a number of venues in the United States and abroad. In 2003 he was awarded one of Lipscomb University's most prestigious honors, the Avalon Award for Creative Excellence.

Christina Rovics has taught on the faculties of Western Connecticut State University and the
Connecticut Conservatory of Music and Dance. She has given numerous art-song recitals over the years, appeared as soloist with the Danbury Community Chorus and Orchestra, performed the works of William Flanagan at Tanglewood at the invitation of Gunther Schuller and released two compact discs on the North/South Consonance label. Now retired from the concert stage, she is celebrating her twentieth year of teaching privately in her home/studio. A series of recorded releases are being made available on the website entitled “Christina Rovics in Recital” at CDBaby.com.

An active performer on the New York scene, clarinetist Richard Goldsmith has performed with the Brooklyn Philharmonic, Long Island Philharmonic, and Erich Hawkins Dance Theatre Orchestras and with Philharmonia Virtuosi, New York Philomusica, and North/South Consonance among other ensembles. He has toured throughout the United States and Canada as a soloist and chamber musician and serves on the faculty of Queens College of the City University of New York.

Helen Lin, pianist, is a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music, where she studied with Peter Serkin and Seymour Lipkin, She has performed and recorded with North/South Consonance since 1994.

Amanda Page Smith is the Director of Children’s Music Ministries at the Brick Presbyterian Church in New York City, where she directs five choirs for children, grades 4 through 8. She also directs the music program at the Brick Church School, an early childhood center for children ages three through six. Amanda holds a BM in Vocal Music Education from St. Olaf College, Kodaly Certification from New York University, and Music Together certification. She is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Music Education at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey. As a singer, she performs as a recitalist and oratorio soloist and sings as a professional chorister with the New York Philharmonic at Avery Fischer Hall and with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Carnegie Hall. She also performs in Gilbert and Sullivan operas with New York City’s Blue Hill Troupe. Amanda lives in Manhattan with her husband Justin.

Since moving to New York City in 2002, Justin Smith has performed with leading ensembles including the American Symphony Orchestra, the American Theater Orchestra, Philharmonia
Virtuosi, and the Orchestra of St. Ignatius Loyola. He has toured nationwide with the Abaca String Band and has also appeared in numerous Broadway shows. An adept improviser, he has performed internationally with his band The DEFiBULATORs and with Chris Barron of the Spin Doctors. He conducts the string ensembles at Metropolitan Montessori School in Manhattan and has taught private violin lessons at the Weston Music Center in Weston, Connecticut. Justin is a graduate of St. Olaf College. His principal teachers include Eric Lewis and John Dexter of the Manhattan String Quartet and the renowned fiddler Andy Stein.

Because of their special formation, the Budapest-based Corelli Trio (Judit Rajk, contralto; Gabor Csonka, violinist; and Geza Hargitai, bassoonist), founded in 1994, mainly plays its own transcriptions. The ensemble's interest is focused on Baroque music, which the musicians often combine with contemporary pieces written for and dedicated to the trio. The trio plays in two different formations in which the violin and bassoon are completed either by a contralto or an alto. The ensemble has performed in most of the countries of Europe as well as in Russia and Japan. Judit Rajk, the vocalist of the Trio, obtained her diploma in singing in 1994 and her doctorate in 2009 at the Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music, where she is now an assistant professor in the Church Music Department. She is a concert singer and a singer of lieder and other varieties of song. She has sung in the premieres of numerous contemporary works, some of which were especially dedicated to her. Ms. Rajk has performed as a soloist with several orchestras in Hungary and abroad including the Orchestra of the Deutsche Oper in Berlin, the Simfonietta92 at the Berlin Philharmonie, and the Concertante di Chicago among others. Her Hungaroton Classic CD, on which she sings the main role of the contemporary opera Roman Fever by Gyula Fekete, received an outstanding review in 2000 in Opera News Magazine.

