The Garland Songs

Linda Tutas Haugen

About this work:
The Garland Songs were composed in 1998 and premiered at the International Judy Garland Festival in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. (Judy Garland was born in Grand Rapids and lived there during early childhood.) The songs were commissioned by the Judy Garland Children’s Museum and underwritten by the American Composers Forum through its Rural Commissioning Program and supported by the Rockefeller Foundation. The Commission was part of a pilot program of the ACF for its “Continental Harmony” project, and included composer-in-residence activities which resulted in contact with over 1100 music students in the public schools, composition and songwriting workshops and teaching a core group of student composers in grades six through twelve to write and perform their own music. The texts of The Garland Songs are based upon poems written by Judy Garland in her late teens -- poems that she had printed and bound in leather and given to a few friends and relatives. They reflect the thoughts and feelings of a bright, sensitive and insightful young woman. While much of the poetry is quite dramatic, it is mature beyond her years, and above all, honest and direct. I. Lover’s Goodbye to a Departing Soldier uses excerpts from a much longer poem of the same name. It reflects the feelings of one being left behind, resignation to the condition of war, and the desire that however her lover is changed by his ordeal, that he returns. II. The First Cigarette is a female muse on being glamorous and pursued. It is the lightest of the four poems and combines innocence with a sense of humor. III. My Love Is Lost describes the ending of a relationship in an eloquent and intimate way. It was obviously written when she was young and expresses universal feelings of loss. IV. Homage: The Wish captures her profound yearning to express through words and song, her deepest feelings of love. It is a dark, prophetic vision of her struggle as an artist, foreshadowing her devotion to her audience and her untimely death. The composer has dedicated this setting as her homage to Judy Garland in gratitude and respect for her contributions to our artistic heritage. Ms. Haugen writes: “I always have as my goal to write music that will be aesthetically significant and of lasting beauty. I hope that I have in some way enhanced the meaning of these poems that allow us to look through the window at who Judy Garland was as a young woman.”
Year composed: 1998
Duration: 00:16:00
Ensemble type: Voice, Solo or With Chamber or Jazz Ensemble
Instrumentation: 1 Clarinet, 1 Piano, 1 Cello, ,1 Soprano soloist(s)
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