Abschied vom Leser [atbb]

A short setting of a Schiller text written as a commission from New York Polyphony. Performed in Denmark (with live Danish Radio broadcast) and Oslo in August 2010. Premiered on their Mid-West tour (fall 2009), including a live broadcast on Kansas Public Radio.The piece has subsequently been performed throughout the US and in the UK and remains part of their touring repertoire. Most recently, the piece was performed at Het Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.

[live KPR broadcast]

I began writing Abschied vom Leser soon after sitting in on a late-night recording session for Tudor City at New York’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Listening to NYP’s voices fill the dark and empty space was deeply inspiring, and the first few bars of the new piece already in mind as I walked out into the city night. I knew that my work would be paired with the Schubert op. 17 choruses and worked hard to craft something that could function as a neighbor stylistically and emotionally, though still express something distinctively my own.

Additional audio: MPR Regional Spotlight broadcast

Farewell to the Reader

The Muse is silent.
With maidenly cheeks,
A blush on her modest face,
She steps before you, your judgement to receive;
She respects it, though she fears it not.

Just acclaim she would win,
From those who, moved by truth,
mere glitter ne’er corrupts;
Only one whose heart, susceptible to beauty,
Beats in his breast, is worthy to honor her.

[trans. by William Hawley]