Night Will Blossom 

Composed in: 1994
Texts by: Walt Whitman
Jane Kenyon
Meng Hao-jan, trans. by Paul Kroll
John Masefield
William Carlos Williams
Gary Bachlund
Instrumentation: Voice, Flute, Piano
Vocal Range: B3-E4 or B2-E3
Commissioned by: Dorothy L. Carlson, MD
in honor of Gordon Carlson
on the occasion of his 70th birthday
Premiered by: Brian Leerhuber, baritone
Mark Carlson, flute
Bruce Olstad, piano
Publisher: C. Swigart Music

Program Notes

Night Will Blossom was commissioned by my aunt, Dorothy L. Carlson, as a gift for my uncle, Gordon Carlson, on the occasion of his 70th birthday in 1994. Though I was given free rein as to what kind of piece I might write, I was intrigued by the idea of doing something that dealt with issues of aging—something that might touch on feelings, from pleasure to fear, that we experience as we approach various milestones of growing older. A hunt for poems (a difficult one, given that the majority of poems on the subject I found were rather grim) began, and I settled on six.  They begin and end with poems about autumn—Whitman's about his intense pleasure in his 70th year and Gary Bachlund's picture of a time of comfort, of endings and new beginnings. The songs were premiered in Seattle in December of 1994 by baritone Brian Leerhuber, pianist Bruce Olstad, and me as flutist.


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