Premiere: Lynne Ramsey, viola, Karel Paukert, organ, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Cleveland Heights, Ohio, April 20, 2008
Drew Robertson, viola, Todd Wilson, organ, Lake Erie College, Painesville, Ohio, March 21, 2010
Dustin Budish, viola, Dr. Philip Manwell, organ, Music at Trinity, Trinity Episcopal Church, Reno Nevada, October 9, 2016
This work is an arrangement by the composer of an eponymous art song for mezzo soprano voice and piano. The text is a poem by the living American poet/naturalist Elizabeth Bradfield whom I met on a trip to Alaska a few years ago. You can find the full text in “Interpretive Work” (Arktoi Books, 2008).
When an organist friend of mine in Cleveland asked me for a new piece with viola, I immediately made this arrangement for him. The music is very effective as a purely instrumental piece for this combination of instruments.
The original version of this music is an art song for mezzo-soprano and piano by the composer, Monica Houghton.
Whalefall has been recorded in an arrangement for viola and piano by Michele LaCourse and Martin Amlin on MSR Classics (MS1474)