Weiss, Sebastian: The Seasons
SATB and Piano or Jazz Quartet (piano, drums, acoustic bass, tenor saxophone) or String Orchestra with Jazz Quartet
Original jazz composition by Sebastian Weiss. Sebastian’s music is not only cleverly put together and well-written for the voice it is also accessible for choirs at all levels. The whole piece is constructed in a way that allows for a flexible ensemble. While the choir stands at its centre, the accompaniment can be a single piano, a jazz quartet or a string orchestra with jazz quartet.
Full score and instrumental parts are available on request.
Note: This title was formerly published by English Philharmonia.
Whilst trying to stay clear of jazzy stereotypes, Sebastian has incorporated the idea of jazz in the choice of ensemble and in the harmonic language, by creating room for improvisation and by giving the performers some freedom to fill out the parts to their own taste, as would be common in jazz.
- Spring: words by William Blake – Spring by William Blake really conveys the beauty, joy and liveliness of spring. Its short and clipped phrases have such a strong rhythmic impetus (I keep thinking it is 18th century rap), that I came up with a cheerful gospel-like song.
- Dusk in June: words by Sara Teasdale. In a few words Sara Teasdale paints such a vivid image of a lush summer evening with sweet sounds, smells and sights. I have tried to capture this with rich harmonic colours in a soothing and gentle lullaby.
- Autumn Song: words by Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Autumn Song evokes a much darker autumn than the golden one usually described. I have tried to convey the poem’s intricate structure, with its ever returning questions, by the use of leitmotifs.
- Snow Song: words by Sara Teasdale. Snow Song brings the song cycle to a more comforting conclusion with a beautiful description of snowflakes dancing in the air. I wanted to give it a folksong-like quality to reflect the poem’s honest simplicity. Ending on an idea from Spring, we are taken back to the beginning again, starting a new yearly cycle.