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what have I to do with roses? (2018)

I. what have I to do with roses?

II. How did the rose?

III. What memories...


what have I to do with roses?... comes from a set of texts in a book of a Persian poetry introduced to me by Deanna after just graduating from Binghamton. I had actually just written a vocal trio for ModernMedieval on a text by Hafiz not long before going to work on this piece, so his words rung quite familiar.


I view song cycles as an almost operatic narrative in terms of drama, and this cycle is no different. Two lovers were together, and the cycle portrays all the feelings the narrator feels during the time apart from him; the happiness, the nostalgia, the sweet memories, but also the fear of falling in love and how to remain strong within it.


Her visions of him, whether current or reminiscing, are represented by a main theme of sorts, first introduced as she describes his features.  This is the clearest form of the theme, but it returns in altered forms throughout the cycle, most saliently in the third movement “what memories…”, as she remembers that time past.

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