Publisher: G. Schirmer
Give Thanks for All Things (2010)
Associated Music Publishers Inc
Chorus and Orchestra/Ensemble
November 5 2010
David Hoose, conductor
Jordan Hall, Boston
When David Hoose invited me to write a piece for the Cantata Singers I proposed a Comic Cantata. I thought I’d had enough of the high rhetoric of elevated sentiments, or moralistic parables, of passionate religious narratives, of confrontations with death and the hereafter. I searched in vain for a text, a scenario. I sought guidance from the fellowship of eminent living poets but nothing lit the fire of fun I was seeking. Finally I abandoned my original idea and turned to a slender sheaf of poems I’d been assembling over several years. Most were old: biblical psalms, Cato fragments, Shakespeare, Medieval Irish, but also Whitman and a recent psalm by Richard Wilbur. With the exception of the biblical psalms the texts were about death and grieving…the ultimate comedy?