Waking Father, The
for six male voices (or) mixed chorus (1994)
27 July 1995
Ozawa Hall, Tanglewood, Lenox, Massachusetts
The Kings Singers
Paul Muldoon (E)
1. The Waking Father ~ 2. Oscar ~ 3. Thrush ~ 4. The Fox
5. Dancers at the Moy ~ 6. The Panther ~ 7. Bran ~ 8. Vico
9. Enough ~ 10. Armageddon V ~ 11. The Mixed Marriage
12. Cherish the Ladies
Commissioned by the Kings Singers in 1995 to create a large choral fantasia on poems of my own choosing, I elected to collect and arrange into a cycle poems written over the span of two decades by the Irish poet Paul Muldoon, who I had come to know at Yaddo, and who had subsequently penned several libretti for me. The 'through story,' such as there is, is an emotional one. My intention was to sketch in music, using the poet's own words, a portrait of the man I knew in middle age, surveying his past whilst shaping his outlook on the years ahead.
Although crafted specifically for the all-male Kings Singers, the work is most often performed by standard mixed choirs (SATB).
Premiered at Ozawa Hall during the Tanglewood Music Festival by the King's Singers on 27 July 1995, The Waking Father was originally published by Roger Dean Publishing Company. It was composed in Sandpoint, Idaho and completed on 15 August 1994. It is now harder to obtain, as it is available only as a 'publish on demand' work from Carl Fischer.
— Daron Hagen, 2006