One Sweet Morning for mezzo soprano and orchestra. Autograph musical sketchleaf for the work composed to commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Titled and signed by the composer. Undated, but 2010
by CORIGLIANO, John 1938-
Corigliano, a multi-award-winning American composer, was commissioned by Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic to compose a work to commemorate the 10th anniversary of September 11th 2001. One Sweet Morning, with text by Milosz, Homer, Li Po, and Harburg, was first performed on September 11th 2011 by the Philharmonic with Stephanie Blythe as soloist and praised by music critics including Anthony Tommasini: "With a viscerally emotional score One Sweet Morning shifts in mood from ruminative to bellicose, from mystical to wrenching. Mr. Corigliano has long drawn from diverse styles to fashion his musical voice.... the skill and vision at play are impressive." The New York Times, October 2, 2011"Ten years later, that day is more calmly remembered as just one in a continuum of terrible days. September 11th, 2001 was discrete and specific: but war and its anguishes have been with us forever. I needed a cycle of songs that would embed 9/11 into that larger story. So I chose four poems (one of them part of an epic poem) from different ages and countries.The first poem— Czeslaw Milosz's "A Song on the End of the World," written in Warsaw in 1944— sets a tranquil scene: a vista of serenity that still hints at the possibility of chaos to come. The poet's descriptions of everyday matters turn chilling when he notes, "No one believes it is happening now." My setting for these words is hushed and motionless, never rising in volume and intensity.Shattering the calm is the second poem: that portion of Homer's Iliad chronicling a massacre led by the Greek prince Patroclus. Each kill is described in detail; the music, too, strives for the brutal and unsparing."War South of the Great Wall," by the 8th century poet Li Po, follows. Its cool, atmospheric language views a bloody battle from a great remove: warriors seem to "swarm like armies of ants." The narrator's poise collapses only when she reveals "my husband - my sons - you'll find them all there, out where war-drums throb and throb." Her anguish, and the battle that is its cause, surge in an orchestral interlude, climaxing with the orchestra alone meditating on the narrator's themes.The orchestra, diminishing in intensity, introduces the poem that gives the cycle its name: "One Sweet Morning," by E. Y. ("Yip") Harburg, a name that might surprise audiences who know it principally from his sparkling lyrics for such plays and movies as "The Wizard of Oz" and "Finian's Rainbow." But Harburg also wrote a few volumes of light and not-so-light verse, and it was in one of those that I came upon this deep and tender lyric."One Sweet Morning" ends the cycle with the dream of a world without war - an impossible dream, perhaps, but certainly one worth dreaming. In this short poem, Harburg paints a beautiful scene where "the rose will rise...spring will bloom...peace will come....one sweet morning." john corigliano.com.. 1 page. Oblong folio, 280 x 420 mm. Notated in pencil on light green 16-stave printed Aztec XX-16 music paper. 7 measures of the opening of the work in condensed score occupying the upper 7 staves. Originally titled "Skylines" and altered to "One Sweet Morning." With an autograph note in the composer's hand "Discarded opening of song cycle 'One Sweet Morning' John Corigliano." (Inventory #: 27523)
Musical Autographs and Manuscripts; Rare Books on Music and Dance; First and Early Editions of Printed Music; Prints, Drawings and Ephemera relating to Music and Dance including Opera and Ballet.
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