Frostiana: Seven Country Songs

Full Work Name: Frostiana: Seven Country Songs
Form: songs for Mixed Chorus and Piano (1959), for Chamber Orchestra (1965)
Composer: Randall Thompson
Year/Date: 1959 & 1965
Period: 20th century
Catalogue #: N/A
Movements: 7

Frostiana: Seven Country Songs is a piece for mixed chorus and piano composed in 1959 by Randall Thompson. It premiered on October 18, 1959, in Amherst, Massachusetts. Thompson later scored the piece for chamber orchestra and chorus; this version was first performed on April 23, 1965.

Thompson was commissioned by the town of Amherst to write a piece commemorating its bicentennial in 1959. The town was known for its association with Robert Frost, who had lived there for some years. Frost had known Thompson for some time, and admired his music; accordingly, it was decided that the commemorative work would be a setting of some of Frost’s poetry. The town suggested “The Gift Outright”; Thompson, however, feared that the text was inappropriate for the occasion, and asked to be allowed to choose his own texts. In the end, the composer selected seven poems, with which he constructed a seven-movement suite of choral art songs:


“The Road Not Taken” – 06:06 “The Pasture” – 05:55 “Come In” – 03:20 “The Telephone” – 02:29 “A Girl’s Garden” – 03:01 “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” – 05:26 “Choose Something Like a Star” – 07:20

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