7 May 2009
Joyce DiDonato, mezzo-soprano
Russell Braun, baritone
New York Choral Artists
New York Philharmonic
Alan Gilbert, conductor
New York, NY
- 1. I Live My Life in Widening Circles
- 2. Owl Woman's Song
Text: Juana Maxwell
- 3. That Nature is a Heraclitean Fire and of the Comfort of the Resurrection
- 4. From The Odes of Solomon
Mz, SATB chorus
- 5. Excerpts from Rumi and Mechtild of Magdebur
Mz, Bar, SATB chorus
- Prelude The Great Sea...
- 6. Oceana
Text: Marguerite Porete
- 7. From Leaves of Grass
- 8. Prayers from the Navajo
Mz, Bar, SATB chorus
In general I like writing to texts very much. In fact, most of what I've written in recent years has been vocal music. It has opened up a new world for me. I've always loved poetry. I wanted to be a writer when I was younger, but then music took over. The style in which I write now has been very affected by being with Lorraine [Hunt Lieberson] and hearing her sing, and realizing one has to give weight to words. Very often, my tempi would be faster than those she sang in performance, [with her] needing time to enunciate words, and also to give expression to the emotions contained in the words. ... I sometimes think that composers write at a faster tempo than [a piece] is performed [at]. What takes place in the mind is a different thing from what is articulated by performers.
I am always a little worried about calling a musical piece spiritual or religious. Rather than being so concerned about writing a piece that is spiritual or religious, which one might think one must listen to in a certain way, with this piece I set texts that are the utterances of a fully developed human being. We are in a very intolerant age. The less space we have to live in, it seems the less tolerance we have; the way points of view are expressed in language seem more important than the essence that is expressed.
"Harmonically friendly and philosophically deep"
David Patrick Stearns, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 14/05/2009
"[A] serene, sincere, and sometimes perplexing piece...Mr. Lieberson takes more chances and pushes to extremes."
Anthony Tommasini, New York Times, 08/05/2009