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The three poems by Jean Toomer were selected for their beauty of language, wide palette of colours and imagery, and strength of feeling. I stumbled upon them while browsing a website of American poets. I had not intended to set work by an author who was so politically motivated, but the instant reaction in my heart on reading them made these a must. I must confess to not understanding the poems completely, but that air of mystery appeals all the same. I've attempted to set the poems in an honest and respectful way, but I have had to rely on my own interpretation and instinct in doing so. This set of songs is a quest for, or dream of, beauty, and the difficulties one meets on the way. Emotional poles are used to structure the music and highlight my interpretation of the texts.
- Storm Ending
- Evening Song
- her lips are copper wire
Poems by Jean Toomer
16 Jul 2006: Performed by Claire Nash (soprano), Auckland Chamber Orchestra, conducted Peter Scholes; Town Hall, Auckland