Jennifer Foster, soprano, consistently earns critical praise as a vocal artist of great warmth, security, beauty and expressive ability. She made her operatic debut as Fiordiligi in Mozart’s Così fan tutte with the Los Angeles Music Center Opera and later toured nationally with San Francisco Opera’s Western Opera Theater as Adele in Die Fledermaus. She has appeared with major international festivals including Tanglewood, Santa Fe, Aspen, Cabrillo, Aldeburgh (England), and Verbier (Switzerland). She recently premiered a new work written for her and the Miami String Quartet, Sonnets and Soliloquies, Shakespearean texts set by the renowned American composer Lee Hoiby. She made her debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl as the soprano soloist in Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 under the baton of Esa-Pekka Salonen; she has also appeared with orchestras and choral groups in Boston, San Francisco, Florida, and San Diego among others. Jennifer served as soloist at The First Church of Christ, Scientist (The Mother Church) in Boston from 1997 to 2004. Her recordings include “Jubal-ation,” a collection of non-denominational inspirational songs produced by the Christian Science Publishing Society; “Jennifer Foster: The Debut,” live performances of lesser-known chamber works (visit www.arizonachambermusic.org.); a collection of Creole Romantic compositions on the Naxos label; and a disc of the music of Allen Brings for the Capstone label.

Soprano Eun-Jung Auh is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Illinois. A native of Seoul, South Korea, she received her BM degree from Temple University, graduating as a President’s Scholar and summa cum laude, and an MM degree from Indiana University. She has also been listed in Who's Who among Students in American Universities and Colleges. Her operatic roles include Nanetta in Falstaff, Adina in L'Elisir d’amore, Barbarina in Le Nozze di Figaro, Anne in The Merry Wives of Windsor, and Amore in L'Incoronazione di Poppea, and in 2006 she premiered the role of Hsing in Stephen Taylor’s Paradises Lost. Active in choral and chamber music performances, she was a soloist in the American premiere of Sven-David Sandström's High Mass in 2001 and in 2005 recorded Sever Tipei's Translation for voice, clarinet, and piano for Centaur Records. She received the Esther Boyer Scholarship, the Professor Robert Grooter Memorial Scholarship, the Florence Bergren Voice Scholarship, and a university fellowship from the University of Illinois and in 2005 was the winner in the Central Illinois District Audition of the Metropolitan Opera. Eun-Jung has studied voice with Philip Y. Cho, Martina Arroyo, Patricia Wise, and Jerold Siena and is currently being coached by Lucy Shelton.

Teresa Crane has worked extensively as a vocal coach and pianist, collaborating with professional singers and instrumentalists throughout the United States and in Sweden, Germany, London and Scotland. She also performs with the St. Louis-based string trio Configurations. She worked with the Repertory Theater of St. Louis as a pianist in the two-piano production of My Fair Lady. Dr. Crane received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Illinois with an emphasis on Vocal Coaching and Accompanying, studying with world-renowned coaches and accompanists John Wustman and Eric Dalheim. She has been on the faculties of Webster University, Greenville College, and Lindenwood University and is currently Assistant Professor of Music and head of the Music Preparatory Program at the newest all-Steinway school, Lewis and Clark Community College, in Godfrey, Illinois, where she teaches piano, voice, music history, music literature, class piano, non-Western music, and music appreciation.

Connecticut Composers, Inc. is a non-profit organization of composers who are either now living in Connecticut or have lived there. It was founded in1981 by eighteen charter members and has grown to over forty from all regions of the state. Its composers have written for such diverse media as orchestra, chorus, solo, chamber music, opera, and ballet; their many genres also include jazz, improvisation, folk, electronic, and experimental music.

This compact disc is the fifth in Connecticut Composers’ series Spectra. The first, released in 1997, featured concert music by five composer-members of the society; the second, released in 2002, featured twelve vocal compositions by eleven composers sung by The Kent Singers,
conducted by Marguerite Mullée; the third, released in 2004, featured six works for piano by five composers; and the fourth, released in 2007, featured four works for orchestra by composer-members.

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