Composer: Henry Bollicone
Title: Collected Songs for Soprano and Piano
Collected Songs for Soprano and Piano includes music from the following sets of songs: Five Love Songs, Sueños de Esperanza, Three Simple Songs, and five excerpts from Seven Songs.
Five Love Songs: "Love songs are fun to compose—they are, after all, based upon something which almost everyone has experienced. Five Love Songs was written for my dear longtime friend, operatic soprano Maria Spacagna. Maria, who has been enjoying a very successful operatic career, requested that I compose something expressly for her. Being familiar with her rich soprano voice since I was very young, I’d been looking forward to finding time to satisfy her request. When the time finally came in 2000, I selected poems dealing with both the pleasurable and the painful experiences of love, experiences that Maria and I have sometimes shared as friends. (A very meaningful moment in my life was accompanying Maria in Schubert’s Ave Maria at my mother’s funeral. Having made music together in my mother’s presence so often in our youth, it was hard for both of us to hold back the tears.) The poets I selected all share a keen ability to express with great beauty the universal aspects of our experiences with love.
Sueños de Esperanza: These songs were composed for a benefit event held by DAY WORKERS OF MOUNTAIN VIEW, a strong organization that serves immigrants in Northern California. Having visited their offices, I was very impressed with the range of programs they provide for immigrants and the personal commitment of their director, Maria Marroquin. Maria interviewed four women and transcribed their true stories into poems which I have set to music. The stories have a common thread that suggests the difficult and painful experiences of immigration in our society. It is our hope that the stories of these brave women help to raise the awareness of this important issue.
Three Simple Songs: In early 2002, while waiting for William Luce to complete the libretto for our new opera Gabriel’s Daughter, I began sketching several songs for soprano, many based upon the words of a favorite poet of mine, Emily Dickinson. I wanted to preserve the elegance and clarity of text by keeping my music relatively simple in content, suitable for young professionals and college-age students of voice. The songs are dedicated to my friend, John Moriarty, one of the great vocal coaches and teachers of our time. A former teacher of mine at New England Conservatory in Boston, John Moriarty has strongly inspired me with his deep love and knowledge of lieder and opera, and made possible for me my first experience in the professional opera world as an 'apprentice coach and composer' with the Lake George Opera Festival in the late 1960s. He has trained a great many professional singers since then, and these songs are intended as a tribute to his good work.
Seven Songs: This group of songs is to me nostalgic—each song was dedicated to a dear and special person. They were composed between 1986 and 1989, and revised in 1999 for publication. The seven songs may be performed as a group or separately. (The final song, “Waiting,” seems to work well as a recital encore, and as such, was first performed by soprano Evelyn De La Rosa.)"
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Catalog No. 8371
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