Charles Shere: Two Rakosi Songs
male or female voice and violin
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score: currently unavailable. recording: see below
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These little songs were written at the suggestion of Charles Boone to honor Carl Rakosi on the occasion of his hundredth birthday in November, 2003. I first met Rakosi in 1996, I think, when someone suggested to him that I might writ music for his elegy on the death of George Oppen, The Old Poet's Tale. I began that piece quickly enough, but then had to set it aside to write the Trio for Violin, Piano, and Percussion; and when that piece was done, it seemed to conclude my composition; no more music came to me , and the Rakosi project seemed unlikely to continue.

This of course caused me considerable regret and even some remorse, as I'd promised Carl I'd write his music. I even avoided further correspondence with him after telling him the problem, though he was very gracious about it and generous with his sympathy and understanding. So when seven years later Charles suggested these songs I made no promise, and thought it unlikely I'd be able to do anything. I wanted to see Carl again, though, and I immediately wrote asking to resume our friendship, sending him this poem, written July 7, 2003:

Cenozoic Time: sketch

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rev. 9/15/00