In 2002, just after graduating from college, I moved to Philadelphia to pursue a dual career in arts administration and composing. While holding down a couple of part-time jobs involving many file folders and mailing labels, I quickly set to work on a new choral piece, a setting of Federico García Lorca’s poem “Narciso.” I was fascinated at the time with lush, complex harmonies that seemed to hang in the air forever, so I wrote the piece in 12 parts (SSSAAATTTBBB). It would end up being my first piece to be heard outside of a school setting when it was selected the following spring for a reading session with members of the Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia (at the time directed by David Tang). True to form, I didn’t think the 16 singers provided with the reading would be sufficient for the piece, so I recruited 8 more on my own. The result is the lovely recording below.  (By the way, the singers used Latin American Spanish diction in the reading, rather than, as I would later learn, the European Spanish that would have been familiar to Lorca.)

(Reminder: click through to the post if you’re using a feed reader or email and don’t see the sound file.)

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  • http://www.theanthropologists.org Melissa Fendell Moschitto

    This was beautiful. Thanks for sharing this. I am a Lorcaphile so anything Lorca-related automatically piques my interest. However, I also really appreciated the wealth of singers you employed for this project. Lush, indeed.