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PRAIRIE DAWN

for unaccompanied mezzo-soprano

TONY MANFREDONIA


A crimson fire that vanquishes the stars; A pungent odor from the dusty sage; A sudden stirring of the huddled herds; A breaking of the distant table-lands Through purple mists ascending, and the flare Of water ditches silver in the light; A swift, bright lance hurled low across the world; A sudden sickness for the hills of home. - Willa Cather


PERFORMANCE NOTES 1.) Any notehead indicates a whispered tone, in the general area of the voice where the pitch is located. 2.) Stems with an x are to be performed in the Sprechstimme style. 3.) Consonants located in ( ) either preceding or following the same consonant indicates that consonant should be greatly emphasized ( e.g. - (f)fire ), and ought to be added to the duration written. 4.) All fermatas indicated with a single * should be of short length. Any fermata without a single* should be of a length determined by the performer. 5.) The Tempo change at m. 20 - Unexpectedly, with momentum should also include an 'unexpected' presence shift on stage. This should last until the tempo returns to 4/4 at m. 33.

PROGRAM NOTES Willa Cather's Prairie Dawn caught me by surprise the more I read it. Interpreting it first as simply a painted picture of a Nebraska sunrise, etchings of nostalgia burst forth as I began composing the music. Perhaps my mind comprehended words like "pungent," "stirring," or "lance" as sharp or potent. Angry, even. I felt shades of frustrated homesickness rooted in the otherwise straightforward text. When reminiscing old memories of home, my mind tends to repeat or "replay" specific moments within a single image. With nostalgia, there's often a sense of pain involved. My mind becomes focused on the fact that I can't relive good memories; gone forever and unable to return. It's through this sensation upon reading Cather's text as to why I included whispers, sprechstimme, and even prolonged moments of silence. Recalling a beautiful memory can be both a moment of joy and sorrow. A juxtaposition of pleasure and frustration.

DURATION ca. 4 minutes


To Megan Ihnen Thank you for being an incredible collaborator and a strong advocate of living composers!


Prairie Dawn

for Unaccompanied Mezzo-Soprano Willa Cather

Tony Manfredonia Reminiscent, but withheld q = 66

4 &4 Œ œ œ pp

Mezzo-soprano

Ó

œ

A crim - son;

œ

œ

mf dim.

stars;

the stars;

2 4 & 4 bœj ‰ Œ 4 ˙ ™ . o

& n˙ ™

18

- dor

U Œ

p

2 & 2 œJ ‰ Œ Ó

pp

˙ herds;

nœbœ œ œ Œ ¿ ¿ ¿ bY

œ

A break - ing;

3 4Ó

œ

2 4 ™ œ œ œ pun(n)

pp dolce 3

U* U* ‰ œ œ™ ‰ z œz Œ œ ™ #œ œ #œ œ™ œ dust -y sage;

sud - den

dus(s)t -y

sage;

** s(s)tir - ring;

stir - ring;

A

sud - den

Œ œ ™ bœ mp

s(s)tir ring;

of the

˙

stir - ring;

˙

hud - dled

poco accel.

j ‰ Œ œ bœ œ 44 œz zŒ Ó œ . œ œ œ bœ. . 3

mp

break(k) - ing;

of the

3 > ™ œ >œ œ bœ 3 œ œ 3 œ Œ œ 2œ Œ œ#œ nœ 22

Y

3

3

Growing intensity q = 72

4 &4 Œ œ œ

œ œ

3 4Ó

pp mf > mf > 2 Œ œ œ ™ œ œ œ œ #œ œ Œ nœ œ œ Œ Œ ™ œ 2 #œ

hud - dled

pp

that van -quish -es the

Unexpectedly; with momentum h = 60

** stir - ring;

ring;

33

from the dust -y sage;

A

hud -dled herds;

26

Œ Œ

3 j œ™ œ 4 œ œ œ

A pun -gent;

mf dim.

j œ ‰ Œ œ nœ œ

& œ œ

(f)fire

4 ˙™ 4

3 j œ 4 œ ™ œ œ™ œ bœ ™

mp

4 ˙™ 4

23

Ϫ

the stars;

12

gent(t)

˙

crim(m) - (s)son

pp dolce 3 * * U U 3 & 4 ˙ ‰ j #˙ Œ ‰ z j nœ ™ œ œ bœ ˙™ œ œ

5

Ó

mp

of the

dis -tant

s(s)tir -

U 4 Œ 4 ™ ˙

w

herds - (sss...)

pp

Ó ¿. ¿.

dis - tant;

* - Short fermata Copyright © Tony Manfredonia (BMI) 2017

** - Like an echo


2

œ™ j œ ™ #œ œ œ œ œ ™ œ œ

38

dis - tant ta -

&

46

&

ble -

pur

ple

-

˙™

mists

- scend - ing;

Tempo I q = 66

dit -ches

* 3 jU ‰ j 4 #˙ œ ‰ z œ

swift, bright lance;

œœœœ 3

r œ

œ œj ‰ Œ >.

2 4 j ‰ ‰ j 4 œz z 4 œ œ w œ

>¿

in the

j œ ‰ #˙ light;

world;

& Œ

¿™

a - cross the

¿

¿

¿ ¿

s(s)ud -den s(s)ick -ness (sss...)

world;

Y™

U* 2 Œ 4Œ

˙

Œ œ the

œ™ #œj #˙ ™

U* Œ

light;

Y

U pp Œ ‰ j œ.

œ ˙

j‰ œ œ

light;

œ™ œ œ

Œ bœ œ

ff

and the flare;

j 4 œ‰ 4Y

p

A

hurled low a -cross the world;

p

scend - ing;

>¿ Œ œ™ œ

sil -ver

swift, bright lance

-

>œ Ó

f

a - s(s)cen(n)d - ing;

light;

mp

a

>œ #>œ ™ œ œ œ. œ. ‰ œ nœ Ó p

#œ#œ œ #˙

& œj ‰ œj ‰ œj ‰ Œ . . .

66

a

3

the light;

61

p >œ Œ ‰ ¿ J

3

rit.

& ‰ z j˙ œ

&

Through pur - ple mists

the flare Of wat -er

mp

57

lands;

œ dim. œ #œ. œ. œ ‰ J Œ

flare;

51

#œ ‰ œ

œ ‰ œ œ œ #>œ J

œ™ #œ œ œ œ œ œ

œ™ #œ œ œ œ 3œ œ >œ J

f

3

& Ϫ

42

Overwhelmed; unleashed q = 80

˙™ pp

bœ œ for the

Œ

‰ j œ œ™ œ

the

œ

œ

Œ

A s(s)ud -den s(s)ick -ness;

4 4

rit.

˙

Ϫ

hills

of

U* ‰

w

home -

Y

*** (mmm...).

*** - Exhaling closed "m" in a whisper

Profile for Tony Manfredonia

Prairie Dawn: for unaccompanied mezzo-soprano  

Willa Cather's Prairie Dawn caught me by surprise the more I read it. Interpreting it first as simply a painted picture of a Nebraska sunris...

Prairie Dawn: for unaccompanied mezzo-soprano  

Willa Cather's Prairie Dawn caught me by surprise the more I read it. Interpreting it first as simply a painted picture of a Nebraska sunris...

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