Mathew Fuerst
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Mathew Fuerst

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Audio

String Quartet
American Contemporary Music Ensemble Ben Russell, Yuki Numata violins Nadia Sirota, viola Clarice Jensen, cello Program Notes for String Quartet The initial development of String Quartet was supported by the New York Choreographic Institute, an affiliate of New York City Ballet, during its 10th Anniversary 2010 Session. The Choreographic Institute was established in 2000 to promote the development of young choreographers. In 2003, the Choreographic Institute began commissioning student composers from Juilliard to write a work in collaboration with a selected choreographer. The String Quartet was written in collaboration with the renowned German choreographer Marco Goecke for the 10th Anniversary session, which showcased three composers and three choreographers from previous sessions in the first public performances in the Institute’s history. Marco and I had a discussion over the phone concerning the new piece in which he gave me a great deal of freedom to work. This was exciting for me, but also challenging, as I wanted to compose a work that I thought would compliment his fantastic and energetic choreography. At the same time, I also wanted to compose a work that could stand on its own as a concert piece. I spent hours watching and re-watching a number of his works to try to help guide my compositional decisions. I had many false starts, and at one point was nearly finished with another version of the string quartet, completely different from the final product, but felt that while the piece was not bad, I did not think it would compliment Marco’s choreography. I threw out this quartet and started from scratch, and soon produced the work in its current state.




Struwwelpeter
Song Cycle for soprano and piano. Kristi Matson, Soprano Brad Blackham, Piano Poems by Heinrich Hoffmann I. Introduction When children have been good, That is, be it understood, Good at meal-times, good at play, Good at night, and good all day,- They shall have the pretty things Merry Christmas always brings Naughty, romping girls and boys Tear their clothes and make a noise, Soil their aprons and their frocks, And deserve no Christmas-box. Such as these shall never look At this pretty Picture-Book. II. The Story of Little Suck-A-Thumb One day, Mamma said, “Conrad dear, I must go out and leave you here. But mind now, Conrad, what I say, Don’t suck your thumb while I’m away. The great tall tailor always comes To little boys that suck their thumbs; And ere they dream what he’s about, He takes his great sharp scissors out And cuts their thumbs clean off,-and then You know, they never grow again.” Mamma had scarcely turn’d her back, The thumb was in, alack! alack! The door flew open, in he ran, The great, long, red-legged scissor-man. Oh! children, see! the tailor’s come And caught our little Suck-A-Thumb. Snip! Snap! Snip! They go so fast; That both his thumbs are off at last. Mamma comes home; there Conrad stands, And looks quite sad, and shows his hands;- “Ah!” said Mamma, “I knew he’d come To naughty little Suck-A-Thumb.” III. The Story of Augustus Who Would Not Have Any Soup Augustus was a chubby lad; Fat ruddy cheeks Augustus had; And everybody saw with joy The plump and hearty healthy boy. He ate and drank as he was told, And never let his soup get cold. But one day, one cold winter’s day, He threw away the spoon and screamed: “O take the nasty soup away! I won’t have any soup to-day: I will not, will not eat my soup! I will not eat it, no!” Next day, now look, the picture shows How lank and lean Augustus grows! Yet, though he feels so weak and ill, The naughty fellow cries out still; “Not any soup for me, I say! O take the nasty soup away! I will not, will not eat my soup! I will not eat it, no!” The third day comes. O what a sin! To make himself so pale and thin. Yet, when the soup is put on table, He screams, as loud as he is able- “Not any soup for me, I say! O take the nasty soup away! I won’t have any soup to-day!” Look at him, now the fourth day’s come! He scarce outweighs a sugar-plum; He’s like a little bit of thread; And on the fifth day he was-dead! IV. Cruel Paul The poor dumb creatures, great and small, Were all afraid of cruel Paul. He caught the pretty butterflies, And, thrusting needles through their eyes, Would pin them fast upon his hat, And leave them writhing-think of that! The pigeons, too-poor little things!- He caught, and broke their glossy wings; He chased the turkeys, geese, and hens, And pulled their feathers out for pens; He caught poor pussy by the tail, And tied her fast upon the rail; He chased the dogs with stones and sticks And, oh! he played such cruel tricks, That bird, and beast, and insect small, Tumbled and ran when they saw Paul. Now see, my dears, this naughty child, Oh! does he not look fierce and wild? Well, this is just the very way Paul went about from day to day. But oh! my children, see him here, His turn came soon to quake with fear. One summer’s day, with one accord, The creatures gave him his reward: The cat sprang up, and scratched his nose; The rats came out and gnawed his toes; The dogs flew at his legs and back; The geese came waddling-quack! quack! quack! And even the crows that you see there, Flew down and pulled him by the hair. The chickens tried to pick his eyes; And katydids, and bees, and flies, Came streaming out from all the trees, This cruel boy to sting and tease. He struggled, fought with all his might, But still the creatures held him tight. “Oh! no,” cried they, “you’ll not go free, You shall repent your cruelty. No more dumb creatures you’ll torment, To punish you we now are bent.” They stung, they bit him foot and head, Nor left him till he fell quite dead. V. Slovenly Peter See Slovenly Peter! Here he stands, With his dirty hair and hands. See! his nails are never cut; They are grim’d as black as soot; No water for many weeks, Has been near his cheeks; And the sloven, I declare, Not once this year has combed his hair! Anything to me is sweeter Than to see shock-headed Peter. VI. Epilogue When children have been good, That is, be it understood, Good at meal-times, good at play, Good at night, and good all day,- They shall have the pretty things Merry Christmas always brings Naughty, romping girls and boys Tear their clothes and make a noise, Soil their aprons and their frocks, And deserve no Christmas-box. Such as these shall never look At this pretty Picture-Book.




The Drift of Things
Mathew Fuerst, piano




List of Works
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Sheet music by Mathew Fuerst