Kirke Mechem

Composer

Kirke Mechem small image

chorus and orchestra

SONGS OF THE SLAVE

Suite for 2 soloists, chorus and orchestra from John Brown

G. Schirmer. Various performers. 34 min.

“Compelling, stirring, glorious music. Anger, sadness, hope and joy are reflected in the music . . resounding audience acclaim.” “A fitting celebration of Black History Month or Martin Luther King Day.”

1. Orchestral prelude and Blow Ye The Trumpet: chorus

2. The Songs of The Slave: Frederick Douglass, bass-barit.

3. Dan-u-el: freed slave and chorus, bass-barit.

4. Dear Husband: a slave mother, soprano

5. Speech and Declaration: Douglass and chorus

SEVEN JOYS OF CHRISTMAS

Suite for soprano and chorus with solo harp or keyboard or orchestra. Sung by thousands of diverse choirs—children’s, professional and symphonic—for nearly half a century.

ECS. Stanford Chorale, Orchestra. (Arsis CD403) 14 min.

"Christmas music from England, France, Germany, Japan and Spain. . . The finale was a quodlibet of familiar Christmas tunes, all piled fantastically on top of one another in a wonderful witty shout of joy."

1. This is the truth

2. Din don, merrily on high

3. Joseph Dearest

4. Patapan

5. New Year’s Song

6. Fum fum fum

7. God bless the master (quodlibet)

ONCE TO EVERY MAN AND NATION

Variations on An Old Welsh Melody

SATB Chorus, baritone solo, string orchestra or piano or organ. Traditional words by James Russell Lowell with additions from his original poem.

G. Schirmer. Brookline Chorus. 10 min.

(Slightly revised since this premiere performance.)

THE KING’S CONTEST

Dramatic Cantata for 4 soloists, chorus, chamber ensemble or full orchestra. Text from the Apocrypha

G. Schirmer. Virginia Commonwealth Umiversity Singers. 26 min.

“. . . charming, hilarious and sensuous . . . music of pomp and splendor.” “...immensely skillful...the flamboyance of Belshazzar’s Feast

SINGING IS SO GOOD A THING:

“An Elizabethan Recreation” for chorus, soloist and chamber ensemble. Text by William Byrd, 1588: “Reasons briefly set down to persuade everyone to learne to sing”

C. F.Peters. Skyline College Chorus. 25 min.

“. . . superb! . . .an ouststanding choral work . . .a glorious conclusion.” “. . . zesty, marvelously vocal . . . received an ovation”

SPEECH TO A CROWD

Cantata for baritone, chorus and large orchestra. Text by Archibald MacLeish. No recording available.

Fred Bock Music. 15 min.

“An articulate setting, displaying Mechem’s impressive compositional craft, his attractive and individual tonal style and genuine lyric gifts”