Today's #artsongfix is Travels' End, by Chicagoan Florence Price.
Mary Folwell Hoisington's poem is narrated by a weary traveller who longs to sleep peacefully, as they did once in their childhood bed. Price's hymn-like piano accompaniment creates a prayerful atmosphere for the narrator to confess in the final line:
I would that your sheet might be my shroud,
And I in earth be laid.
A sweeping melody in the piano part brings the song to a deeply satisfying conclusion.
This performance features bass-baritone David Govertsen and pianist Maria Sumareva on FCE's November 9, 2019 American Woman concert at St. Paul and the Redeemer in Hyde Park, Chicago.
To learn more about Florence Price's remarkable life, visit the African American Art Song Alliance website. To view a list of her works, check out the African Diaspora Music Project database. Many of Florence Price's works are available for purchase in sheet music at Classical Vocal Reprints.
This week's #artsongfix highlights Andrea Clearfield's setting of Angelique V. Nixon's poem, This Arc Towards Justice.
This Arc Towards Justice was commissioned in 2015 by Susquehanna University, where Dr. Nixon is Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing. Nixon's poem reflects on the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., proclaiming:
50 years later
we are still fumbling
in the shadow of your dream
Angelique V. Nixon is the author of Resisting Paradise (winner of the Caribbean Studies Association's 2016 Barbara T. Christian Award for Best in the Humanities) and Saltwater Healing–A Myth Memoir and Poems.
This performance features soprano Sarah van der Ploeg, alto saxophonist J. Michael Weiss-Holmes, and pianist Andrew Rosenblum as a part of FCE's American Woman concert at the Church of St. Paul and the Redeemer on November 9, 2019.
Hello, and welcome to the blog! We are Fourth Coast Ensemble, Chicago's classical vocal quartet. Join a different member of our ensemble each week for insights into our favorite art songs, links to archival and new recordings, and reflections on why we value and continue to come back to this musical medium. We proudly present, your weekly #artsongfix!