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songs and dances

Composed in 2008

For soprano and piano

Duration: 10:30

Text: Lewis Carroll (public domain)


I. A Game of Fives

II. Jabberwocky

III. The Lobster Quadrille


The central conceit of Songs and Dances is that each piece includes

an extended dance sequence (e.g. the “galumphing” jig in “Jabberwocky”), often seeming to appear out of nowhere. “A Game of Fives” is a short dance in (what else?) 5/8 meter that rises and falls in key as the text follows the development of five little girls into grown women. Notice how the 5/8 feel changes to a “waltzy” 6/8 when the girls get older. In “Jabberwocky” I wanted to give the feel of an old epic ballad, telling a classic tale of a heroic youth who slays a great beast. “The Lobster Quadrille” is in a way the closest to a true “song and dance” number. The freely sung conversation between the whiting (a type of fish) and the snail repeatedly gives way to exhortations to “come and join the dance.”



First Performance: December 22nd, 2008

All Hallows Church, La Jolla, CA

Katina Mitchell, soprano; Peter Walsh, piano



Recording: New Music New Haven, April 22nd, 2009

Morse Recital Hall, Yale University, New Haven, CT

Mireille Asselin, soprano; Helen Huang, piano


Related Works:

A Dream Within A Dream

A Winter Bluejay


What Beckons

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