Symphony No. 2: Aussöhnung
for soprano and orchestra(1986)
|Text information||Text by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe|
|Commission||Commissioned for the Houston Symphony by Meet the Composer Residencies Program, with grants from Exxon Corporation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts|
|Premiere||October 25, 1986 Houston, TX (USA); Judith Bettina, soprano; Sergiu Comissiona, conductor; Houston Symphony|
|Rental||Performance materials are available for order:|
Aussöhnung is the first song I ever wrote. The poem was given to me by my close friend, the sopranom, Judith Bettina after she purchased a book of Goethe's poems from a street vendor on Broadway, took the book home, found the poem and burst into tears upon reading it. When she gave it to me she suggested that I set it to music. It lay on my piano for a long time. Every time she visited me she asked if I'd done it yet and I'd say I was working on other things and would get around to it one day. Eventually years went by. She was visiting for the weekend at my family's house in upstate New York. She'd brought the poem with her. She said to me: "go in your studio and don't come out until you've set that poem." So, I sat down and wrote the song. I then invited her and and she sang it with me at the piano. After a few adjustments it was finished. A few years later she suggested that I turn it into a symphony and it became the basis for my Symphony No. 2. The poem had special personal meaning for both of us and we both understood it’s meaning without ever even having to discuss it.