The Heart of the Stranger (Mixed Ensemble)

Charles-Baudelaire-008.jpg
Charles-Baudelaire-008.jpg

The Heart of the Stranger (Mixed Ensemble)

0.00

for baritone and mixed ensemble (1999)

not available for digital download
  • Premiere: 20 September 1999  / Baylor University Concert Hall, Waco, Texas  / Paul Kreider, baritone / The Baylor Wind Ensemble / Michael Haithcock
  • Instrumentation: 2fls.altofl.2obs.enghn.2clars.bassclar.3bns-3hns.3tps-harp-vibr-mar-db 
  • Duration: 17'
  • Text: Andrei Codrescu, Charles Baudelaire, Paul Verlaine, William Blake, John Keats, Kim Roberts, A.E. Houseman, Gwen Hagen, Walt Whitman, Theodore Roethke (E)

1. Symmetry (Andre Codrescu)
2. Evening Twilight (Charles Baudelaire, trans. by the composer)
3. It Weeps in My Heart (Paul Verlaine, translated by the composer)
4. To Nobodaddy (William Blake)
5. Dawlish Fair (John Keats)
6. Under the Night Sky (Kim Roberts)
7. O, When I Was in Love With You (A.E. Houseman)
8. An Irony (Gwen Hagen)
9. Specimen Case (Walt Whitman)
10. Song (Theodore Roethke)

Program note

Paul Kreider, for whom I have written several operatic roles and song cycles, joined conductor Michael Haithcock and me for dinner one March evening in 1999 after the sitzprobe (the rehearsal at which the opera singers first sing through the score with the orchestra) for the world premiere production in Austin of my wind orchestra opera Bandanna. Excited by the technical challenges that making winds and voices work well together posed, we discussed adding to the repertoire for voice and wind ensemble. The result was The Heart of the Stranger, which was first performed September 20, 1999 at Baylor University by the Baylor Wind Ensemble, Paul Kreider, baritone soloist, under the direction of Michael Haithcock.

Paul Kreider

Paul Kreider

The orchestra is split into four groups for this work: (I.) 2 flutes, alto flute, 2 clarinets, bass clarinet (II.) 3 horns, 2 trumpets (III.) 2 oboes, English horn, 3 bassoons (IV.) harp, vibraphone, marimba, double bass. Each song in the cycle explores the timbre potential of a different instrumentation; each time the entire ensemble is called for, it is scored using a different set of orchestrational techniques. The groups are arrayed from left to right on the stage in a semi-circle around the singer.

(Banner photo: Charles Baudelaire)