On May 31, Edward Knight’s new song cycle The Wings of Night premieres during the 2019 Oklahoma Music Teachers Association (OMTA) Conference. Commissioned by the OMTA, Knight’s three-movement work is written for voice, oboe, and piano, and features texts by American poet Sara Teasdale. Performers include: mezzo-soprano Catherine McDaniel; Allegra Knight on the oboe; and pianist Jan McDaniel. The performance takes place at Radke Recital Hall on the campus of the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond, OK.
Knight shares some thoughts about his new song cycle. “The Wings of Night was written for my dear friends Catherine and Jan McDaniel, and for my daughter, Allegra, on the occasion of the 2019 Oklahoma Music Teachers Association State Conference. The challenge was to create a work where the oboe is not merely accompanying the singer, but performing as an equal voice. These three lyrical poems of the American poet Sara Teasdale (1884-1933) are an ideal platform for a musical partnership where two voices speak equally, from different perspectives.
In ‘Twilight’ – the first movement – the oboe depicts a bird searching in vain for its mate as ‘the wings of night are falling.’ The second movement, ‘A Prayer,’ allows the voice and oboe to express a desire to ‘love with all my strength, to my soul’s full depth and length.’ In “Compensation’ – the final movement – the voice and oboe strive to stave off loneliness by creating a song as beautiful as ‘a falling star on a winter night.’”
Upcoming: This summer, Knight will be composing a new choral work – Of Perpetual Solace — for Canterbury Voices (Oklahoma City, OK). Commissioned by the ensemble in celebration of its 50th anniversary, the 30-minute work will be scored for cantor, chamber chorus, full chorus, and orchestra, and will feature texts by writer, journalist and photographer of fine art M.J. Alexander. Of Perpetual Solace premieres on March 29, 2020 as part of Canterbury Voices’ spring program, “Spectrum of Harmonies.”