Jeder Mensch (2011)
Mezzo Soprano, Piano
Song cycle on Alma Mahler
Commissioned by and written for Kate Lindsey
Jeder Mensch was commissioned for, inspired by, and is dedicated to my friend Kate Lindsey.
I. The Eternal Source
II. Today I Realized Something Very Strange
III. The Celebration of the Spirit
Today I know the eternal source of all strength. It is in nature, in the earth, in people who don’t hesitate to cast away their existence for the sake of an idea. They are the ones who can love. I go on living with my face lifted high, but with my feet on the ground – where they belong.
Today I realized something very strange. – I am not happy – and not unhappy. It came to me suddenly that I am living what only appears to be a life. I hold so much inside of me, I am not free – I suffer – but I don’t know why or what for. My ship is in the harbor, but it has sprung a leak.
“Gustav Mahler – from the struggles of abstraction, Oskar Kokoschka, the genius, Walter Gropius, the improviser of cultures and wills – And Joseph Fraenkel, the genial improviser … From Walter I want children – from Oskar, works – from Fraenkel, the celebration of the spirit that he never offered me. I wish that Fraenkel had moved into my house to live the rest of his life with me.”
— from the Correspondence and Diaries of Alma Mahler
“Ms. Lindsey sang each song in the cycle with vigor and passion, underscored by the thick and difficult sonorities expressed in the challenging piano accompaniment, executed admirably by Ms. Witman. The cycle also revealed the considerable compositional skills of Mr. Fairouz. In the audience for the occasion, Mr. Fairouz was acknowledged by Ms. Lindsey at the conclusion of the cycle, and was greeted with a warm round of applause by the audience.”
— Terry Ponick, Washington Times