work details

A Ghost Through the Winding Years

  • Instrumentation: baritone and piano
  • Completed: April 2013
  • Duration: 30 minutes
  • Texts: Sara Teasdale (1884-1933), selected poems
  • Video:
    • A Ghost Through the Winding Years

      Connor Lidell, baritone
      Nikolay Verevkin, piano

  • Score Preview:
  • Press:
  • Published:

    DD3 Publications, Distributed by Graphite Publishing

  • Commission and Dedication:

    Commissioned by Kyle Siddons and dedicated to Joanne Wuest, in celebration of her lifelong love and support of music.

  • Movement/Song Titles:
    1. Alone
    2. Spring Torrents
    3. Twilight
    4. The Ghost
    5. Peace
    6. Joy
    7. New Love and Old
    8. Riches
    9. Let it be Forgotten
    10. Song Making
  • Program Note:

    I am lucky to have known Kyle Siddons for many years now. He has graciously performed my songs before, and so when he approached me with a request for a new cycle, I jumped at the opportunity to write for him. Kyle gave me creative license to choose whatever texts I wished. While I knew that I wanted the poems to have a dramatic arc, I was not entirely sure at first whose poetry to set. When I came upon the owrk of Sara Teasdale, I threw myself into her writings with abandon, entirely engrossed by her sense of directness of language.

    In A Ghost Through the Winding Years, we follow a nameless protagonist as he wrestles with emotions that run the gamut of loneliness, nostalgia, staleness, elation, anxiety, and depression. I aim for a freedom of textual expression throughout the work, often giving the performers liberty to choose specific inflections, phrase direction, and tempo--while at other times I strictly adhere to established formulas. The music is very cyclic and pattern-oriented--almost to a fault. These patterns are finally broken and up-turned by the inclusion of Brahms Intermezzo Op. 119, No. 1. The quotation is used in three instances through the cycle: once at the culminating point of catharsis in "Joy"; as an accompaniment for remembered lovers in "Riches"; and as a final sounding token above the ending music.

    The song cycle is dedicated gratefully to Joanne Wuest, in honor of her lifelong love and support of music, and it is written for and commissioned by bass-baritone Kyle Siddons. 

  • Performances:
    • January 19, 2014 (Premiere) 
      Kyle Siddons, baritone and Heeyoung Choi, piano
      Cathedral Church of St. Matthew - Dallas, TX
    • January 26, 2014
      Kyle Siddons, baritone and Heeyoung Choi, piano 
      Zion Lutheran Church - Dallas, TX
    • February 11, 2014
      Kyle Siddons, baritone and Heeyoung Choi, piano
      Richland College Recital Series 
      Richland College - Dallas, TX 
    • January 18, 2017
      Connor Lidell, baritone, and Nikolay Verevkin, piano
      Faculty Art Song Recital
      Auer Concert Hall - IU Jacobs School of Music - Bloomington, IN
    • April 20, 2020 (Cancelled due to coronavirus)
      Blake Rosser, baritone
      Varner Recital Hall - Oakland University - Rochester, MI