Works

CLASSICAL

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Vocal Music

Songs of the Poet

Seven songs set to Walt Whitman poetry for high voice and piano.
Songs of the Poet can be heard on Time Marches On, a CD by Munich Opera tenor Gregory Wiest
Time Marches On can be purchased at Capstone Records (CPS 8646): 
Capstone Records
See also instrumental works for a version for voice and chamber orchestra.
To order sheet music for this work click on the Graphite Publishing website below:
Graphite Publishing Website.
On the Listen/Download page you can hear the entire cycle performed by Tracy Bidleman and
Steven Cantor, recorded at a live concert, Music in Chelsea in New York City.

Rossetti Songs

Five songs set to Christina Rossetti poetry for medium-high voice, piano, cello, and flute.
There is also a version for just voice and piano. And the final song, Sleeping at Last, is available for voice, piano, and bass.
The cycle is featured on a recording of vocal/chamber works entitled Rapport on Navona Records
(NV 5827). (See the CD cover to the right on this page.) The recording features soprano Melissa
Manseau, pianist Paul Dykstra, cellist Beth Pearson, and flutist Jennifer Yeaton-Paris.
French cultural journal Monsieur Delire calls the music ” gorgeous, especially Mathews’
Rossetti Songs.”

Ye Are Many—They Are Few

Cantata for a Just World

This cantata is composed for soprano, alto, tenor, bass-baritone/orator, and piano.  Selected stanzas from Percy Bysshe Shelley;s poem The Mask of Anarchy,  are the centerpiece of the text. Shelley’s poem was written in response to the 1819 Peterloo Massacre of peacefeul pro-democracy, antipoverty protestors,who were killed by Manchester cavalrymen, led by a local factory owner. The title of the composition is taken from the last line of Shelley’s poem. Other texts used in this musical work are by Howard Zinn, Frederick Douglass, William Jennings Bryan, William Butler Yeats, Dorothy Parker, and George Bernard Shaw, with an integrating text by the composer. “The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity,” wrote William Butler Yeats. We live in a time of unspeakable injustice, unfairness, and inequality in which good people increasingly turn a blind eye to the horrors around them. I have been particularly alarmed by the paucity of response by serious artists to the most pressing issues of our day. Historically, this has not been the case with artists, who have often played a critical role in addressing the injustices of their times. In this cantata, I am one present-day voice expressing “passionate intensity” against such injustice. The work was given its premiere performance on May 12, 2014, in Chicago, performed by members of Vox3 and sponsored by Access Contemporary Music.

La Lupa

A two-hour, two-act opera inspired by the Giovanni Verga novella of the same name, which means she-wolf. Initially Puccini was to compose the score for La Lupa, but a dispute with Verga over characterization scuttled the project. Set in Sicily near Mt. Etna, La Lupa is the story of a sensuous and beautiful 35-year-old widow, Pina, who seduces and falls in love with Nanni, a handsome young  wheat-harvester co-worker. Unfortunately, Nanni wishes to marry Pina’s young daughter, Mara. To keep Nanni in her life, she forces the marriage with her daughter, who wants no part in this. After the marriage, the three of them live together in  Pina’s house. The affair between Pina and Nanni never completely ends, resulting in a disastrous and tragic ending.

 

Flights of the Heart

A one-act chamber opera for soprano, mezzo-soprano, baritone, and piano about the French salon
composer Cecile Chaminade. The work, which has a text by Patty Seyburn, was commissioned
by Shorter University and received its world premiere there on September 19, 2011. A You Tube  video of this performance can be seen Here.

 

Individual Songs

Velvet Shoes. Poem by Elinor Wylie. For medium-high voice and piano. (See also choral music.)

Reflections. Text from Virginia Woolf’s  A Room of One’s Own. For medium-high voice and piano.

Fancy. From Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice. For medium-high-voice and piano.

Fishes Swim. Anonymous children’s verse. For medium-high voice and piano.

 

Instrumental Music

String Quartet

This three-movement quartet was performed by members of Access Contemporary Music of Chicago:
Aurelien Fort-Pederzoli, violin; Becca Wilcox, violin; Ben Weber, viola; cello, David Keller.

 

The Triumph of Night

A nine-minute work for full orchestra.

 

Songs of the Poet

Seven songs set to Walt Whitman poetry for  high voice and chamber orchestra.

