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What the Living Do

On 21, Nov 2012 | In | By admin

What the Living Do

What The Living Do (Poem by Marie Howe)
Instrumentation: Soprano and piano
Duration: 6:30

Setting of Marie Howe’s powerful poem, which juxtaposes the profound loss accompanying a loved one’s death with the mundanity of daily life. Recording available on CD Extraordinary Vistas: Words and Music of The MacDowell Colony (Americus)


Excerpt 1:
 Opening, freely (mm. 1-27). 
Susan Narucki, soprano; Alan Feinberg, piano

Excerpt 2:
 simply (mm. 71-82)
. Nancy Wait-Kromm, soprano; Hans Boepple, piano

Read the poem

View a perusal score here

What the critics say:

“…the real treats are the handful of surprises… Friedman’s epic “What the Living Do,” based on the title poem of Marie Howe’s 1998 collection, clocks in at nearly seven minutes and feels much larger than an art song. But who says art songs must be brief and aphoristic?”

Frank Oteri, NewMusicBox

Commission: Susan Narucki.
Premiere: 4.9.95, Miller Theatre, Susan Narucki, sop; Allison Voth, pno. National tour: Princeton Univ, 92nd St. Y, Monadnock Festival, etc. Susan Narucki – sop, Alan Feinberg – pno; Premiere of revised version: 11.06.09, Santa Clara University New Music Festival, Nancy Wait-Kromm, soprano; Hans Boepple, piano
Recording: Extraordinary Vistas: Words and Music of The MacDowell Colony (Americus) What The Living Do
Download the program note Download the program note