Dear Youth

  • Wintergreen Music Festival, Wintergreen, Va 88 Wintergreen Dr Roseland, VA, 22967 United States

Dear Youth

Song Cycle for Soprano, Flute and Piano on Words of Civil War Era Women

Vocalist / composer Gilda Lyons

Vocalist / composer Gilda Lyons

Click here for more information.

Click here for more information.

These are often heartbreaking texts and Hagen is a composer who has a superb ear for catching the inflections of speech and supporting them sensitively with music. This was a real piece of chamber music — the flute writing was impressive — not merely songs with accompaniment. Yet, as any true song cycle must be, it was dominated by the singer with bursts of moving melody and [sic] it involved the listener with the individual narrative voices of the songs.
— Stephen Wigler,The Baltimore Sun, 3/13/91

A performance of the cycle by soprano / composer Gilda Lyons and festival artists is featured as a basis for an exploration of Civil War history with composer Daron Hagen and teacher and scholar of American history, Edward L. Ayers, Ph.D., president of the University of Richmond.

Scholar Dr. Edward L. Ayres

Scholar Dr. Edward L. Ayres

Hagen is a confirmed Civil War buff, and after considering and rejecting the prospect of a cycle on a war poet like Whitman, decided to set excerpts of letters by American women of the era who were directly or tangentially involved. (Significantly, Hagen composed the piece at the Virginia Center for the Arts, a short distance from some of the largest battles of the Civil War.) In some ways it is an idealized family parlor piece of the time — Cousin Ann joins in on the flute — simple and polite. But the expert musical treatments of the texts give them a layered richness they could never have had originally, and the result is a work of generous humanity, comforting and wise.
— Russell Platt, liner note, 1999