Composed for and named after the Bosque School in Albuquerque, NM, Frederick Frahm’s Bosque Songs are collected into three books of new choral works for school choirs. The project became a collaborative effort in the Fall of 2016 between composer and conductor Joanna Carlson Hart in the creation of new repertoire for young singers.
Specific parameters for the project included: a focus on settings of texts by American women poets (you can read all of the poems here), music intended for a variety of ensembles with a careful attention to the range and tessitura available to early teenage choristers, and expanded accompaniments for some of the settings that would feature parts for string players in order to engage the fine young orchestral performers studying at the school. The first and second books include settings that run 2 to 3 minutes in duration. In book 3, the settings tend to run 6 minutes each. The set as a whole has a performance duration of over 30 minutes.
The second set of three pieces, is scored for treble choirs, violin solo, and piano. Poems were selected from the works of three American women poets (Elinor Morton Wylie, Louise Chandler Moulton, and Sophie Jewett) to be of special interest to middle school age girls. The texts address topics of hope, identity, beauty, imagination, and the journey into maturity. In the first and third setting, a second part is scored for lower voices. The works may also be sung a solos and duets at the conductor’s discretion.
The third set of three pieces features the poetry of the great American poet Emily Dickinson (specifically numbers 301, 621, & 1121). These are scored for SATB choir, string trio, and piano. Much more substantial works than the previous two books, this collection is more intended for the stellar high school choir at the Bosque School. The texts are deeply profound in their ruminations about existence, mortality, and compassion, and the music renders these stunning texts in a dramatic and compelling way. The choral parts are in general homophonic, and in the third setting there are opportunities for soprano and tenor (or baritone) soli.
The choral program at the Bosque School in Albuquerque, NM, has been led by Joanna Carlson Hart for more than a dozen years. Ms Hart studied at Concordia College Moorhead with the renowned conductor and composer Rene Clausen. Her world premiere performance of the first book of Bosque Songs will be in April of 2017 at the New Mexico Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA.
Each of the three books are available separately, and an option exists to purchase the entire set in one PDF. String parts are included where appropriate. Reprint licenses are based on the number of copies to be printed for local use.