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Sarah Kirkland Snider

Publisher: G. Schirmer

Penelope (for voice and large ensemble) (2010)
Text Writer
Ellen McLaughlin
G Schirmer Inc
Soloists and Large Ensemble (7+ players)
Year Composed
1 Hour 0 Minutes
Solo Instrument(s)
Programme Note
Sarah Kirkland Snider Penelope (for voice and large ensemble) (2010)

Shara Worden, Ensemble Signal, Brad Lubman conductor
Related works:
   Penelope (for voice and chamber orchestra)
   Penelope (for voice and large ensemble)
   Penelope (for voice and septet)
   Penelope (for voice and sextet)

Songs can be rented and performed individually.

1. The Stranger with the Face of a Man I Loved
2. This Is What You're Like
3. The Honeyed Fruit
4. The Lotus Eaters
5. Nausicaa
6. Circe and the Hanged Man
7. I Died of Waiting
8. Home
9. Dead Friend
10. Calypso
11. And Then You Shall Be Lost Indeed
12. Open Hands
13. Baby Teeth, Bones, and Bullets
14. As He Looks Out to Sea

Composer note:
Inspired by Homer's epic poem, The Odyssey, Penelope is a meditation on memory, identity, and what it means to come home. The song cycle, written in 2009 for Shara Worden and Ensemble Signal, is based on a music-theater monodrama written by Snider and playwright Ellen McLaughlin for the J. Paul Getty Center in 2008. In the work, a woman's husband appears at her door after an absence of twenty years, suffering from brain damage. A veteran of an unnamed war, he doesn't know who he is and she doesn't know who he's become. While they wait together for his return to himself, she reads to him from The Odyssey, and in the journey of that book, she finds a way into her former husband's memory and the terror and trauma of war.

The New York Times,10/03/2011
To my recollection, the song cycle Penelope is the most vivid, mesmerizing psychological nightmare set to music I’ve heard.
Daniel J. Kushner, The Huffington Post,28/12/2010
A potent melding of classical poise and alt-pop punch, this dreamy song cycle was the year’s most affecting creation. Accompanied by new-music dream team Signal, vocalist Shara Worden mesmerized.
Time Out New York,17/12/2010
With an onslaught of indie bands attempting to combine intellect and musicianship along with a pop sensibility, few have the ability to harness all three in the way Snider has on Penelope. She courageously tackles a dramatic story arc in the vein of a Puccini opera while never losing track of her audience. Dramatic music may still be popular in many different genres but is rarely done with such care and precision.
Death and Taxes Magazine,25/10/2010
Mesmerizing…lush, evocative, and deeply moving.
Time Out New York,13/10/2010
Remarkable…a beautiful cycle of songs, could just as easily be an opera if fully-staged.
John Schaefer, WNYC New Sounds,09/09/2010
[Penelope] had an elegiac quality that deftly evoked sensations of abandonment, agitation, grief and reconciliation… ably [demonstrating] the poised elegance of Ms. Snider’s writing.
Steve Smith, The New York Times,24/05/2009
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