LET US GO THEN (2016)

for baritone voice and piano

Duration: ca. 3'

PROGRAM NOTES:

 

When I first read T. S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” I knew immediately that I wanted to set the poem to music. In addition to being labeled a “love song,” Eliot’s poetry seemed inherently musical to me, and so I set out to compose Let Us Go Then (2016) to highlight the some of the song-like qualities of the text.

Since “Prufrock” was first published in 1915 while the impressionist movement was in full swing, the song takes influence from the vocal music of composers Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel to allude to what Prufrock (or Eliot) might have heard if he had walked into a concert hall. Following the impressionist school of thought, the piece aims to suggest the mood of specific images in the text, such as the yellow fog and the grimy streets of the city at night. As a whole, Let Us Go Then evokes the dreamlike qualities of Eliot’s poem and characterizes the young Prufrock, who seems unconcerned and unhurried on the surface but who reveals in his darkest moments the feelings hopelessness and insecurity that underscore the rest of the poem.

RECORDINGS:

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