Composer: Richard Hundley (1930-2018)
Title: Maud Muller (John Greenleaf Whittier)
Edited by Christopher Berg
Voice and Piano (Range C 4 to G-sharp 5)
(May be sung by a Soprano, Mezzo-Soprano, Tenor or High Baritone)
Duration: 14' 15"
Maud Muller was given its first—and to date only—performance on April 16, 1988 in Tarrytown, New
York. It was commissioned by the Sleepy Hollow Concert Association in commemoration of its 40th
anniversary. Christopher Trakas was the singer, chosen by the composer, who tailored the song
specifically to Christopher’s very beautiful baritone voice. Mr. Hundley played the piano part. I was
lucky enough to attend this performance. The piece was very well-received—but hard to define: is it a
long song? a solo cantata? a ballad? a story for voice and piano? Mr. Hundley considered all these as
possible subtitles but in the end did not attach any of them to the piece. It is certain, however, that he was
not happy with the ending he had composed and intended to rework it. But as time went on this seemed
to be a task that, for whatever reason, he never got to, despite my inquiring more or less monthly for
thirty years about his progress on it. After the composer’s death in 2018, Paul Sperry, Hundley’s musical
executor, and I examined Hundley’s unpublished works, among them Maud Muller, for their publication
potential. I feared that the ending he played in performance was an off-the-cuff improvisation, but was
pleased to find that there was in fact a manuscript score, albeit in pencil and with many scratchings out.
But without doubt, the composer had written in full detail the ending he had played, which was
confirmed by the recording made at the concert. It is that ending that is printed here.
My thanks go out to Christopher Trakas, who allowed me to examine his performance copy of the score.
It predates and differs in some details from the two copies that were found in the Hundley archive. A few
details have been clarified by consulting that copy. In the end, this score is the one performed at the
premiere, transcribed from the three extant scores and confirmed by the recording.
Thanks also to Gaylon Babcock who computer engraved the score with speed, efficiency and good
One performance direction was not included in the score, but should have been: the recording confirms
that the performance should be molto rubato throughout.
— Christopher Berg
Classical Vocal Reprints
(c) 2018 Estate of Richard Hundley
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