Asphodel (Fine, Vivian)




MP3 file (audio)
rhymesandchymes (2012/8/9)

Performers Maria Tegzes, soprano; Leone Buyse, flute; William Wizesien, clarinet; Nancy Cirrilo, violin; Katherine Murdock, viola; Kim Scholes, cello; Dean Anderson, percussion; Sally Pinkas, piano, Richard Pittman, conductor.
Publisher Info. Vivian Fine Estate
Misc. Notes Recorded live April 10, 1989, Kathryn Bache Miller Theater, New York. The first section (3 minutes) is marred by clicking but the rest of the piece is OK. This is the only extant recording.
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Sheet Music


PDF scanned by Paul Hawkins
rhymes&chymes (2012/2/11)

Publisher. Info. Vivian Fine Estate
Misc. Notes Request Licenses from ASCAP
Report performances to Vivian Fine Estate
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General Information

Work Title Asphodel
Alternative. Title
Composer Fine, Vivian
I-Catalogue NumberI-Cat. No. IVF 4
Year/Date of CompositionY/D of Comp. 1988
First Performance. 1989-04-10 in New York, Kathryn Bache Miller Theater
Maria Tegzes, soprano
Leone Buyse, flute: William Wrzesien, clarinet; Nancy Cirillo, violin; Katherine Murdock, viola; Kim Scholes, cello; Dean Anderson, percussion; Sally Pinkas, piano; Richard Pittman, conductor
Librettist William Carlos Williams (1883–1963)
Language English
Average DurationAvg. Duration 13 minutes
Composer Time PeriodComp. Period Modern
Piece Style Modern
Instrumentation Soprano, flute, clarinet, violin, viola, cello, percussion, piano
External Links Vivian Fine website

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Commissioned by the Boston Musica Viva


The text for the piece is about a long marriage and its weathering of storms; the lines come from a poem by William Carlos Williams. The speaker of the lines is apparently a man; he draws a comparison between himself and Orpheus, who went to hell for love’s sake. But in Fine’s music the singer becomes a coloratura soprano. The storms go by quickly, and the singer vocalizes flowering melismas of reconciliation over music that lifts the voice and wafts it like a gentle breeze. It’s a lovely piece, and Marla Tegzes sang it with sympathy and virtuosity.

—Richard Dyer, The Boston Globe, April 22, 1989