Casting Off (Bass-Baritone)
1. If I should cast off this tattered coat
2. Ay, workman, make me a dream
3. Once I knew a fine song
4. On the horizon the peaks assembled
5. Three little birds in a row
6. The livid lightnings flashed in the clouds
7. There came whisperings in the winds
8. Should the wide world roll away
Spencer Lang, tenor
Renate Rohlfing, piano
Robert May, tenor
Joe Mohan, piano
“Casting Off” was written from September 2011 to June 2012. I thought of the piece as a modern spin on Schumann’s “Dichterliebe,” in which a lone speaker narrates a series of dramatic and / or visionary vignettes, the content of which deal with the related themes of romantic desire and the creation of art. The movements are organized into a loose dramatic narrative, and each song is complemented by another song that occurs later in the cycle (It is paired with VIII, II with VI, III with V, and IV with VII). I have also attempted to organize the order of tonal centers for each song into a satisfying structure, and to highlight the drama, vivid imagery, and emotional directness of Stephen Crane’s (1871-1900) poetry.
Duration: Approx 15 mins.