She Walks in Beauty, Like the Night

(SATB, a capella)

5:00 approx.

2015

The rich and ethereal poetry of Lord Byron's classic She walks in beauty, like the night is set here in a modern tonal idiom that moves fluidly through several key centers, relying on a simple, repeated motive to tie the varied textual ideas together. Subtle dissonance is approached carefully, ensuring singability for performers and approachability for audiences. The piece ends on an unresolved, dreamlike phrase that is repeated at the conductor's discretion.

Click here to view a perusal score, and use the audio player below to listen to a reference piano reduction.


California

(Orchestra with Tenor Solo)

20:00 approx. (3 movements)

2008

 

Drawing on orchestral textures that pay homage to the music of Samuel Barber and Aaron Copland, this setting of three poems by Walt Whitman is mean to evoke nostalgia and the grandeur of the West. The opening movement introduces primary musical themes in plain, majestic Americana style, and sets the text of Whitman's poem A promise to California-- this movement is ideal as a standalone presentation. The second movement delves into somewhat more dissonant territory, setting the poem Facing west, from California's shores, and explores themes of distance in a stream of consciousness style. The final movement is a 5/4 passacaglia featuring extended bassoon solos, and sets the text of From my last years, culminating in a powerful statement of the primary themes from movement 1 simultaneously with the passacaglia subject, before fading away into the same lonely bassoon passage with which it opened.

 

Click here to view a perusal score, and use the audio player below to listen to a synthesized rendering.


The Young Man's Song

(Orchestra and Chorus)

7:30 approx. (single movement)

2016

The optimistic and hopeful text of Yeat's poem The Young Man's Song is set for full Chorus and Orchestra. Subtle textures in the opening give way to an unapologetically joyful melody, which transitions to a dance-like 6/8 section pitting different families of the orchestra against one another, reaching a peak at the text "I am looped in the loops of her hair". The somewhat darker middle section of the poem is rendered here as a jig-like minor melody that transitions to an emotional yet subtle setting of the text "and shadows had eaten the moon". With grace, the piece quietly winds down using restatement of the main thematic material before ending on an unresolved chord in E-flat major.

Click here to view a perusal score, and use the audio player below to listen to a synthesized rendering.


Silent Noon

(SATB, a capella)

4:40 approx.

2007

An SATB setting of the famous text by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, this a capella piece paints a deeply peaceful pastoral scene through the use of tone clusters that transition to a variety of tonal centers, girded by a set of placid melodic ideas that culminate in a passionate repetition of the text "a song of love."

Click here to view a perusal score, and use the audio player below to listen to a chamber chorus performance.