Mother to Son (Langston Hughes)
About this work:
I began presenting my compositions at the Lesbian and Gay Center on West 13th and the Greenwich Music House in concerts sponsored by Positive Music. Another core member of the group, flutist, Don Hulbert, asked me to consider writing a flute sonata with a quasi-torch song as its second movement, suggesting this Langston Hughes poem, Mother To Son, that imparted a special sense of confidence to him as a gay teenager. Don commissioned me to write the sonata in 1996 and it was premiered at the National Flute Association’s AIDS Memorial concert in New York in August of that year. With great style Don put down his flute and sang the second movement.
Available through Classical Vocal Reprints Four Songs Volume I (CVR3261). Contact composer for the lower key.
This song can be found on the Newport Classic compact disc, Women’s Voices (NPD85613) pairing Ned Rorem’s cycle Women’s Voices with Seven Songs of Martin Hennessy.
Version: high voice and piano
Year composed: 1996
Ensemble type: Voice, Solo or With Chamber or Jazz Ensemble:Solo Voice with Keyboard
Instrumentation: 1 Piano, 1 High Voice