for Soprano, String Quartet, Harpsichord, and Recorded Cat Sounds

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Cats for Soprano, String Quartet, Harpsichord and Recorded Cat Sounds

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Cats is one of the earliest works in my official catalog, dating from my days as a doctoral composition major at Indiana University, while I was studying with faculty composer Frederick Fox. At this early stage in my career, I was still searching for my compositional voice, and under the guidance of Fox, wrote a number of works in an advance tonal idiom. Thus this work does not much resemble most of those that were to follow it. The work also reflects something of my sense of humor given its humorous elements sprinkled throughout. The texts are my own, and certainly are not intended to be held up as any sort of model for literary creativity. Rather, they present various aspects of the nature of the feline friends I've had throughout my life. Indeed, this six-movement work is somewhat autobiographical in my interaction with my cats, and describes such cat-like activities as eating, sleeping, going into heat, and fighting (in a movement that gives the singer a rest). The final movement is not meant to espouse any particular philosophy (in fact, it pokes some not-too-subtle fun at certain philosophical trends), and was written primarily as an excuse to have the soloist meow at the conclusion of the work. The premiere of Cats was given at my Masters composition recital at Indiana University on April 23, 1976. The soloist was Karen Hagerman, who was accompanied by David Schrader, harpsichord, David DeBoor Canfield, violin I, Karen Iglitzin, violin II, David Baldwin, viola, Bennett Clark, cello and Richard Fiske, conductor.

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