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ONE CHILD

ONE CHILD

ONE CHILD

Instrumentation: voice and piano

Lyrics by: Sara Cooper

Duration: 4 minutes

Composed: 2014


I'm deeply honored to have been invited to compose this song for An AIDS QUILT Songbook: Sing for Hope. The album features new songs by American composers, performed by an all-star roster of musicians – including Joyce DiDonato, Jamie Barton, Sasha Cooke, Isabel Leonard, Sean Pannikar, Susanna Phillips, Matthew Polenzani, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, clarinetist Anthony McGill, actors Sharon Stone and Ansel Elgort, and many more. It was a privilege to record One Child with soprano Melody Moore, and to be a part of this extraordinary project. All profits from the sale of this album go to amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research.


Recordings of One Child:

 
 

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"Among the brand new songs created expressly for this recording is "One Child," featuring beautiful lyrics by Sara Cooper that point to the promising possibility of a child surviving AIDS and ushering in a new era of health and well-being where once there was so much death and suffering. The poet asks "Is this the moment? Is this the time? Is this when we leave it all behind us? When soon only whispers will remind us of those awful scorching decades that took so many lives." Gregg Kallor has set these lyrics with utmost care, with gentle dissonance that perfectly captures the longing of the text. Soprano Melody Moore's singing is exemplary for its beauty and clarity."

Journal of Singing

SONG

SONG

SONG

Instrumentation: voice and piano

Poem by: Christina Rossetti

Duration: 3 minutes

Composed: 2007

Premiere: October 26, 2008 by Adriana Zabala (mezzo-soprano) and Gregg Kallor at the Housing Works Bookstore in New York City


Song is a love letter at life’s end'; there’s no fear or regret, only words of comfort for the one who remains.


poem:
When I am dead, my dearest, 
Sing no sad songs for me; 
Plant thou no roses at my head, 
Nor shady cypress tree: 
Be the green grass above me
With showers and dewdrops wet; 
And if thou wilt, remember, 
And if thou wilt, forget.


I shall not see the shadows, 
I shall not feel the rain; 
I shall not hear the nightingale
Sing on, as if in pain: 
And dreaming through the twilight
That doth not rise nor set, 
Haply I may remember, 
And haply may forget.


Recordings of Song:

 
 

WARM SUMMER SUN

WARM SUMMER SUN

WARM SUMMER SUN

Instrumentation: voice and piano

Poem by: Robert Richardson, adapted by Mark Twain

Duration: 2 minutes

Composed: 2015

Commissioned by: SubCulture Arts Underground, New York

Premiere: April 28, 2015 by Matthew Worth (baritone), Adriana Zabala (mezzo-soprano) and Gregg Kallor at SubCulture New York


Warm Summer Sun is a setting of Mark Twain’s adaptation of the final stanza of Robert Richardson’s Annette, which Twain transformed into a beautiful lullaby for the headstone of his recently deceased daughter.


poem:
Warm summer sun, 
Shine kindly here, 
Warm southern wind, 
Blow softly here. 
Green sod above, 
Lie light, lie light. 
Good night, dear heart, 
Good night, good night.


Recordings of Warm Summer Sun:

 
 

THE WIND

THE WIND

THE WIND

Instrumentation: voice and piano

Poem by: Sara Teasdale

Duration: 3 minutes

Composed: 2015

Commissioned by: SubCulture Arts Underground, New York

Premiere: April 28, 2015 at SubCulture New York by Adriana Zabala (mezzo-soprano) and Gregg Kallor


poem:
A wind is blowing over my soul, 
I hear it cry the whole night through -- 
Is there no peace for me on earth
Except with you?

Alas, the wind has made me wise, 
Over my naked soul it blew, -- 
There is no peace for me on earth
Even with you.


Recordings of The Wind:

 
 

YEATS SONGS

YEATS SONGS

YEATS SONGS

Instrumentation: voice and piano

Poems by: William Butler Yeats

Duration: 18 minutes

Composed: 2007, 2015

Premiere: March 20, 2007 by Adriana Zabala (mezzo-soprano) and Gregg Kallor at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York City

*The Mermaid premiere: April 28, 2015 by Adriana Zabala (mezzo-soprano) and Gregg Kallor at SubCulture New York

*When You Are Old premiere: April 28, 2015 by Matthew Worth (baritone) and Gregg Kallor at SubCulture New York


William Butler Yeats’ lilting rhythms and gorgeous language – the very sounds of his words – are captivating, but it’s the immediacy of his poems that I find so moving. He navigates fluidly between towering pride and self-effacement – shouting, whispering, cajoling, imploring, and enthralling with a storyteller’s magic. One of the things I love about Yeats is that he’s so confident and bold in one poem, and then so completely vulnerable in the next.

Yeats rhapsodizes with sublime arrogance about the moment of creative inspiration in Ribh In Ecstasy, likening his creative prowess to the earth-shattering orgy of gods spawning new gods. Then, as suddenly as it comes, the moment passes, and he leaves us in literary post-coital bliss.

In He wishes for the cloths of heaven, Yeats gives us an exquisitely tender expression of love that breaks my heart every time I read it. He writes:

I have spread my dreams under your feet;

Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

The songs in this set are grouped in pairs that highlight these two sides of Yeats’ poetry. And it ends, as all cycles should, with a drinking song. Cheers.


Yeats Songs:

  1. Ribh In Ecstasy

  2. He wishes for the Cloths of Heaven

  3. The Lady's First Song

  4. The Mermaid

  5. A Coat

  6. When You Are Old

  7. A Drunken Man's Praise of Sobriety


Recordings of Yeats Songs: