COMPOSER 1945–2013

Opus 111

To the Keen Stars (1999)

for Voice and Piano

Text by Percy Bysshe Shelley

Duration: 4 min.

Recording: Albany TROY1353-54

Premiere: 2000; Lark Ascending; New York, NY

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Around the turn of the century—or millennium, I was commissioned by the foundation The Lark Ascending to write settings of such poets as John Milton and Percy Bysshe Shelley. The Shelley setting, (To the Keen Stars; his title was “to Jane”), the text tries to bring together earthly romance with music of the spheres and the stars. Quintuplet subdivisions of bars already in five beats spin around the ear, requiring not only virtuosity but a lightness of hand and voice on the part of the performers. (Notes by Arnold Rosner)