John Musto                      Composer/Pianist

River Songs

for medium voice, violoncello, and piano

River Songs, on poetry from the Pawnee tribe, William Stafford, and Walt Whitman, was written for cellist Yehuda Hanani's Close Encounters with Music series in 2003. The motivation behind the commission was a movement to halt the construction of the St. Lawrence Cement Plant on the banks of the Hudson River. Rather than writing a protest piece, it was decided that a work celebrating rivers would have broader appeal. The second song, Ask Me, references Schubert's Aus dem Flusse, also a poem about what might be stirring under the ice.

River Songs had its premiere in Great Barrington, Massachussettes in 2003 by baritone William Sharp, and cellist Yehuda Hanani with the composer at the piano.

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