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WorksVocal SoloPrologue


Forces: duet for high voice, bass clarinet
Text: Yevgeny Yevtushenko (in English)
Duration: 4 min.
Completed: 1998 (revised 2008)
Premiere: Jan 25, 2009, Bethlehem Music Series, Minneapolis, MN.
            Linh Kauffman, soprano; Paul Schulz, bass clarinet


Prologue: mp3, 4:18, 4 MB

Linh Kauffman, soprano; Paul Schulz, bass clarinet
Bethlehem Music Series, Minneapolis, MN


The poem “Prologue” was written in 1955 by the great Russian political poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko, who was then, at the age of 22, at the forefront of the post-Stalin Soviet youth movement. When I first read this poem I was 18, and – though I didn’t know it yet – was about to be diagnosed with lymphoma. I wrote this (quite melodramatic!) song that year for voice and bassoon, and it ended up being a kind of mantra for me while I was sick. I’m now celebrating ten years cancer-free. Yevtushenko now teaches poetry and film at the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma.

- Abbie Betinis, 2008

Prologue (excerpt)
Yevgeny Yevtushenko

I'm different.
      I'm overworked,
and idle too.
I have a goal
      and yet I'm aimless.
            I'm awkward,
shy and rude,
nasty and good-natured.

[. . .]

This text is under copyright. But you can read the full text in English translation here.

Performed by :

Linh Kauffman, soprano; Paul Schulz, bass clarinet
Abbie Betinis, mezzo-soprano; Kathy Bohlman, bassoon
Abbie Betinis, mezzo-soprano; Laura Betinis, clarinet

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