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page one of Prudence

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Year of composition
Raymond Lukens, II
Difficult (Grades 7+)
4 minutes
Modern classical music
License details
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The second in a slowly developing series of songs to the texts of Raymond Lukens, from his brilliant collection of Gloucester Tales. The poems present an unflinching but profoundly lyrical portrait of the Southern New Jersey of his childhood. I think they are the finest verse I have read in decades, and am honoured to set them to music. The premise of both the songs and, I hope I may say, the verses is that even the worst dimensions of human nature & experience are occasions for art – and compassion may never be suspended. This one's dedicated to the poet his own self, yessir! (And thanks to Edd Maclean for reminding us that, next to the approval of the wise, the opprobrium of the foolish is the sweetest thing.)

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