The Rose Cycle” premiere

Sofia Dimitrova sings, with violist Edmundo Ramirez

Sofia Dim­itrova sings, with vio­list Edmundo Ramirez

The Rose Cycle” is a new com­po­si­tion for soprano and string quar­tet, and it pre­miered April 22, 2014. The con­cert was pre­sented by the New York Com­posers Cir­cle at Saint Peter’s Church at the Cit­i­group Cen­ter. Pic­tured here is the singer, Sofia Dim­itrova, and the vio­list Edmundo Ramirez. The entire ensem­ble is the Bleecker StQ.

The cycle is in four move­ments with poems by four authors:
1) Nobody knows this lit­tle rose by Emily Dick­in­son
2) Amid the Roses by Alice Ruth Moore (excerpted)
3) The Sick Rose by William Blake
4) ‘Tis the Last Rose of Sum­mer by Thomas Moore

Funny but true story: As I searched around for poems that fea­ture roses in some promi­nent way, I found ‘Tis the Last Rose of Sum­mer, but I had no idea it was a famous song already. In fact, when I first read the poem I was amazed that it hasn’t been set to music many times by many com­posers. While I was com­pos­ing this move­ment, I men­tioned it to a col­league of mine who pointed out it is a famous piece of music, a promi­nent Irish song. In a some­what pan­icked state, I searched the inter­net for a copy of the music to be sure I hadn’t sub­con­sciously lifted a famous melody. No, I quickly dis­cov­ered; my own take was an orig­i­nal one. But as I sight read the music off the com­puter mon­i­tor, I thought, “So that’s what they’re always play­ing on the bag­pipes in New York City parades!”

About Richard D. Russell

This was written by Richard D. Russell, New York City based composer of fine music.