A setting of a loving reflection on youth in Cambridge England.

(for voice and string orchestra)

Duration 16'

Year of Completion 2001

Arranged from a string quartet version commissioned by the Brooklyn Friends of Chamber Music for Stephanie Houtzeel and the Cassatt Quartet.

Audio Excerpt (from the string quartet version):

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Click here to read about Andrew Sofer, the poet behind Wandlebury Ring.

Composer's Note:

When the Brooklyn Friends of Chamber Music first asked me to write a work for Stephanie Houtzeel and the Cassatt Quartet, I chose to commission poet-collaborator Andrew Sofer to write the text for the piece. I had just lost my father to cancer before receiving the commission, and had wanted to write a work about family and times of innocence and youth as I was trying to hold on to and capture memories that I had of childhood and my father. I asked Andrew to explore the themes of youth and childhood in a poem. Andrew describes the result, “Wandlebury Ring,” in this way: “Just outside Cambridge, England, Wandlebury is a mix of wild woods and open grassland on the edge of the Gog Magog hills. The Ring itself was an iron-age hill-fort that later abutted the Roman road to Haverhill. As a boy, I used to love pacing the wooded ring inside the earthworks’ outer ditch with my family; it was a magical place, rich with twenty-five centuries of East Anglian history. When Kevin suggested I write a poem that evoked my childhood in fen country, Wandlebury Ring was a natural subject. As the poem developed, it became as much a love poem to my late father as to Cambridgeshire. The poem is dedicated to his memory.”

I have dedicated this work to Wanda Fleck. Witnessing her passion for music has been an inspiration to me.