RTC-03: 1952 Two Choral Pieces

Text: Wallace Stevens, “It does no good”
e.e. cummings, “anyone lived in a pretty how town”
Commission: Montreal Bach Choir
Length: 6 min.
Premiere: 1952, Montreal Bach Choir, George Little (cond.)
Publication: Manitoba Composers Association, 1990
Recording: Amoroso Canto, Canzona Chamber Choir, conducted by Henry Engbrecht (2008)

These two early choral compositions “… afford listeners early examples of Turner’s eclectic cultural and musical repertoires introduced to him by American composers. Wallace Stevens, e.e. cummings and Elder Olson were among his favourite modernist poets whom he admired for their playful language combined with intellectual complexity. His selections of such texts were made only after he had read extensively from the poets’ complete works and a musical occasion was presented to him, such as choral conductor George Little’s commissioning of these pieces for the Montreal Bach Choir.”