Remembrance in Black and White

for Solo Voice and Ensemble

Dan Welcher

Performing Ensemble: Voice and Instrument
Text: Poem by Christina Hutchins
Publisher: Elkan-Vogel, Inc.
Print Status: Rental

Quick Overview

This work was commissioned to honor mezzo-soprano Virginia Dupuy by Southwestern University, in Georgetown, Texas. Virginia is a dear friend of mine, and we have often collaborated in the past on my music (as well as that of others). I have been wanting for years to write a work for her that could call forth the richness of emotion and feeling that her voice contains. When I received this commission, I immediately turned to a poem called ?Black and White Blessing? by the young California poet Christina Hutchins, whose volume of poetry ?Collecting Light? had been sent to me as a Christmas gift. The poem is basically a remembering of a father?s love, from the vantage point of many years after the occasion being remembered. The poem literally jumped off the page at me: the poet?s emotions remembering a long-ago day with her father by looking at an old photograph, were so vivid, and so universal, that I simply had to set them to music. I?d been waiting for this chance, in fact, ever since I first read the poem.

The setting is for voice and seven players (the standard ?Pierrot? combination of flute and clarinet, violin and cello, piano and percussion, plus a viola to make the string sonorities a little more lush). The poem is set in its entirety, and falls easily into four sections, following the subtle shifting of moods in the poem: beginning with hazy memory, then feeling the excitement of the remembered summer day, then a settling down into a prayerful, thankful spirit for the parent who had given so much. The line ?I will love you no matter where you go or what you do? was the first line I set, and that melody opens the work and makes a frame around it, even though it occurs two-thirds of the way through the poem itself.

"Remembrance In Black And White" is dedicated with love to my parents, Carol and Jack Welcher.

Available on Rental

Additional Information

Commission Commissioned by Southwestern University and Voices of Change- for Virginia Dupuy -
Composition Date 2001
Duration 14:00
Orchestration Solo Voice; Fl.(dbl. Picc) Cl. Perc. Pno. Vln. Vla. Vcl.
Premiere September 28, 2001. Southwestern University, Georgetown, TX.Virginia Dupuy, mezzo-soprano