Composed upon the death of T. S. Eliot in February 1965. A setting of his “Song for Simeon”.
“Captain Kidd buried treasure / as most pirates usually do.” The text by a NCS 4th grade student struck Wayne’s fancy.
Ineffably sweet. It ends in A major, a half-step down from where is starts. The orchestral double-reed / horn / string accompaniment is deluxe and has a gorgeous violin descant for the fourth verse.
Audio & Video Dirksen’s first published work (1960) bears several life-long trademarks: A “scattered” introduction which sets mood & tempo but not theme; far-flung harmonies suavely coming and going (E-flat minor in a D minor piece), and the first of many lovely Amens (compare the end of his late F#-minor Mag and Nunc). Also of note: the sotto voce Gloria mimics the traditional liturgical bow at that point in the canticle.
Score & video. The Gloria is in my TOP THREE Dirksen pieces. Less than three minutes long, it opens with a liturgical joke and ends with an explosive Amen. Note his tempo!
Score & audio. A two-part setting.