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Richie Hofmann’s Old World Elegy was selected by Brian Baxter as the winner of the 2012 Memorious Art Song Contest facilitated collaboratively by Eric Malmquist, director of Singers On New Ground and Rebecca Morgan Frank, Editor-in-Chief of Memorious: A Journal of New Verse and Fiction. Baxter’s setting of Old World Elegy was written in Chicago and completed during March of 2013.The premiere performance took place on May 10, 2013 at the Poetry Foundation in Chicago. The piece is dedicated to the premiere performers Angela Tomasino and the Chicago Q Ensemble.
Richie’s economy of expression and poetic clarity is undeniable in Old World Elegy. Despite its subtlety, each poem concisely conjures a vivid image of a place in time. Much of my music is inspired by place and the immediacy of these images stirred my tendency toward vigorous and direct music. Each of Richie’s phrases, stanzas, and were crafted melodically and conceived with such clear form that setting them to music was completely organic.
Click here to read the full poem.
Click here to read notes by Brian on Richie’s Old World Elegy.
Instrumentation: voice and string quartet
Duration: 21 minutes (6 movements)