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TTBB and Piano US $2.50

Spirit

Greg Simon


PROGRAM NOTES In the summer of 2014, Dr. Eugene Rogers asked me to write a piece for his Glee Club at the University of Michigan that would fit into the theme of their fall concert: “Heartland”. We discussed the many meanings of that word - “heartland” - and how it might shape an artist’s voice. Around the same time, I revisited Walt Whitman’s text “Spirit that Form’d this Scene” (1881), Whitman’s reflections on a viewing of gorgeous Platte Canyon, CO. Platte Canyon is less than an hour outside of my adoptive home of Denver, and rereading Whitman’s beautiful, majestic text was a vivid trip back to my personal heartland. But “Spirit that Form’d this Scene” also reveals how Whitman related to his inspiration, the inner voice that guided his choices… his poetic heartland. At the time he wrote this poem, Whitman had encountered criticism from the literary world and the public at large for eschewing lyric forms in favor of his free verse — accusations that his poetry had “forgotten art.” Here he writes of “wild arrays, for reasons of their own,” both in his writing and in the awe-inspiring scene around him, and declares that whatever technical aspects are present or absent in his work, his poetry always remembers his heartland. “Spirit” is, like the poem that inspired it, a fantasia on both of these heartlands: the sweeping American landscape of Whitman’s text, and the inner heartland to which all artists must listen if they are to form their own scenes.

TEXT Spirit that form’d this scene, These tumbled rock-piles grim and red, These reckless heaven-ambitious peaks, These gorges, turbulent-clear streams, this naked freshness, These formless wild arrays, for reasons of their own, I know thee, savage spirit--we have communed together, Mine too such wild arrays, for reasons of their own; Was’t charged against my chants they had forgotten art? To fuse within themselves its rules precise and delicatesse? The lyrist’s measur’d beat, the wrought-out temple’s grace--column and polish’d arch forgot? But thou that revelest here--spirit that form’d this scene, They have remember’d thee. ~~Walt Whitman (1819-1892)

DURATION ca. 4 minutes

ABOUT THE COMPOSER Greg Simon is a composer and jazz trumpeter hailing from California, by way of Oregon and Colorado. His works have been performed by ensembles and performers around the country, including Alarm Will Sound, the Fifth House Ensemble, and the Cavell Trio. Greg has won the Brehm Prize in Choral Composition from the University of Michigan, the POLYPHONOS competition from the Esoterics, and was the winner of the TorQ Percussion Quartet’s first annual Composition Competition. As a jazz musician, Greg has studied with Bill Lucas, Ellen Rowe, and Brad Goode. Greg recieved a B.A. from the University of Puget Sound and an M.M. from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and is currently finishing a doctorate at the University of Michigan. He lives outside Ann Arbor, MI with his wife, his stepson, and his Boston terrier. When he’s not composing, Greg enjoys hockey, microbrews and short stories.


3 Commissioned by the Michigan Men’s Glee Club, Eugene Rogers, director, as part of their ongoing effort to enrich the repertoire for male choruses.

SPIRIT for TTBB and Piano

WALT WHITMAN (1819-1892)

GREG SIMON (b. 1985)

Freely, with soul!* ff

3

Tenor I

Oh,

spir - it,

Oh,

spir - it

ff

who formed this

3

Tenor II

Oh,

spir - it,

Oh,

spir - it

ff

who formed this

3

Baritone

Oh,

spir - it,

Oh,

spir - it

ff

who formed this

3

Bass

Oh,

spir - it,

Oh,

spir - it

who formed this

Piano tacet to m. 21

4

3

scene,

these

tum -bled rock piles

grim and red, 3

scene,

these

tum -bled rock piles

grim and red, 3

scene,

these

tum -bled rock piles

grim and red, 3

scene,

these

tum -bled rock piles

* The opening should be sung as an African-American spiritual or working song. Copyright © 2015 by HAL LEONARD CORPORATION All Rights Reserved. International Copyright Secured.

COPYING IS ILLEGAL

grim and red,


4 3

8

sub. p

these reck -less,

heav - en

am - bi - tious

peaks,

these reck -less,

heav - en

am - bi - tious

peaks,

3

3

these sub. p

these reck -less,

heav - en

am - bi - tious

peaks,

these reck -less,

heav - en

am - bi - tious

peaks,

3

these

sub. p

these

12

gor - ges,

these

tur - bu - lent clear

streams,

this

gor - ges,

these

tur - bu - lent clear

streams,

this

gor - ges,

these

tur - bu - lent clear

streams,

this

these

tur - bu - lent clear

streams,

this

p

gor - ges, 15

più mosso

na -ked

fresh - ness,

these

form - less, wild

ar -

these

form - less, wild

ar -

rays, these wild

ar -

più mosso

na -ked

fresh - ness,

na -ked

fresh - ness,

più mosso

these

form - less, wild

ar

-

più mosso

na -ked

fresh - ness,

these

form

-

less,

wild

ar

SPIRIT— TTBB

Profile for Greg Simon

Spirit (Excerpt)  

Spirit (Excerpt)  

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