By Denise Levertov
Quiet among the leaves, a wren,
fearless as if I were invisible
or moved with a silence like its own.
From bush to bush
it flies without hesitation,
no flutter or whirring of wings.
I feel myself lifted,
it has turned me to air,
it can fly right through me.
By Denise Levertov, from SANDS OF THE WELL, copyright 1996 by Denise Levertov.
Used by permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation
From composer Howard Frazin:
The song was commissioned by alto Elizabeth Anker for the Mockingbird Trio in 2004 as part of Liz’s 50th birthday celebration concert Poet Power. Since its premiere at Pickman Hall in 2004 it has been performed more than a dozen times throughout the country including Longy’s SeptemberFest and ALEA III in Boston, the Berkeley City Club Composer’s Circle Series in San Francisco, The Atlantic Center for the Arts in Florida, CSU’s Summer Arts Festival in Fresno CA, and at The Lyceum by Words&Music in Alexandria VA.
The music of Howard Frazin has been called “genuinely touching” by the Dallas Morning News and “clear in design … ingeniously scored … with an almost unbearable poignancy” by The Boston Globe. His works are commissioned and performed by many leading ensembles including A Far Cry, Boston Classical Orchestra, Claremont Trio, Florestan Recital Project, Lorelei Ensemble, Lydian String Quartet, and Triple Helix, and programmed at festivals including Tanglewood, Aspen, Banff, Rockport, Monadnock, Bowdoin, Kneisel Hall, and Yellow Barn. His works are published by Edition Peters and recorded on Ravello Records and MSR Classics.
Mr. Frazin’s oratorio The Voice of Isaac—a retelling of the Abraham and Isaac story from Isaac’s perspective—was commissioned by PALS Children’s Chorus and premiered at Boston’s Jordan Hall in 2003, and recently performed by Coro Allegro at Sanders Theatre in April 2016. Recent orchestral works include In the Forests of the Night, originally commissioned and premiered by the Boston Classical Orchestra, with subsequent performances by multiple orchestras across the United States, and programmed this season by Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra for April 2017. Upcoming projects include a viola concerto in March 2017 for Kim Kashkashian and the Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms Society, as well as a song cycle in collaboration with the poet Donald Hall, and a new string quartet for Boston’s Arneis Quartet.
Mr. Frazin is co-founder and artistic director of WordSong and has taught composition at the New England Conservatory and the Longy School of Music. He was a composition student of Dominick Argento, and currently serves as Composer-in-Residence with the Bach, Beethoven and Brahms Society.