Chester Jankowski: music catalogue


"It was too late to go upstairs...", 1990.

Three songs of James Joyce. For baritone, cello, timpani and piano.

In the first song, the baritone (in a somewhat paranoid mood) only manages to get out the first line of Joyce's Bahnhofstrasse before the instruments take over with a series of brief sections that present material to be taken up again in the next two songs. A second attempt at the text is made at the end of the song, this time finishing the first couplet of Joyce's poem. In the second song, the overblown gloominess of Joyce's Nightpiece is played out in a dark, expressionistic setting for baritone and cello. For the final piece, "all day I hear the noise of waters making moan", the texture is thinned out to a sparse minimum. A brief, "floating" coda ends the piece.

Duration = 10 minutes