a song cycle for flute, clarinet, percussion, piano, violin, cello, soprano, and bass baritone
Text by Dylan Thomas (1914 – 1953), used with permission by New Directions Publishing Corp.
Reading by Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble conducted by Kevin Noe.
Lindsay Kesselman, soprano
Lindsey Goodman, flute
Kevin Schempf, clarinet
Ian Rosenbaum, percussion
Erika Dohi, piano
Nathalie Shaw, violin
Norbert Lewandowski, cello
Part I: The Vision
Song I. Who Are you
Song II. I Must lie
Song III. When The wren Bone writhes down
Song IV: There Crouched bare
Part II: The Prayer
Song V: In the name of the lost
Song VI: Forever falling night
Song VII: I turn a corner of prayer
Vision And Prayer is a setting of Dylan Thomas’s concrete poem of the same name from his 1946 collection of poems entitled Deaths and Entrances. The piece is divided into two sections, “The Vision,” consisting of an instrumental prelude and four songs, and “The Prayer” consisting of an instrumental interlude and three songs. Songs I., III., and VI. are for soprano voice, while song V. is for bass baritone voice. Both soprano and bass baritone voices sing together on songs II., IV., and VII.
According to many accounts, Dylan Thomas was not a religious man, but my interpretation of his poem is centered on an awakening of faith in God and the emotional rollercoaster of highs and lows, varying degrees of questioning, searching, doubt, and acceptance that begins, and in most cases, never ends when this profound moment of rebirth ensues in the life of a human being.