for tenor and piano

Written: 2005
Duration: 18'
Instrumentation: tenor and piano
Text by Kenny Berkowitz and Bridget Meeds
Written for Paul Sperry
PremiereAmerican Modern EnsemblePaul Sperry, tenor, Ieva Jokubaviciute, piano, Tenri Cultural Institute of NYC, April 16, 2005
 PublisherBill Holab Music

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Batter's Box is my second song cycle written in collaboration with Bridget Meeds, a poet, and Kenny Berkowitz, a journalist. The first project we worked on together was Thursday, a song cycle for soprano and piano in which the text consists of fictitious answering machine messages. This time, we specifically decided to tackle a subject that we thought might entice people into the concert hall who might not normally attend classical concerts. The text is loosely based on the life of baseball giant Mike Piazza of the New York Mets. Each movement represents a different phase of the game, and Piazza’s thoughts of his father tie everything together. However, overall, I interpret this cycle as being less about Piazza the individual and more about the all-American baseball player.

Press Quotes

Subtle and intricate musical settings that truly define the words “art songs”... intricate, idiomatic to the text, very colorful, and brilliantly wedded to the subtle nuances of vocal expression. A fine release. (4 Stars).
— Steven Ritter, Audiophile Audition
...intriguing, accessible art songs... surprisingly touching, candid cycle “Batter’s Box,” inspired by Mike Piazza.
— New Jersey Star Ledger
I really enjoyed Batter’s Box - not only text setting that so accentuates the words in a manner I love, meaning it is so clearly understood that you can actually enter the story being told without fear of becoming lost... it so beautifully communicates the sheer energy of being “in the game” and the thrill of ambition being met.
— Juliana Hall, Composer