5 1/2 min.
Composers who choose to work with texts routinely run into questions of rights and royalties. Poets are now granted protection over their works for their lifespan and an additional seventy years, often leaving composers the option between setting poets in the public domain (those who died before 1923) or battling for rights, often with the poets’ estates. Some poets, like Robert Frost and T.S. Elliot, allegedly stopped allowing composers to set their works as music became increasingly modernist. In response to this frustrating problem, this art song raises another possibility, the dreaded one when composers choose to write their own texts to avoid the problem entirely. The piece does take advantage of one little loophole in the copyright law: parody is excluded from it. As such, the piece includes quotes—some glaring, others hidden—from Reich and Bizet to Andrew Lloyd Webber and Richard Rodgers. And for those wishing to steal, as Stravinsky claims all great artists do, I remind you that this work is protected by United States copyright, All Rights Reserved!