Friday, February 29, 2008

To Be Franc

Hear It (MP3)
See It (Score)

As promised, here is another art song, again for soprano and piano. This was composed for an abandoned opera (my first!), which was originally going to be my masters thesis. The story is an adaptation of Mark Twain's comic play "Is He Dead?", which is now being produced for the first time ever, on Broadway -- the play, that is... not my unfinished opera.

Composed in a little under one week while I was rushing to complete my first attempt at a thesis, To Be Franc is a light, miniature view into the mindset of the opera's leading lady, Marie, as she explains her devotion to her love, Jean-Francios Millet (yes, the French painter). Millet has no money, but Marie frankly (or franc-ly - nothing better than a cheap pun on currency) doesn't mind.

Moments of note include the muddy major third accompaniment motive in the piano, the return of earlier material in the piano's upper register (final section), and the singer's awesome high B natural near the end. That's a difficult note, especially at such a serene, exposed moment!

...which brings me to my next point - acknowledging this second performance of my music by soprano Rachel Barham (AKA "The World's Greatest Diva Ever In The History Of The Universe"). Oh, and some amateur is plunking away at the piano behind her; sorry for that.

Comment if you see fit...


  1. So far, of all the things you've thrown up on you blog, this is my favorite. Usually, I'm not a fan of singing in's a personal preference thing...but I loved this piece. I was feeling all misty in some spots.

    You should rush compose more often! :-P

  2. Thank you! You can expect that sort of lyrical setting on whatever I write for you. (btw - did you need piano too, or just cello?)

    I like to write things a bit more complex now, but pretty, lyrical melodies are always good!

  3. Maybe just cello, maybe both. Might be something I just leave up to you. :-) I'm still hunting for texts which has proven a bit harder than I thought.

  4. I couldn't listen to the MP3 on my caveputer! boo!