Together We Create and Sing! (inspired by the music of Franz Joseph Haydn) for SATB Chorus, Flute and Piano
Together We Create and Sing!, had its genesis from conversations that I had with Linda Marianiello and Franz Vote of the New Mexico Performing Arts Society and the artist Richard Kurman for a concert in Richard's honor. Richard’s favorite composer is Haydn and he had a favorite poem by W.H. Auden that he suggested for the text. Auden’s poem, entitled “Anthem” has a strong rhythmic flow and is ideal for setting to music. My work starts with a slow introduction, that you hear in nearly all of Haydn’s late symphonies, followed by a “Double-Variation” form, which Haydn loved to use also. The double-variation form uses two contrasting themes, each in two sections, followed by variations. My goal was to create something that had stylistic references to Haydn, but sound new and fresh also. The back story of "Together We Create and Sing!" is that Haydn and I wrote the piece together in an imaginary meeting! After my introductory text, where I ask Haydn and Auden for assistance creating my new work, we hear the musical setting of Auden’s poem, “Anthem.” The poem has a religious tone, but isn’t associated with any particular religion. “Anthem” looks outwardly to the glory and vastness of creation in all its complexities and wonders, but also inwardly to love, truth and joy, with faith and praise to what Auden calls “Our Maker” uniting us. “Anthem” was written during the brutality of World War II and maybe its call for seeking peace, truth, gratitude, safety and unity through faith, was especially needed at that time.
Together We Create and Sing! was awarded a Silver Medal (Outstanding Achievement) at the August 2019 Global Music Awards. Below is the video of the World Premiere performance in 2017 by The New Mexico Performing Arts Society in Santa Fe, New Mexico; Franz Vote, Conductor.