Welcome to the official web site dedicated to the life and music of Halsey Stevens, composer, author, educator (1908-1989). Here you will find biographical information, published works, the composer’s own words, Editio Helios catalog, and more.
The professional and personal papers of Halsey Stevens are now available for research at The Library of Congress in Washington D.C. If you are interested in serious research and will be making a trip to Washington, D.C., the LOC requires prior notice to insure the required materials are on site. See www.loc.gov/rr/askalib/ask-perform.html
The composition of Siete Canciones sobre poesias de Federico Garcia Lorca came in response to a request by Maurice Allard. The poems concern love, death, and the guitar. There are many rich images in these texts, such as the guitar weaving a net like a tarantula, the cups of dawn breaking, the six guitar strings as six dancing maidens, a hundred commemorative crosses. Each poem is stark and intense and is matched in these qualities by the settings. Much of the harmonic material comes from the tuning of the guitar, EADGBE, and two interlocking fifths, EB and FC… The Harmony is either open or dissonant. The rhythm in the voice and in the accompaniment is quite free. The vocal style leans toward the declamatory, although there are moments of great melodic beauty in many of the songs.