Sonnet for Michael (Millay)
About this work:
Sonnet for Michael is a setting of Millay’s poem Time does not bring relief and was commissioned by my friend, baritone, Peter Van Derick, in memory of Michael Alhonte, a young musician and singer, struck down by AIDS. The piano prelude evokes the fragility of beauty swept up in a harsh, uncertain world. The opening line rips from the heart in agonizing admission. Anger inundates and condemns in “you all have lied.” A poignant lullaby provides the setting’s core, exposing time and space that only echo loss. I accompanied Peter as he premiered Sonnet in a concert at St. Bart’s Chapel in Manhattan on November 6, 1996.
Available through Classical Vocal Reprints in Four Songs Volume II (CVR3441).
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: for high voice and piano
Year composed: 1996
Ensemble type: Unknown:unknown 1