HIGH AND LOW (2013) is a four song cycle on poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay and CMASH Managing Director John Grimmett that in its musical journey brings together several very different sound worlds.
From the Laurel Canyon inspired 60s folky opening number “Afternoon on a Hill” to the chilling operatic drama of “distance is crueler than the coldest february” to the Schubert/ Iron Maiden inspired “Wraith” that was written on Halloween 2013. The cycle closes with “Only Until this Cigarette is Ended”, a sassy little cabaret song that would make even the great Liberace himself blush with delight. The cornerstone of this cycle is the song “distance is crueler than the coldest february”, a setting of a poem by librettist/ playwright/ composer John Grimmett.
This was the follow up to our work together on Part of the Act for Washington National Opera and was composed that same winter. HIGH AND LOW was commissioned and premiered by soprano Jennifer Piazza-Pick and pianist Cheryl Cellon Lindquist on CMASH concerts held at Our Lady of the Lake University and Trinity University in San Antonio, TX.
HIGH AND LOW was originally concieved to pair up on concerts with the Jake Heggie song cycles Songs and Sonnets to Ophelia and Rise and Fall.