Four Settings

for Soprano and Ensemble

Melinda Wagner

Performing Ensemble: Chamber Ensemble
Duration: 00:20:00
Publisher: Theodore Presser Company
Print Status: Rental

Quick Overview

?Poetry-driven music? is how Wagner characterizes her Four Settings, commissioned by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center by The Wharton Center for the Performing Arts. The poems are diverse in style and subject and not joined together by any narrative thread, but they are all related in their embodiment of dichotomy. Shade and darkness are held against light in the verses by Robert Desnos and Denise Levertov; the eternal verities of time and space are held against the passing of earthly things in Emily Dickinson?s ?Safe in Their Alabaster Chambers?; and tempest is held against safe harbor in Dickinson?s ?Wild Nights.? Wagner says that she largely avoided obvious ?text-painting? in favor of creating an expressive tension, sometimes even an irony, between words and music, and gave the poems a ?high profile? to suggest their rich resonances of emotion and experience, a process she compares to turning a gemstone in a shaft of light to behold its varied, multihued facets. ?Last Poem,? the first of the Settings, is literally that ? the final verse that the French poet Robert Desnos (1900-1945) wrote before his death in the concentration camp at Terez

Scores & Parts

Four Settings - Full Score - Study
Four Settings - Full Score - Large

Additional Information

Commission Commissioned by The Wharton Center for the Performing Arts for the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center
Composition Date 2004
Orchestration Solo Sop.; Fl. Cl. Pno. Vln. Vla. Vcl. Cb.
Premiere 10th February, 2005. Christine Brandes, soprano, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Wharton Center for the Performing Arts, East Lansing, Michigan.


I. Last Poem
II. The Wings
III. Safe in Their Alabaster Chambers
IV. Wild Nights - Wild Nights!

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