 

Choral Music

Love’s Not Time’s Fool

Three choral works set to Shakespeare Sonnets:

1. Sonnet No. 61

A setting of Shakespeare’s Sonnet No. 61 for four-part mixed chorus, piano, and oboe obbligato.
Winner of the American Composers Forum 2011 Vocal Essence Award. The work was performed
in Minneapolis by the VocalEssence Chorus, conducted by its famed artistic director Philip Brunelle.
A version for chorus and piano accompaniment is also available.

2. Sonnet No. 75

A setting for four-part mixed chorus, piano, and flute obbligato.

3.  Sonnet No. 116

A setting for four-part mixed chorus, piano, flute, and oboe.

Ye Are Many—They Are Few

Version for SATB Choir and Piano

This is an 8-minute excerpt from the full-length cantata above, using only stanzas from Shelley’s poem The Mask of Anarchy.

 

Velvet Shoes

A four-part mixed voice choral setting with piano accompaniment of Elinor Wylie’s poem.

 

MUSICAL THEATRE

You Might as Well Live

A one-person musical drama inspired by the life and writings of Dorothy Parker. Mrs. Parker’s
poems become the lyrics for this jazz-inflected musical play with a book by Mathews. In productions in
New York and Chicago, Dorothy Parker was played by 2003 Tony-Award-winner Michele Pawk and by
Drama-Desk Winner Karen Mason. You Might as Well Live has been performed at the York Theatre in New York,  the
New York Musical Theatre Festival, Stages 2003 in Chicago, and at the new 1,500 seat opera house The Harris
Theatre of Music and Dance as part of the Chicago Humanities Festival. It was also performed at The Orlando
Shakespeare Theatre by Becky Fisher. The play has been a finalist for the Stanley Drama Award and the
Mill Mountain Playhouse (Roanoke, VA) Best Play Competition. Selections from the piece were featured
in Bound for Broadway at the  Merkin Concert Hall in New York. Chicago critic  Albert Williams wrote,
“The score is packed with delicious new numbersin the sassy, sophisticated vein of Porter, Sondheim
and Rodgers and Hart.”  On the Listen/Download pages is a demo CD sung by Karen Mason.
To view a five-minute DVD of excerpts from a rehearsal of You Might as Well Live
starring Karen Mason, click HERE.

Lost Empires

A musicalization of the J. B. Priestley novel of the same name about a 20-year old English lad who joins his famous
uncle’s magic act in the British music hall of 1913. The book was written by Mathews and Todd Lehman, with lyrics by poet Patty Seyburn. A starry demo CD of the show available on the Listen/Download page features Michele Pawk
as Julie, Tony-Award nominee John Dossett  (Gypsy) as Uncle Nick, Danny Gurwin (New York City Opera’s
and Kennedy Center’s Henrik in A Little Night Music) as Richard,  Brynn O’Malley (Broadway’s Beauty and
the Beast and Sunday in the Park With George) as Nancy,  Sergia Louise Anderson as Cissie, and
Tracy Bidleman as Florrie Field.

A concert version of the musical was performed by faculty and students at Shorter University.

 

CABARET

Somebody Write Me a Song

A musical revue with lyrics by poet Patty Seyburn. The work was presented at the Arts and Artists Series in New York
City. It featured Tony-Award-winner Debbie Gravitte (Jerome Robbins’ Broadway) and Tony-nominee
Liz Callaway, and Peter Samuel, with Dick Gallagher as pianist. A live recording from that performance is on the
Listen/Download page.


‘Tis the Season

An “I Hate Christmas” song with lyrics by Patty Seyburn, performed at the Arts and Artists Series in 
New York City.

 

JAZZ

Ander’s Theme

For B-flat saxophone and piano.

 

Night Sounds

Piano solo.

PLAYS

Drone

Drone is a play that examines the human cost of using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) through two parallel families—the victim’s and the pilot’s. The victim’s family resides in North Waziristan, the rural tribal area of Pakistan, while the pilot works at Creech Air Force base near Las Vegas, where he lives with his family. During the course of spying on the victim over several weeks, the pilot becomes intimately acquainted in a voyeuristic way with the victim’s life. The situation forces the pilot into  an untenable moral dilemma, which drastically impacts him and his family.