The creative team at Firehead Editions has a select catalog of major vocal works exclusively available through this website. This collection will include chamber operas, cantatas, passions, and mass settings. You can purchase a copy of the full score (or keyboard/vocal score if available) for rehearsal purposes, however performances must be approved and licensed separately. Licenses are made individually with each composer and fees are negotiable. Fees are based on venue size, seating capacity, ticket price, or we may opt to simply charge a flat rate to best accommodate your event.
Please know WE WANT YOU TO PERFORM OUR MUSIC and we will do everything we can to make this music available to you reasonably and with our full support!
Below, are a few major works presently available for stage, concert, or extra-liturgical events. You can view a PDF edition of the entire score, click on a link to purchase a copy for your personal use, or inquire for a performance license.
A work for clarinet and piano, Frederick Frahm offers the following program notes:
My intent was to make a piece that could capture the subtle color that permeates the little church of All Saints Tudeley near Tonbridge. Its celebrated Chagall windows were placed in memory of a young girl born to a great family, Sarah Venetia d’Avigdor-Goldsmid, who at age 21 tragically perished at sea in 1963 just off the coast of Sussex.
The 12 brief passages of music that make up Tudeley Windows are fragmentary like shards of glass. The brief, laconic melodies suggest a breath half taken, and the accompaniments filled with contrast of pungency and sparity and joy and mourning serve to interpret Chagall’s overlying strands of color and line and image and symbol. This is a poignant, meditative chamber piece, and in keeping with the desire for an expressive yet subtle tonal color, the music is scored for piano and B flat clarinet.
Review the complete score
Read more about the inspiration and creation of this piece on our BLOG page
Download a performance edition
A work for saxophone(s) and piano, Michael Bonaventure offers the following program notes:
The first of these pieces to be written was ‘Friday’, so titled because it was begun and completed on a Friday. When subsequently I was taken by the notion of composing a whole cycle of pieces named after days of the week, I made it a rule that each piece would be titled according to the day on which it was finished…this worked for a while but, needless to say, became somewhat impractical as the days ran out! Saxophone and Piano is a combination that I really love for its expressiveness, colour and dramatic potential, and I am hugely grateful to Melanie Henry, saxophonist, and Sally Mays, pianist, whose brilliant musicianship inspired me to write this cycle of pieces. ‘Seven Days’ is scored variously for Soprano, Alto and Tenor Saxophones and Piano, and the moods in almost every piece can vary from wistful solemnity and sinister, sardonic shadiness to comical bombast, hysteria and incantatory joy. The pieces can be played in any order, in groups of any number, and individually. It should be noted that ‘Sunday’ is for Piano alone, and that ‘Wednesday’ also exists in a version for Alto Saxophone and Electronics.
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Download a performance edition
Extracts of individual works are also available:
Meditationes Vitæ Christi
A mystical cycle for organ by American composer Neil Thornock, this set of twelve pieces includes meditations inspired both by the beginning and ending of the account of Christ’s life on earth and also by a selection of those mysterious statements or events that expressed ideas of Christ’s divinity.
Titles of the individual movements are:
In principio erat Verbum
In the beginning was the Word (John 1:1)
Pariet autem filium
And she shall bring forth a son (Matthew 1:21)
Tunc venit Jesus a Galilæa in Jordanem ad Joannem
Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John (Matthew 3:13)
Tunc Jesus ductus est in desertum a Spiritu
Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness (Matthew 4:1)
Ego sum panis vitæ
I am the bread of life (John 6:35)
Et resplenduit facies ejus sicut sol
And his face did shine as the sun (Matthew 17:2)
Filius autem hominis non habet ubi caput reclinet
But the Son of man hath not where to lay his head (Luke 9:58)
Antequam Abraham fieret, ego sum
Before Abraham was, I am (John 8:58)
Et factus est sudor ejus sicut guttæ sanguinis decurrentis in terram
And his sweat was as great drops of blood falling to the ground (Luke 22:44)
Eli, Eli, lamma sabacthani?
Lord, Lord, why have you forsaken me? (Matthew 27:46)
Quid quæritis viventem cum mortuis?
Why seek ye the living among the dead (Luke 24:5)
Ferebatur in cælum
[He was] carried up into heaven (Luke 24:51)
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Download a performance edition (62 pages)
John the Baptist
A church opera in six scenes by Frederick Frahm scored for soli, choir, and organ based on the life of St. John the Baptist. The libretto is adapted from scripture and other historical sources. Duration is about 60 minutes complete. The composer’s performance note describes this work as follows:
John the Baptist is intended as a dramatic piece to be performed in a church. Concert hall and festival performances are of course encouraged, however this is ultimately a sacred work and the architectural appointments of a nave and sanctuary will serve to enhance the performance. There are five solo parts: Mary, Elizabeth, Gabriel, John, and Zechariah. All of these parts save that of Gabriel, may be drawn from the choir. The part of Gabriel, akin to an evangelist role in a Bach Passion, is a substantial part that is present throughout the work. All of the characters and chorus personnel should be located together in the performance space. Solo parts may come forward from the chorus at the appropriate time at the conductor’s discretion. Alternately, actors (who are not members of the chorus) may perform the roles in tableaux at the center of the stage. Stage directions with regard to action and props are considered at the conductor’s discretion. Essentially, this work seeks to gather musicians (and actors) around a sacred space to tell the story of John the Baptist. Dramatic considerations are encouraged to deepen the storytelling experience for the audience.
Download a performance edition (libretto included, 101 pages)
Scène de Jardin
A chamber opera by Frederick Frahm scored for three rôles (Soprano, Mezzo Soprano, and Baritone) and piano. Duration is about 20 minutes complete. An accompaniment for string orchestra is also available. Libretto, in French and English, is adapted from one of three ‘marionette’ plays by Maurice Maeterlinck written in 1895 and translated by William Archer in 1908. Interpolated are two poems from Maeterlinck’s book of poetry titled Hot House (Serres Chaudes, 1915). A dark and brooding piece, this moving work explores the deep emotions portrayed in this early opus of the great Symbolist playwright. A contemplation of the nature of existence, fate, grief, and compassion pervades the work as the three characters inevitably make their way to the conclusion.
Synopsis from the performing edition:
Three characters agonize in a garden of a household where death will soon make its presence known. They are aware of the body of a young girl who has committed suicide in the village river, and whose body is presently being borne back to her house and family by the villagers. Her family can be seen through the windows of their house, undisturbed, and unaware of the horrific news of the fate of their oldest daughter.
Download a performance edition (libretto included)
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 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 intended for a variety of ensembles with a careful attention to the range and tessitura available to early teenage choristers and including accompaniments for some of the settings that would feature parts for string players in order to accommodate the fine young orchestral performers studying at the school. The first and second books include setting 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. Read the Blog about this set!