COMMISSIONS & PUBLICATIONS UPDATE
“This extraordinary work…made a huge impact on the large audience…who described it as ‘deeply moving’, ‘powerful’ and ‘inspiring.’” (Review of choral symphony Unfinished Remembering, gerontius.net Newsletter, November 2014)
Euan’s visibility as a librettist is increasing rapidly among choirs and conductors in the US, UK and Norway. “Anyone paying attention to the choral world right now knows that we have a new poet on the rise in Euan Tait.” Kurt Knecht, May 2016.
2018 sees the release of three of Euan’s texts on the new and now bestselling Naxos CD of Kim Andre Arnesen’s work! (Catalogue No: 8.573788). The texts are ‘Flight Song’, ‘Child of Song’ and ‘Then gift I’ll leave you’.
“An eloquent libretto by Euan Tait…” (Commonwealth Chorale, 2018).
The Wound in the Water is experiencing gathering waves of performances in the US – two in New Hampshire in November 2017 (New Hampshire Master Chorale); in Manhattan, New York in March 2018 (Florilegium Chamber Choir), and near Boston, MA, also in March 2018 (Commonwealth Chorale). People seem to have reacted to the work’s message in visceral ways – moving for artists who long to speak for and to the heart, and become a person’s fellow pilgrim.
Comments include these by singers:
“Euan Tait’s text is thought provoking and reflective…“ “…Tait’s libretto and Arnesen’s vocal/orchestral harmonies culminate in a poignant, aching Epilogue. For me, it seems a quiet prayer of hope, a plea for the recognition of our common human condition, and an ardent petition for peace. What could possibly be more relevant for our time than these closing words, the verbs in past tense?” (NHMC Alto, Gwen Dunn)
And this from Richard Knox’s programme note:
“…up-to-the-moment sensibility. Music Director Dan Perkins was struck by its immediacy. “The text, in particular, resonated with the general angst I was (and am) feeling about the disastrous human (social/political) and physical (pollution, global warming) condition in which we find our world,” Perkins says.”
With Chris Hutchings: ‘We are One Voice’ (Beaconsfield Festival, March 2018)
New St. Cecilia work and text for soprano and string quartet – details to follow!
With Kim Andre Arensen: February 12th: “Song of the Soul” premièred in Soustons, France by Quatuor Vocal Méliades and Ensemble Hope. April 22nd:
TTBB version of the bestselling “Flight Song” (extensively recorded on YouTube), premiered by 450 men at VAN/Man Male choral summit at Chan Centre for Performing Arts. May 18th: “My Flame the Song” commissioned by Edwards Masterworks Singers, Austin, Texas, and premiered in Oslo Cathedral.
July 11th: “Falling into mercy” commissioned by Oregon Bach Festival and premiered by Strangeland Family Youth Choral Academy, and Dr. Anton Armstrong July 22: “Searching Love” commissioned by Texas Choral Directors Association, and premiered by Directors Chorus, and conductor Dr. Lori Hetzel.
With Dominic McGonigal: ‘Night Song’ (2nd November, London, for the founding concert of the new professional ensemble, Philomel). Further performances of this work in London, March 2017
Euan has produced a wide range of choral works with the Norwegian composer Kim André Arnesen, including two major works: The Christmas Alleluias, a five movement piece, was performed by The Valley Chamber Chorale, Stillwater, Minnesota and conductor Carol Carver in December 2015, and The Wound in the Water, a choral symphony, which will be performed in Trondheim by one of the leading choirs in the world today, Conspirare, conducted by Craig Johnston, with the British star soprano Elin Manahan Thomas, at the opening concert of the 2016 Olavsfestdagene. Of their shorter works, Flight Song, dedicated to the St. Olaf Choir and conductor Anton Armstrong, has now sold thousands of copies, and is performed regularly across the US, including at Carnegie Hall, NYC. Other pieces include Child of Song, written in memory of Stephen Paulus and first performed at a memorial concert for him. Flight Song is published by earthsongs, and their other works by the Santa Barbara Press, CA.
In the US, he wrote the text for Spokes, music by Timothy Tharaldson, which was performed by Youth Chorale of Central Minnesota in 2016. Euan is now developing other projects with other US choral composers. Kurt Knecht of MusicSpoke wrote (May 25th 2016): “Anyone paying attention to the choral world right now knows that we have a new poet on the rise in Euan Tait. He’s been collaborating with several composers including a big premiere of settings of his work by Kim Arnesen. It’s for good reason. To my mind, Euan’s extremely lyric gift comes from a poet that you can tell was raised on a steady diet of…Wordsworth. In contrast to Wordsworth, however, I don’t find a vague sort of pantheism at the bottom of Tait’s poems. Instead, they betray a profound and rich spiritual life that make them exceptionally poignant. This very grounding is what keeps his poems from floating into sentimentality despite their lyric nature.” http://musicspoke.com/blog/score-week-iii-spokes-timothy-tharaldson/
In the UK, Euan’s first choral symphony libretto, Unfinished Remembering, with acclaimed music by Paul Spicer, was first performed on 13th September 2014, with the Birmingham Bach Choir, the Orchestra of the Swan, and soloists Johane Ansell (soprano) and baritone William Dazeley. The vocal score is currently being prepared for a second printing for further performances, and Euan appeared twice on BBC Midlands Today, including at a rehearsal of his and Spicer’s new National song, A Shared Singing. Among comments on the libretto were John Quinn ‘s “Unfinished Remembering is a moving and compelling work. Euan Tait has written a libretto which offers a thought-provoking reflection not only on why Remembrance is important but also on the challenges that remembering our war dead should pose.” Euan has also written the text of a new Christmas carol, All Saints Carol, with Paul for All Saints Northampton, which was first performed there on 20th December 2015. He is now developing a number of new works for the UK.
Euan’s aim as a librettist is to write words that are a powerful catalyst for music, with strong choral architecture, and which speak in the widest possible way for the spiritual longings of a very diverse society. I delight in writing for choral composers, and feel there is a growing passion for shared singing among the public, and would love to be there to offer new words for composers to enjoy shaping into their own music. Please use the contact form for commissions.