Voicing (2008) 18'
A song cycle for baritone and chamber ensemble
Anna Lindemann | music
Robert Bolyard | baritone
Yoshi Onishi | clarinet
Ezra Seltzer | cello
Brett Brown | piano
Text | poems by Federico García Lorca in English translations by Catherine Brown, Cola Franzen, Christopher Mauer, Jerome Rothenberg, Robin Skelton, and Alan S. Trueblood
Premiere | 6 April 2008, Sudler Hall, Yale University
Set to poems by Federico García Lorca in English translation, Voicing interweaves two narratives, one of a stolen and then regained voice, and the other of the unreachable and then reachable moon. The singer's voice is taken away by the king of the crickets and then returned in a snail shell, and the moon's stem is cut down and then a ladder reaching to the moon is rebuilt. The even numbered movements, settings of short poems about the moon, rework the same musical materials, deconstructing the ephemeral musical enigma of the fourth movement into duets between the singer and each instrumentalist in the second, sixth, and eighth movements. The musical materials are then reassembled in the swirling potion of movement ten. The song cycle has a bittersweet conclusion as the final movement reveals the recovered voice to be contorted by a jumble of instrumental voices.