Frazelle: Songs of War

Kenneth Frazelle’s Songs of War brings Paul Green’s poetry and diaries to life in a rich and poignant choral work.”  And so, Susan Klebanow, music director of the Carolina Choir, introduces us to the composer’s new piece which premieres on November 23 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Commissioned by The Paul Green Foundation, Songs of War is a five-movement, 28-minute work scored for SATB chorus and piano, and features texts that offer insight into Green’s personal experiences during his military service in WWI.

Frazelle’s own personal connection to Paul Green began with childhood piano lessons taken with Green’s sister, Gladys Sylvester. Frazelle’s lifelong admiration continued in high school when he met Green while the composer attended the North Carolina’s School of the Arts, which the poet helped establish, and where Frazelle himself now teaches. In 1994, two of Green’s grandchildren — cellist Nancy Green and pianist Frederick Moyer — commissioned Frazelle to compose a new work — A Green View — in commemoration of Green’s centennial birthday.

The Carolina Choir of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Frazelle shares some thoughts about his new work. “Songs of War explores excerpts from World War I diaries and poems written by Paul Green from 1917 to 1919. The themes are sadly relevant today: of horror, loss, displaced mothers and children, and the longing for home. It was a difficult piece to write, but empowering to bring Green’s profound words to life — a hundred years later.”

More news: For a sneak peak at the concert program, click here. To listen to the live stream of the Songs of War world premiere, visit the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s YouTube channel here:   Saturday November 23, 8:00 pm.