New England Folk Songs (Voice & Piano)

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New England Folk Songs[Page].jpg
Steve Danyew_New England Folk Songs.png
New England Folk Songs[Page].jpg

New England Folk Songs (Voice & Piano)

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A whimsical song cycle about serene New England landscapes as they change and unfold throughout the year, with texts by New England poets.

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Pricing

Printed Score: $24
Digital PDF Score: $18
 

Details

Medium Voice and Piano
Year of Composition: 2015
Length: 15:00 

Program Note

In 2014, I began thinking of ideas for my second song cycle (the first was Alcott Songs in 2013-14). I thought it might be fun to compile a series of texts that describe the seasons in New England.  

Having grown up in Connecticut, I always feel a special bond with New England poets and descriptions of the wonderful New England landscapes. I decided to develop this idea and compose a song cycle based on seasons in New England with texts by New England poets.

The cycle begins with a Louisa May Alcott text about a sprouting seed in spring, just after winter. Next is a lighthearted Emily Dickinson poem that is essentially a letter from a fly to a bee in the springtime. The third song is a setting of Sarah Orne Jewett’s poem “Boat Song,” which describes a lazy summer evening on the water. The fourth song uses stanzas from Jewett’s “Top of the Hill,” which paints a vivid picture of a small New England town in Autumn. The final song is a setting of Jewett’s “A Country Boy in Winter,” a wonderful depiction of a young boy’s winter adventures.

Originally, I planned to call the cycle, “Songs from New England,” but as I began writing, I felt like each song developed some folk-song qualities. All the music is my own composition, but perhaps with folk song influences. Inspired by the simplicity and folk-like elements of the texts and picturing the serene New England landscapes as they change and unfold throughout the year, I chose, in the end, to name the cycle, “New England Folk Songs.”