A Love Imagined (2004-5)

Eight Songs from Ten Poems by Herbert Scott for voice and piano  -  52 minutes

 

November

In a Field of Sunlight

Night Walking

Snowstorm on Mozart's Birthday

Mother at the Mirror, 1939

Invocation

The Song the Burnt Child Sings

Rain After Midnight

Poem (for Shirley)

Evening, Milking

FRANK STEMPER

Many of the poems set in this song cycle were written after the poet, Herbert Scott, discovered the leukemia that eventually killed him.  Thus, they are a recollection, a reflection, or perhaps a reliving of his life, as a boy and young man.  Therefore, as the project of composing this setting of ten poems began, it was doubtful that the poet would be around for their premiere.  However, meeting with Mr. Scott on several occasions during the composition process found him not just in admirably good spirits, but remarkably, astonishingly, heroically stronger than the cancer that was killing him.  His LIFE continued to be consumed with his life: with poetry, not just his own, as well as virtually all other art forms, and overwhelmingly with his family.  This project perhaps rejuvenated him, but he had an inner spirit that was as strong as an ox. The first performance of A Love Imagined occurred about five months after the poet was expected to succumb.  Instead, at that performance, he gave of reading of his poetry and then went on a poetry reading tour of the eastern United States and Prague.
Poet Herbert Scott passed away in February 2006, 14 months after the original diagnosis and a month after a performance of A Love Imagined in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where he worked for decades.  One of the last times I saw Herb Scott, he surprised me by grabbing my arm and dancing a gig, as if he was thumbing his nose at the poison in his body.
http://frankstemper.com

 

 


Last Updated: August 14, 2008