Songs of Enchantment and Wonder

Full Score: PDF
1. Good and Bad Children Mvt1
2. The Land of Nod Mvt2
3. The Swing Mvt3
4. Good Night Mvt4

Instrumentation: mezzo-soprano, piano
Vocal Range: Bb3 - F5
Duration: ca. 12:45
Year of Completion: 2010
Program Notes

The poetry in Robert Louis Stevenson's A Child's Garden of Verses provides a charming portrayal of childhood, from imaginary lands to playtime and even the occasional stern lecture by an adult. The four poems selected for this cycle represent a musical depiction of these childhood scenes. Rather than using pastiche or parody, I wanted to set these poems in a serious fashion that captures the pure joy of the original text. After all, every child knows playtime is serious business!

"Good and Bad Children" provides a stern lecture about the perils of misbehaving, sung from the perspective of a child reciting the grown-ups warning. The magical place depicted in "The Land of Nod" is an imaginary world not only full of wonder but also with dangerous things lurking in the dark. "The Swing" is a joyous celebration of swinging and the sensation of flight, while "Good Night" finds the children finally heading upstairs to bed.