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ASA-001 Alberto Santana The Children’s Hour

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Catalogue #:ASA-001
Duration:12 minutes (approx.)
Composer The Children's Hour
Alberto Roque Santana

The Children’s Hour

for actor, soprano solo, SATB choir and Piano

The Children’s Hour is a setting of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem of the same name (first published in 1860) composed by Alberto Roque Santana for the Bowdoin Chamber Choir during the summer of 2011. The work is written for an actor, soprano solo, mixed choir and piano, and the composer writes that “the weight of the piece falls on the actor´s interpretation, not only performing as a simple reciter, but as a true character — sometimes becoming Longfellow himself — bringing to life this most intimate and delightful poetry.”

“The musical setting reflects the often whimsical nature of the poem through many contrasts in mood and style, such as the reciter’s seemingly serious melodramatic recitations, the soprano soloist’s dancing tales, and the choir’s bellows of feigned fear. The piano part is at times virtuosic and at others nothing but clusters at the low end of the piano, helping to place the tone of the music somewhere between high art and mischievous playfulness.”

— Robert Greenlee, Music Director, Bowdoin Chamber Choir

The Children’s Hour was premiered on May 5, 2012, by the Bowdoin Chamber Choir (Robert Greenlee, conductor) at Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine. The soloists: Ben Haile (actor), Katarina Holmgren (soprano), and George Lopez (piano)


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