Songs of John Keats

Version for soprano and chamber orchestra
  • Title Songs of John Keats
  • Year 1984
  • Instr 2(picc)-2-2-3(3=cbsn); 1-1-0-0; perc(2), hp, strings, soprano solo
  • Duration 10 min
  • Categories Vocal, Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra
  • Publisher CF Peters
  • Texts John Keats
  • AlternatesSongs of John Keats
    Version for soprano and chamber ensemble

“A light airy ‘Song’ serves as an introduction to a setting of Keats’ magnificent sonnet, “To Sleep.” LK

First performance:
Chamber Symphony of Princeton (NJ), Andrea Cawelti, soprano, Mark Laycock, conductor, April 29, 1990


“Expressively performed by soprano Andrea Cawelti, the songs use their texts as inspiration for orchestral color and nuance. Orchestration scrupulously marked the more obvious images [and] also served as a subtler way to handle structure—lower instruments weren’t used until the second song, and some wonderful full-orchestra effects were saved for the climax. “

The two poems—“Song” and “To Sleep” --make a nice pair…..Ms. Cawelti’s large but admirably accurate voice balanced perfectly with the orchestra, bringing joy to the leaping lines of the first song and languid repose to the drowsy syllables of the second. The Chamber Symphony made the most of the colorful, accessible writing.”

E. Graham McKinley, Time Off, Princeton, NJ

E. Graham McKinley, Time Off, Princeton NJ