The Nightingale (2005)
For narrator, flute (doubling piccolo), percussion, organ and speaking chorus; Running time aproximately 37 minutes; commissioned by King's Chapel, Boston to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Hans Christian Andersen's birth; premiered Sunday, October 23, 2005, 5:00 P.M. at King's Chapel, Boston; Tim Macri, flute, Heinrich Christensen, organ; Winnie Dahlgren, percussion. Program included James Woodman's "The Top and Ball " and "The Saucy Boy ." "The Nightingale" was subsequently recorded by WGBH radio and received its broadcast premiere on December 26, 2005 at 3:00 P.M.
Program notes from premiere:
The Nightingale is a fanciful work for flute, organ and percussion with spoken narration, based on the celebrated fable by Hans Christian Andersen. Playing on the dichotomy of Andersen's oriental themes presented through the lens of a distinctly 19th-century European sensibility, the music comments on the drama of the story through a series of motivic characterizations of the people and happenings that inhabit the vivid landscape of Andersen's imaginings. Alternatively light-hearted and dark in flavor, Andersen never fails to imbue each of his tales with a strong message and moral. This musical reflection on Andersen's text is handled with a light-hearted touch that is accessible to a wide audience and is suitable for children and adults alike.