Composed upon the death of T. S. Eliot in February 1965. A setting of his “Song for Simeon”.
Seven movement oratorio with libretto from the Book of Jonah and Father Mapple’s sermon in Melville’s Moby Dick.
Incidental music for Galileo Galilei
Brecht’s play includes poetic quatrains before each scene as well as a marvelous “Ballad of the Orders” mocking society stratification. A humanist and satirical masterpiece. Audio includes music cues as well as Dirksen’s own digest of the full show.
The Ballad of Dr. Faustus
Christopher Marlowe’s Faust is transplanted to the American frontier. Videos below, music cues also posted.
Sing Ye Faithful
Audio & Video His last – and by his own estimation, best – anthem. The closing Queens Change bell effect is a charming farewell gesture.
A Wedding Prayer
A True Hymn
Really a sacred song – text by George Herbert – with optional obbligato instrument. For this commission Dirksen received ‘a case of excellent wine.’
Blessed art Thou (Elizabeth’s Song from the Annunciation Story)
Audio & Video. A solo song from The Annunciation Story.
Welcome all wonders
Audio & Video. Written in 1957, the same year as Daniel Pinkham’s Christmas Cantata, the two pieces share vivid brass writing and intense rhythmic energy alternating with lyric beauty. This exists in many forms: Organ and brass, full orchestra, winds only…there’s even an arrangement for SSAA choir.
Psalm 67 Deus miseratur
Psalm 98 Cantate Domino
Blessed art thou, O Lord God
NOT the 1979 BCP text. The interpolated “Christ has died / Christ is risen” make it inappropriate in its current Vigil spot but it could be used to good effect AFTER the Easter proclamation.
The Annunciation Story
Score & audio. A liturgical drama with many performance options – Elizabeth’s Song is first-rate.
A Celebration of the Transfiguration
Score & audio. This material has many components in various styles and can be used in many different forms.
The Ballad of the Transfiguration
Once sung. never forgotten.
The Raising of Lazarus
Score & audio. A mini-cantata, especially suitable for V Lent in Year A. Dirksen deploys all his dramatic skill at Lazare, veni foras.