Five Cabaret Songs
William Bolcom (arr. Frenkel and Bolcom)
Formerly entitled Three Cabaret Songs
1. Over the Piano
2. Song of Black Max
4. Radical Sally
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III-IV
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
Horn in F I-II
(percussion detail needed)
None discovered thus far.
Three Cabaret Songs (text by Arnold Weinstein) were arranged for the United States Coast Guard Band by MUC Ian Frenkel, and presented at the 2009 Midwest Clinic. In 2014, two more Frenkel arrangements were added to the set at the request of Kansas University for mezzo-soprano Joyce Castle, and premiered at KU by Ms. Castle under the baton of Paul Popiel on October 6, 2014.
- Program Note by publisher
The collaboration between poet Arnold Weinstein and composer William Bolcom began in the 1960s, when the two worked together to write the musical theater piece Dynamite Tonite. In the late 1970s, they renewed their working partnership again to produce four successful volumes of Cabaret Songs over the next two decades. Bolcom had long been performing in this elusive genre, accompanying his wife, Joan Morris, whose voice heavily inspired and affected his own cabaret compositions. The authors made clear the artistic heritage in which they were participating, identifying a heavily German cabaret lineage from Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht back through Arnold Schoenberg and further back still to Franz Schubert. The 24 songs’ fascinating blend of sophisticated rhetoric and seeming lack of refinement have led to their frequent inclusion in both vocal recitals and theatrical revues.
Rarely predictable but always pleasing, the songs tread a most delicate balance between pathos and bathos. Over the Piano encapsulates the entire cycle. Over a harmonically florid accompaniment, which makes heavy use of rubato, an engaging melodic line, alternating between lyricism and parlando style, tells an intriguing tale with a wry final twist. The Song of Black Max is something of a through-composed “Moritat of Mack the Knife” from Brecht and Weill’s The Threepenny Opera. Waitin is resignedly simple. The set closes with a calculated audience-pleaser, George, a darkly humorous tale with music that references both ragtime and Puccini (as the lyrics mention the most famous aria from his opera Madama Butterfly).
The arrangements of the first three songs performed tonight were made by Ian Frenkel, arranger for the United State Coast Guard Band. William Bolcom arranged George in the summer of 2017 for this specific performance, using the same instrumentation as Frenkel.
- Program Note by Thomas Oram for University of Michigan Symphony Band concert program, 21 November2017
- Audio CD: U.S. Coast Guard Band (Kenneth W. Megan, conductor; Lisa Williamson, mezzo soprano) - 2009
None discovered thus far.
To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project
- Temple University (Philadelphia, Penn.) Wind Symphony (Patricia Cornett, conductor)- 14 February 2018
- University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) Symphony Band (Michael Haithcock, conductor; Joan Morris, mezzo-soprano) – 21 November 2017
- Brooklyn (N.Y.) Wind Symphony (Jeff W. Ball, conductor) – 28 October 2017
- The Ohio State University (Columbus) Wind Symphony (Russell C. Mikkelson, conductor; Katherine Rohrer mezzo-soprano) – 28 September 2016
- Iowa State University (Ames) Wind Ensemble (Steven Smyth, conductor; Mary Creswell, mezzo-soprano) – 26 February 2016 (CBDNA 2016 North Central Division Conference, Ames, Iowa)
- Elon (N.C.) University Chamber Winds (Hallie Hogan, mezzo soprano) – Spring 2015
Works for Winds by this Composer
- Broadside: Ceremonial for Winds
- Circus Overture (tr. Bolcom and Dooley) (2015)
- Concert Suite for Solo E-flat Alto Saxophone and Band (1998)
- Concerto for Clarinet and Band (1990/2015)
- Concerto for Soprano Saxophone and Band (2015)
- Concerto Grosso for Saxophone Quartet (2000)
- Fanfare for a New President
- First Symphony for Band (2008)
- Fifth Symphony (1999)
- Five Cabaret Songs (arr. Frenkel) (2009/2014)
- Graceful Ghost Rag (1970/2011)
- Liberty Enlightening the World (1985)
- Machine (tr. Lavender) (1990/1999)
- Song for Band (2001)
- Trombone Concerto (2017)
- William Bolcom website Accessed 22 November 2016