FIVE SONGS

YEAR

2007

 

INSTRUMENTATION

Soprano & Piano Quintet:

2 Vlns, Vla, Vc, Piano

 

DURATION

20 minutes

 

TEXT

E.E. Cummings

 

MOVEMENTS

I. somewhere i have never travelled

II. may i feel said he

III. it may not always be so

IV. once like a spark

V. now does our world descend

 

FIRST PERFORMANCE

May 1, 2008

Amy Rakowczyk, soprano

Richard Lee and Mai Kawahara, violins

Michael-Thomas Foumai, viola

Jeff Hamano, cello

Heejin Kang, piano

University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI, USA

PROGRAM NOTE

Encompassing roughly 2900 poems, a novel, four plays, essays and drawings, American poet e. e. cummings is today recognized as a preeminent voice in 20th century poetry. His works innovated syntax structures allowing for a crafty new approach in combinatorial phrasing. Often satirical, romantic, and mischievous, his aesthetic runs the gamut of total human expression. Five Songs, is scored for Soprano, String Quartet and Piano. Although the poems selected are taken not from one collection, but from different collections written at different times, the poems contain a reminiscence of familiarity. Thus the work employs a single four-pitch motive that is imposed upon each movement’s unique material, offering a new light or transfigured impression of the motive. The text is often subtle and at times absurdly direct. The poems in whole reflect a journey, not necessarily of ones life but a journey through which the one has gained an intangible purpose that was not present before.

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