Category:   COLLEGE & UNIVERSITY
Composer:   Brent Pierce
Arranger:   Pooler, ed.
Publisher:   Walton Music Corp.
Edition:   2911
Voicing:   SATB
Setting:   Accompanied

Reviewer:   

Harry A. Mechell
Winona State University 1992
R&R Chair College & University

Brent Pierce’ s Eight Japanese Haiku is a clever setting of eight haiku, or short Japanese Iyric poems. Set for SATB choir, flute, violin, and percussion (xylo., WB, Triangle, gong, cymbals, glass chimes, temple blocks), it is very melodious and singable, with mild dissonances. The ranges and tessitura are comfortable, the dynamic contrasts and the imitative and melismatic writing are challenging. Of course, the use of the Japanese language (written in English alphabet) adds authenticity, atmosphere and novelty to the composition. The instruments are essential to a rendering of the piece. Three players are necessary for the percussion parts. One might consider having some one read the text in Japanese, followed by the reading of the English translation before each haiku. Not vocally difficult. Ten minutes.