Words by Don "Orfeo" Rechtman
Don "Orfeo" Rechtman
Tenor Solo, Violin solo, Chorus, piano
Twilight and Night by Don "Orfeo" Rechtman (1975)
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Violin part PDF
This is a live recording of a performance by the Vorsingers, presented May, 2002 in Boulder, Colorado as part of the premiere of Wordsworth's "Intimations of Immortality."
An MS Word document is here.
This is the accompaniment to a modern ballet that tells a specific story celebrating death as a part of life. In Twilight and Night, the words and philosophy reflect the Gypsy reverence for and honoring of all phases of the Life cycle; this is also reflected in the way the music moves from key to key and minor to major. The curtain opens on a scene in a park in the fall; leaves abound; pine cones are scattered around. An elderly couple is curled up asleep, each on one of a couple of blankets next to a picnic cloth that hosts an empty picnic basket, an overturned wine bottle, and two wine glasses.
When the music starts, the tenor solo, dressed as a gypsy, walks on the stage, and proceeds to "narrate" the scene before him. His entrance is followed shortly by the violinist in similar attire. When the tenor sings "Dead are the leaves that have fallen," a little boy and girl run on stage, and wake up the grandparents. The kid's parents follow shortly. Greetings around; stories are shared, and it's all around a happy gathering. The kids find some pine cones and toss them at each other and at their parents, and are gently chided; the grandpa attempts to show off juggling. toward the end of the middle ballet segment the six grab hands and dance in a circle; the grandparents are worn out after just one revolution; the parents last perhaps another two. Then it is just the children spinning, with the other four looking in admiration.
When the ballet music gives way to the melody, the grandparents show signs of sleepiness; the tenor resumes singing, and it is hugs and goodbyes all around. When the chorus finally reenters, the kids help the grandparents back on the blankets, only this time, they lie flat on their backs, hands across the chests, heads facing upstage. As the music fades, the tenor first exits but the violinist goes only as far as the edge of the stage. Just before the parents and kids exit, the kids pick some flowers and places them at the feet of the grandparents. With the last chords, the kids turn and wave at the grandparents before exiting.
This has been performed in several locations around the U.S., including Colorado, Illinois, Florida and Georgia.