Oblong folio. In original Archives "18 Stave Orchestral Score Book SB18S64" spiral-bound wrappers. 53 pp. Notated in pencil on 18-stave paper. With titling and "R. Danielpour Text by Toni Morrison 1st Draft - Nov. 97" in pencil in the composer's autograph to upper wrapper along with additional annotations.
With occasional autograph additions in red pencil.
Wrappers slightly worn with small tears to upper margin; small white price sticker to lower left. Upper outer corners slightly creased.
A vibrant working manuscript.
"Spirits in the Well was composed at Yaddo in Saratoga Springs in the last week of November, 1997. The text to the four songs by Toni Morrison were sent by Ms. Morrison following my desire to compose a second song cycle for Jessye Norman. Sweet Talk, which was composed in 1996, had its premiere at Carnegie Hall, New York in April 1997. What emerged was a darker, less florid and perhaps more intimate piece than Sweet Talk. 1 was also interested in writing a work for voice and piano alone, as none of my dozen or so works involving voice had been set for that very standard combination. So, why did this piece need to be written? Simply because of my deep identification with Ms. Morrison' s lyrics, and my profound appreciation for the way Ms. Norman approaches and sings my music. A final note: the commission was made possible by Lincoln Center with generous support from the A. B. and Flavia McEachern Foundation. In particular I want to thank Marsha Morrison, her son, Gavin, and Jane Moss at Lincoln Center for helping to bring this work into being. - Richard Danielpour, New York, March 1998.
Grammy-Award winning Richard Danielpour "is an outstanding composer for any time, one who knows how to communicate deep, important emotions through simple, direct means that nevertheless do not compromise." (New York Daily News). A distinctive American voice, his music is of large and romantic gestures, brilliantly orchestrated, intensely expressive, and rhythmically vibrant." phytheasmusic.org
"Richard Danielpour… has become one of the most sought-after composers of his generation - a composer whose distinctive American voice is part of a rich neo-Romantic heritage with influences from pivotal composers like Britten, Copland, Bernstein, and Barber. His works are solidly rooted in the soil of tradition, yet [sing] with an optimistic voice for today… [They] speak to the heart as well as the mind." schirmer.com
"Like many American composers of his generation, Danielpour has largely divorced himself from serial techniques, which were important to early works such as the First String Quartet (1983). With First Light (1988), he found a new, distinctly American voice. He is best known for his orchestral and chamber music, including vocal works in both genres. Although he is often described as a neo-romantic, his musical language is broadly based and widely varied... In his vocal works, which display pristine idiomatic writing, he has collaborated increasingly with living poets. Many of his instrumental works are given evocative titles that refer to extra-musical sources." Laurie Shulman in Grove Music Online. Item #31606
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