On March 18, 2017, Dr. Charles Stolte premiered Four Blake Seasons in The King’s University Knoppers Hall.
The origins of this composition start with a student and a bit of poetry. In 2016, David McCune (BMus, ‘17), a bass voice student, gave Stolte a series of poems by English poet William Blake exploring the four seasons, and asked Stolte if he would compose a set for his senior recital. Intrigued by the poetry, Stolte began his work in the summer of 2016 and finished with his last piece in late autumn.
Stolte found that the romantic and dramatic poems required a clear understanding of the seasons, not as those living in Western Canada experience them, but as the author understood and personified them. He noted it was a wonderful challenge to live the seasons imaginatively through the eyes and heart of Blake.
The set premiered at McCune’s senior Bachelor of Music recital. McCune sang, and Dr. Leanne Regehr, Sessional Lecturer, collaborated on the piano. The set was performed again in April of 2017 with The King’s University Choirs. McCune noted that he will continue to sing the set throughout his career.
The score will be published by the Canadian Music Centre.