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The title track of Hickey's disc is a trio for flute, clarinet and bassoon, and is performed by Stefan Höskuldsson (flute), David Gould (clarinet), and Alden Banta (bassoon). 'I wrote the piece somewhat under the spell of Latin-American rhythms, and somewhat under the spell of Poulenc. For a year or two, I was very obsessed with solo melody pieces, and this is a way to bring some of my ideas and thoughts into an ensemble setting. I think I've created a work of great variety, and I feel this is one of my best, most representative pieces.'

Sean Hickey (right) with (right to left) bassoonist Alden Banta, flautist Stefan Höskuldsson and clarinettist David Gould
Sean Hickey (right) with (right to left) bassoonist Alden Banta, flautist Stefan Höskuldsson and clarinettist David Gould

Höskuldsson, a star in the flute world and a member of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, also performs Flute Sonata on Hickey's CD, one of the composer's earliest works (written straight out of college). 'The reason I wanted it on the disc, is because after meeting the incredibly talented flutist, Stefan Höskuldsson, I just had to have him do it. And I had to have his wife, Elizaveta Kopelman, perform the piano part. They can do it perfectly, every time. In the studio, they did it in two takes, and I could have taken either one.'

The largest work on Hickey's new album, Sagesse, for soprano, tenor and chamber orchestra, is set to the text of Paul Verlaine's epic poem by the same name. 'I have been a big fan of poetry, probably as long as I have loved music. I felt that this portion of Verlaine's poem really begged to have a musical setting. His lines struck me as particularly interesting, and I felt that they could be sung very effectively, very dramatically, and very sweetly.' Sagesse (roughly translated from the French to mean 'wisdom') has received several performances since its première in 2003 by the One World Symphony in New York, and will be performed during December 2005 by the Metro Chamber Orchestra, featuring soprano Jennifer Greene and tenor Doug McCormick -- the same soloists who collaborated with Hickey on Left at the Fork in the Road.

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Copyright © 6 November 2005 Ted Kendall, New York, USA

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