Huit Chansons de Fleurs

Eight Songs for High Voice and Piano

Texts by Emily Dickinson, Ricky Ian Gordon, Donald Hall, Jane Kenyon, Dorothy Parker, Telmo Dos Santos, and William Wordsworth

Published by Theodore Presser Company

Duration: 20 min.

Voices: High Voice

Instrumentation: Solo Piano

Commission: From Tony, with love to his wife, So-Chung. May we all bloom with kindness and cherish each other with love. For life, like a flower, is precious and impermanent.

Premiere: May 13, 2024, Erin Morley (soprano) and Gerald Martin Moore (piano)

Recording: Rose in Bloom (Orchid Classics Catalogue No. ORC100294), released April 19, 2024 by Presto Music

Click on each item to see the full contents:

Songs

1. We Should Not Mind So Small a Flower (Emily Dickinson)
2. I Wandered Lonely As a Cloud (William Wordsworth)
3. The Tulips (Ricky Ian Gordon)
4. One Perfect Rose (Dorothy Parker)
5. Peonies at Dusk (Jane Kenyon)
6. Her Garden (Donald Hall)
7. Afterlife with Lilacs (Telmo Dos Santos)
8. Play, Orpheus (Ricky Ian Gordon)

Notes

What’s in a name? While the title is French for “Eight Flower Songs,” the texts are all in English. The poems’ flowers metaphorically evoke fragrance, love and loss, life and death, rebirth and regrowth. Perhaps the texture and beauty of Gordon’s music are themselves French. The 20-minute song cycle draws on poems from Wordsworth to Dorothy Parker, as well as from contemporary poets including the composer himself.