About this work:
World Premier sung by baritone, Peter Van Derick, February 22, 1995 with the composer accompanying in a concert by Positive Music at the Lesbian and Gay Center in New York City.
I entitle the well-known excerpt from Letters to a Young Poet, “Mentor” and dedicate it to a former piano teacher. For me the words embody the secret of a great teacher: that deep acceptance of one’s own humanity. The piano enters with a stately figure, which seems to genuflect in humility before Rilke’s gentle counsel begins. The poet bares his soul utterly. The tender and stately theme returns before a pendulous harmony ends the song as if to say, “Now, it is your turn.”
Available through Classical Vocal Reprints Four Songs Volume II (CVR3441). Contact composer for 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: 1992
Ensemble type: Voice, Solo or With Chamber or Jazz Ensemble:Solo Voice with Keyboard
Instrumentation: 1 Piano, 1 High Voice