Asphodel (Fine, Vivian)
Maria Tegzes, soprano; Leone Buyse, flute; William Wizesien, clarinet; Nancy Cirrilo, violin; Katherine Murdock, viola; Kim Scholes, cello; Dean Anderson, percussion; Sally Pinkas, piano, Richard Pittman, conductor.
Vivian Fine Estate
Recorded live April 10, 1989, Kathryn Bache Miller Theater, New York. The first section (3 minutes) is marred by clicking but the rest of the piece is OK. This is the only extant recording.
|Year/Date of Composition||1988|
|First Performance||1989-04-10 in New York, Kathryn Bache Miller Theater
|Librettist||William Carlos Williams (1883–1963)|
|Average Duration||13 minutes|
|Instrumentation||Soprano, flute, clarinet, violin, viola, cello, percussion, piano|
Commissioned by the Boston Musica Viva
The text for the piece is about a long marriage and its weathering of storms; the lines come from a poem by William Carlos Williams. The speaker of the lines is apparently a man; he draws a comparison between himself and Orpheus, who went to hell for love’s sake. But in Fine’s music the singer becomes a coloratura soprano. The storms go by quickly, and the singer vocalizes flowering melismas of reconciliation over music that lifts the voice and wafts it like a gentle breeze. It’s a lovely piece, and Marla Tegzes sang it with sympathy and virtuosity.
- —Richard Dyer, The Boston Globe, April 22, 1989