America's Going to the Dickens! (1995)

 

I. Congressmen  (1:30)

II. Transcendentalists  (1:50)

III. Ingenuity (00:20)

available from the composer

duration ca. 3:40

Instrumentation

medium voice and piano

poetry by Peter Stambler
(after Charles Dickens)

 

I. Congressmen

Wheels. Despicable tricksters at elections;
Underhanded tamperers of public officials;
Shameful trucksters to mercenary knaves;
Dishonest Faction, depraved and unblushing;
All stared out from every corner of the crowded hall.

 

II. Transcendentalists

Out of the rottenness of lectures and cant,
A Boston sect of philosophers has bloomed.
On inquiring what transcendental might signify,
I was given to understand 
That whatever was unintelligible
Would certainly be transcendental.
If I were a Bostonian,
I do believe I would join.

 

III. Ingenuity

Ten-pins is a game of mingled chance and skill
Invented when the Legislature passed an act
Forbidding Nine-pins.

 

"Congressmen", "Transcendentalists" and "Ingenuity" from Witnesses: A Guided Tour to 19th Centruy America by Peter Stambler, are used with permission. Copyright (c) 1983 by Jump River Press, Inc.

America's Going to the Dickens!  was premiered by Emily Eagen, soprano, with Eric Stellrecht, piano on August 13, 1995 at the  Interlochen Center for the Arts, Michigan, Illinois.

Christopher Coleman

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