We Who Would Be Great And Kind: A Composition For Mezzo Soprano And Ensemble

WE WHO WOULD BE GREAT AND KIND, op.10: a composition for soprano-coloratura, mezzo-soprano, and ensemble (1998).

Lyrics: Cecile Goding.

Duration: 6 minutes.

Premiere information: Emily Truckenbrod, soprano-coloratura; Rachel Andrews, mezzo-soprano; Heather Webb & Joao Baptista Sartor, alto flute and piccolo flute; Sarah Leavengood & Anton Hatwich, contrabasses; Pat Anderson, Joe Bohling, Jonathan Crawford, Scott Morgan, percussion; Sergio Espinoza, conductor.

Words and Music Concert, Clapp Recital Hall, The University of Iowa School of Music, Iowa City, IA, April 19, 1998.

Program Notes

We Who Would Be Great And Kind was created in 1998, as a collaboration between the music composition department and the writers workshop of The University of Iowa. Twenty composers and twenty poets were chosen by lot five times. The resulting five "pairs" had to create projects, from minor to major ones, within an academic semester. This composition is the final project of the "pair" Cecile Goding/Katerina Stamatelos.

Cecile Goding's Notes

I told Katerina I'd been reading about a funeral performed by Scandinavian merchants on the Volga in A.D. 922, during which a child was sacrificed. The rhythms of Lamentations (the King James version) were also in my mind. We listen to the news. We can hardly hear the innocent on the bier.

Katerina's Notes

As the "pairs" of the last (and main) project of this collaboration were announced and I found out that Cecile was my assigned poet, I felt really excited! 

I had liked her poetry all along but never had the chance to work with her.

We started working right away, and she handed me this rough 'account' among other poetry of hers: that triggered my fantasy! I picked it up and just 'cut' the four pages into just one, to fit the rather short composition. But Cecile wanted to rework on it. Just two days later, we met for coffee and she gave me her poem to read: I was truly impressed! Here, in front of me, stood a masterpiece of a poem!

The story of the account is this: there was apparently a small group of young girls (pre-adolescent ages) living with the merchants. When the death of their 'master' is announced, the girls are asked the question: "who is going with him?" A young girl springs up and shouts: "me!". Is it really a sacrifice? Is the young girl a 'willing offer'? Cecile's adaptation of the text is masterful: there is darkness, there is love, there is ambition (the girl wants to be a 'star'!). In the background of the actual collaboration, the Bosnia war was going on: Cecile is a very sensitive person and reacted accordingly. I tried to pay tribute to this amazing poem by choosing a 'dark' instrumentation and two amazing singers.

Music Related Articles

Josquin des Prez Mass:  one of the leading composers of the Mass in the Renaissance was Josquin desPrez. Innovations in composition of melody and use of cantus firmus techniques characterize his style. This paper will discuss these compositional techniques in light of historical influences and scholarly research: the focus of this research is the Josquin des Prez Mass.

Josquin des Prez Mass

Pythagoras Biography, provides crucial information about the most famous of the pre-Socratic philosophers. Pythagoras, the Ionian Greek scientist, mathematician, politician, religious and moral reformer, is also known as a great mystic and founder of a religious circle under the name Pythagoreanism.

Pythagoras Biography

Brain and Music Research. The overall effect of music on the brain has been a matter of persistent debate since the oldest of times. Music is a form of art whose importance in the personal and professional lives of most individuals cannot be overstated. 

Brain and Music Research

Recent Articles

  1. Sxisma Fashion Helen Collection

    Jan 16, 18 07:58 AM

    Sxisma Fashion Helen Collection. Sleeveless Casual Dress. Designer Oversized Summer Look.

    Read More

  2. Sxisma Fashion Medea Vest Dress

    Jan 15, 18 10:10 PM

    Sxisma Fashion Medea Vest Dress

    Read More

  3. Sxisma Fashion Eos Collection.

    Jan 15, 18 01:58 PM

    Sxisma Fashion Eos Collection. Casual Pull-Over Midi Dress Online.

    Read More

We Who Would Be Great and Kind: the recording

The recording of this composition was based on its live performance during the World and Music concert, as stated above.