The Music of Elizabeth Alexander

Works about Joy

Title

Poet/Lyricist

Voicing/Instrumentation

Level

Handles
An uproarious affirmation of women’s bodies, minds and indomitable spirits
Poet/Lyricist: Elizabeth Alexander
  • SSAA, piano
Level: MA
If You Can Walk You Can Dance
A contagiously joyful Latin dance song
Poet/Lyricist: Zimbabwean proverb
  • SAB, piano, claves
  • SSA, piano, claves
  • TBB, piano, claves
  • SATB, piano, claves
Level: ME
Into the Silent Darkness
A searching mediation on facing life’s wild, primeval mysteries with fear, faith and alleluias.
Poet/Lyricist: Richard S. Gilbert
  • SATB, violin, piano
Level: MA
Like a Leaf
A rhapsodic setting of Wendell Berry's wise, simple words
Poet/Lyricist: Wendell Berry
  • SATB, piano
Level: M
Life is Not a Garden
An open-eyed and open-hearted view of this complicated world, acknowledging both disappointment and hope
Poet/Lyricist: Elizabeth Alexander
  • SSA, piano, opt. bass
  • SATB, piano, opt. bass
Level: M
Look To This Day!
A wholehearted embrace of the present moment based on an ancient Hindu text
Poet/Lyricist: Kalidasa
  • SATB, organ, orchestral chimes
Level: M
Love is the Spirit of this Church
A feast of old-time gospel, with a vision for our time
Poet/Lyricist: Tony Larsen & Elizabeth Alexander
  • SATB, soloists, piano
  • SATB, piano, opt. chidren’s choir
Level: M
Luminous Awakening
An bountiful and expansive setting of a Hildegard von Bingen prayer
Poet/Lyricist: Hildegard of Bingen
  • SATB a cappella
  • SSAA a cappella
Level: M
Maji
A sparkling orchestral work capturing the fluidity and delight of water
  • Orchestra
Level: M
Nature Creature (CD/mp3)
Songs on being alive in this beautiful, complex world
Poet/Lyricist: Lyon, Ignatow, Moore, Ammons, Erdrich, White, Hafiz / Ladinsky
  • Voice, cello, piano
Level: Various
Nature Creature (musical score)
A passionate, eclectic song cycle on the beauty and complexity of being alive
Poet/Lyricist: Lyon, Ignatow, Moore, Ammons, Erdrich, White, Hafiz / Ladinsky
  • Low voice, piano, opt. cello
Level: MA
Night at the Red Cat
A high-octane Latin jazz duet with an opportunity for improvisation
  • Piano, 4 hands
Level: M
Off the Page
Nine improvisations for string players and other adventurous people
  • All Instruments
Level: Various
On the Edge of the Water
An allegory on life’s beauty, transience, and everlasting nature
Poet/Lyricist: Elizabeth Alexander
  • Low voice, piano
Level: M
Only a Couple Fishes
An animated retelling of the “loaves and fishes” story, with generosity at its core
Poet/Lyricist: Elizabeth Alexander
  • SA, piano
Level: M
Pure Light beyond Light
Ancient and modern invocations of the Holy filled with reverence, mystery and illumination
Poet/Lyricist: Mozarabic prayer, Hildegard von Bingen, Rob Eller-Isaacs
  • SATB a cappella
Level: M
Same Birds
A sassy frolic about deep listening, the cry of existence, and a congregation of rowdy birds
Poet/Lyricist: David Allan Evans
  • SATB a cappella
Level: MA
Sing Me Awake
A tender and rhapsodic meditation on our return to life after grief and loss
Poet/Lyricist: Gregory Orr
  • SATB, piano, string quartet or string orchestra
Level: MA
So Much Radiance
A tender parable about the wisdom and resplendence of the world’s religions
Poet/Lyricist: Elizabeth Alexander
  • SATB, piano
  • SATB, chamber ensemble
Level: MA
Song of the Five Thousand
A canonic table grace with abundance, gratitude and generosity at its core
Poet/Lyricist: Elizabeth Alexander
  • Flexible choral voicing
  • Community / Congregational Song
Level: E
Strong Braid
A rhapsodic salute to Faith’s invaluable companions, Science and Reason
Poet/Lyricist: Elizabeth Alexander
  • SATB, piano
  • SATB, chamber ensemble
Level: MA
Sue Loves Butter
An exuberant toast to friendship, fun, and everybody’s favorite comfort food
Poet/Lyricist: Elizabeth Alexander
  • SSA, piano
Level: M
The Chalice of Our Hearts
A graceful canon about wandering, searching, finding and returning
Poet/Lyricist: Elizabeth Alexander
  • SATB, chamber ensemble
  • SATB, piano
  • Community / Congregational Song
Level: E
The Eternal One
A tender portrait of the divine
Poet/Lyricist: Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Low voice, piano
  • Medium voice, piano
  • High voice, piano
Level: M
Those Who Wish To Sing Always Find a Song
The joy of “tra-la-la” — in nine languages!
Poet/Lyricist: Swedish proverb
  • SSA, oboe, piano
Level: M
They Have Freckles Everywhere
Seven affectionate portraits of our bodies’ amazing parts
Poet/Lyricist: Elizabeth Alexander
  • SSAA, piano
Level: M
We Need Each Other
A down-to-earth celebration of our essential interdependence, well-suited for processionals or recessionals
Poet/Lyricist: Susan Gittler, adapted
  • SATB, djembe or low drum
Level: ME
We Remember Them
A tender embrace of those we have loved and lost
Poet/Lyricist: Rabbis Sylvan Kamens / Jack Riemer
  • SATB, piano
Level: M