Lute Music for chorus, harp, piano/celesta, string quartet

(1995, rev. 2011) 12'

Commissioned by the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia
Recorded on Albany Records (Troy 1748)
Published by Theodore Presser Co.

Program note

Lute Music was commissioned by The Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia, Alan Harler, music director, for its December 1995 holiday program. The text of this work for chorus and instruments is taken from Kenneth Rexroth’s two-stanza poem “Lute Music.” The first stanza (not set in this piece) notes the ephemeral nature of existence, while the second stanza invites us “… at the year’s end, at the feast of birth,” to bring the gifts of love to each other, to “celebrate the daily, recurrent nativity of love, The endless epiphany of our fluent selves… while the earth rolls away under us …. into untraveled spaces of the stars.” At the mention of the word “stars,” fragments of six Christmas Gregorian chants are heard as a kind of musical firmament above the steady rhythms below– the earth that “rolls away under us.”

Originally composed for chorus, harp, celesta, and organ, Lute Music was revised in 2011 and the instrumentation changed to harp, piano/celesta and string quartet.

Lute Music was recorded by the Temple University Concert Choir, Paul Rardin conductor, for Albany Records [Troy 1748]. Published by Theodore Presser Co.