COMPOSER 1945–2013

Opus 116

Strictly Personals (2001)

for Soprano, Baritone, and String Quartet (or Piano)

Text by Arnold Rosner

  • Successful and Pretty
  • Roommate Wanted
  • Carmensita de Morales
  • The Silver Years
  • Swinging Couple

Duration: 18 min.

Dedication: to Elodie Lauten

Recording: Albany TROY1353-54

Premiere: 2005; E. Farnum D. Inferrera; P. Kampmeier; New York, NY

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I had often wondered whether my head is in the clouds too much, and perhaps my music does not address how we feel right here and right now. During such a period of contemplation I attended a performance of a work about the poet Allen Ginsberg by the composer Elodie Lauten. This was enough to start me writing Strictly Personals—a song-cycle consisting essentially of texts one might actually find in “personals” ads in print or on-line. These are, of course, humorous and needy at the same time, and bespeak various individual viewpoints on the loneliness and vulnerability of the human condition. I wrote the texts entirely myself, though they may well resemble real examples of such advertisements. The work is for soprano, baritone and either piano (as recorded) or string quartet. The soprano sings in nos. 1 and 3, the baritone in 2 and 4, and no. 5 is a duet. (Notes by Arnold Rosner)