Song Collection

Notes on Fidelity from the composer:

"Completed in 1996, Fidelity is a cycle of 8 love songs about a long-term monogamous relationship. Originally written for two men, it was composed so that the tenor part could alternatively be sung by a soprano - the heterosexual version. The cycle follows a relationship from its tentative, doubting beginnings through various stages of intensification to thoughts of betrayal and finally to an eternal intertwining of souls.

"The most difficult poem of the cycle is 'Moon, Sun, Sleep, Birds, Live' by Kenneth Patchen. The central body of the poem is surrounded by a rectangular box of words, drawn from life and seemingly random, with a few interspersed among the stanzas of the poem in the center. I have set the central poem in the form of a chaconne for baritone and piano, with the surrounding words sung by the tenor/soprano as an eight-note ostinato descant.

"Fidelity is dedicated to my life partner, Ralph Jackson."

This cycle was originally written for tenor, baritone and piano, but the tenor part may also be sung by a soprano.

The audio selections feature Nina Faia, soprano, Anthony Zoeller, baritone, and Terry Decima, piano. The recordings are from a live performance in Boston, 1998 (unrevised piano version). Used with the permission of the composer.

Date: 1996Composer: David LeisnerText: Wendell Berry, William Meredith, Kenneth Patchen, Leslie Marmon Silko, May Swenson, Walt Whitman

Print vitals & song text

Related Information




    Support us and help us grow

    Dear friends, Thank you for helping us build a comprehensive online archive of American song. Your gift is greatly appreciated.