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Composition Spotlight: A Widow's Song

COMPOSITION SPOTLIGHT ~ by Jack Senzig
 
(Each week we look at one or two of the best choral works posted in the Composition Showcase here on ChoralNet.  This is where we store a treasure trove of works that your choirs will love to sing and your audiences will love to hear.)
 
A Widow’s Song (From “How To” Five Songs for Chorus) by David Lipten for SATB Divisi and piano (Click here for PDF and here for AUDIO)
 
Level: College or Higher
Uses: General Concert Use
Program Themes: Time, Love, Modern Poets
This Piece Would Program Well With: The 21st Century (A Girl Born in Afghanistan) by Greg Bartholomew available from http://www.gregbartholomew.com/21Cindex.html
 
“The varicose veins in you legs” is a line of text I have never encountered in a song before.  Like the line “Talk Fahrenheit, talk Centigrade” from Thompson’s Choose Something Like a Star I think it is a text that will stay with you and your singers forever once you perform this piece.
 
Poet William Reichard and composer David Lipten collaborated to create this unusual and moving work after meeting at the META artist’s retreat in Asheville, N.C.  The recordings are made by Matthew Curtis and ChoralTracks.com. 
 
This work and the complete set of 5 are available on the Composition Showcase
on February 23, 2014 10:48am
Why isn't A Widow's Song written in SSAA?  My vwomen's vocal ensemble is hungry for contemporary pieces suitable for mature women.  So much "women's" music is aimed at school girls.  The women in my group range in age from 40 - 83 and several of my singers are widows.  We sing very well and work hard to interpret songs the way we think the composer would want.  Where is our widow's song?  Carla Strandberg, Director Women of Note.  Long Beach, California.