Major Concert Works

Works for chorus and orchestra, 40 or more minutes in length.  Oratorios, cantatas, Requiems.

 
 
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THE GREATEST GENERATION (2018)

Libretto by Dan Kehde, original music and arrangements by Roger Ames and Elizabeth Bassine, incorporating the music of the Great American Songbook, 1930s – 40s, eg: Irving Berlin, Rodgers and Hart, The Gershwins, etc.  

A look at WW2 heroism with a feminist lens – for two mezzo sopranos, tenor and baritone soloists, chorus and Jazz combo with cello. Commissioned and premiered by the Oratorio Society of Minnesota, Matthew Mehaney, Conductor.

Duration:  85 minutes.

Scores available from the Oratorio Society of Minnesota.

The Oratorio Society of Minnesota, Conducted by Matthew Mehaffey; Bradley Greenwald, baritone / scenic director; Sarah Lawrence, soprano, Anna Baker, Soprano, (soloists on this recording)


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MASS FOR ALL SAINTS (1978, revised 2016)

Libretto by Rembert Herbert, with the High Episcopalian liturgy for All Saints Day.  Premiered at the Westmoreland Congregational Church, Washington, D.C.

For SATB Choir, organ and optional chamber ensemble.  The story of John the Baptist and his search for the mystical, true God.  With medium difficult choral parts, solos for members of the choir,  with a transcendent ending that interweaves themes from seven parts of the mass.

Duration: 45 minutes, concert performance; one hour with readings and liturgy.

Recording:  https://soundcloud.com/roger-ames/sanctus-from-mass-for-all-saints

Full recording available from the composer: rogerwames@gmail.com

Orchestration:  flute, oboe, French horn, cello piano/celeste and organ, or piano and organ.


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REMEMBER WARSAW (2009-10)

Libretto by Bernard Kaplan, with German translations by the composer.  Premiered by The Oratorio Society of Minnesota, Matthew Mehaffey, Conductor

For soprano, tenor and baritone soloists and two accompaniments:  full orchestra:  flute, oboe/English horn, clarinet, bass clarinet, horn in F, bassoon, two trumpets, two trombones, percussion (3 players), keyboard/organ, strings.  Or Chamber orchestra:  flute; Bb clarinet; violin; violoncello; piano; percussion; organ -  (Optional synthesizer)

The story of three young Polish Jews and their struggle to survive the Holocaust.  The chorus serves as the nation of Polish Jews, the Nazis, and the world looking back on one of the great tragedies of the 20th century.  Dramatic, with complex contrapuntal choral parts, and simple, beautiful melodic music sung by the soloists.

Duration:  80 minutes

Scores available from the composer:  rogerwames@gmail.com


Boston Chorus pro Musica

A REQUIEM FOR OUR TIME (2008)

Libretto by the composer, poetry by Anne Sexton, with texts from the Latin Mass.  Premiered by Boston Chorus Pro Musica, Jeffrey Rink, Conductor; nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in music, 2008.

Soprano and Lyric Baritone soloists, optional narrator, large chorus and chamber orchestra (16 players).  Using the death poetry of Anne Sexton, the piece has received several performances in the U.S. and abroad, with immensely positive reviews.  The Latin Mass interweaves with the Sexton poems in a touching and profound way, calling forth the need for a spiritual life in the midst of the challenges of our time.

Duration:  43 minutes. 

Score(s) and parts available from the composer. Orchestration:  fl; ob/eng. horn; horn in f; bassoon; trumpet; trombone; tuba; string quintet; 2 percussionists; organ and piano (2 players)