Instrumentation tenor and piano

Vocal Range B2 to G#4

Timing 18′ in six movements

Composed 1991, revised 2009

Poems by C.P. Cavafy, trans. Rae Dalven

World Premiere June 26, 2013, Canadian Music Centre, Toronto, Ontario. Bud Roach, tenor; Erika Reiman, piano

Programme Notes

The Next Table
At the Theatre
Picture of a 23-year-old youth…
Before Time Changes Them

So many of the texts that composers set to art song are about love and relationships. But while men and women sing about each other, and women sing about women (often through texts in a “male voice”), Of Passion’s Tide is my contribution to the still-scant repertoire of songs in which men sing about men.

Of Passion’s Tide is a setting of six poems written in the 1910s and ’20s by C. P. Cavafy (1863-1933), used here in Rae Dalven’s English translation from the original Greek. Cavafy wrote frankly, honestly, and beautifully about male relationships from his perspective and experience as a gay man in the early 20th century. These particular poems, selected from Cavafy’s collected works, fall nicely into an umbrella storyline of an older man reflecting on a relationship from his youth. The first song, Desires, expresses the importance of acting on one’s feelings while one has the chance. In the second song, The Next Table, he sees a young man at a café who reminds him of his past love. The next three songs chronicle that relationship from its rapturous beginning to its unavoidable ending. Finally, Return expresses his yearning to rediscover those sensations of his youth.

PDF perusal score

Of Passion's Tide tenor perusal

Audio excerpts

Selections performed by tenor Bud Roach and pianist Erika Reimer.

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Score $30 print, $18 PDF.
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