Shakespearian Setting (1994)

for Baritone Voice, String Quartet, and Percussion

This piece, a setting of "King Lear" Act III, Scene 2 finds the king and title character at his maddest, both psychologically and emotionally. He stands in a wild thunderstorm, bellowing his defiance at the heavens:

Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow!
You cataracts and hurricanoes, spout
Till you have drench'd our steeples, drown'd the cocks!
You sulphurous and thought-executing fires,
Vaunt couriers of oak-cleaving thunderbolts,
Singe my white head! And thou, all shaking thunder,
Strike flat the thick rotundity o' the world!
Crack nature's moulds, all germens spill at once,
That make ingrateful man!

The work is dedicated to Burton Wasserman, the Philadelphia based visual artist, teacher, and art journalist.

Performance history:
12/94 - by Todd Thomas, baritone; Inna Nedorezor and Claire-Jeanne Martin, violin; Ruth Wright, viola; Charles Forbes, cello; Jay Fisher, percussion; Jason Roth, conductor.
Rowan University, Glassboro, New Jersey.

to List of Works