Dana Gioia

Regarding The Apple Orchard (from Carol Kimball’s article “Bright Is The Ring of Words” in The Journal of Singing, September/October 2009):

I have had a great many songs composed based on my poems. Usually the song — good, bad, or wonderful — becomes something quite different from my poem. That is only natural. The composer’s vision transforms the text in some decisive way. With “The Apple Orchard” something extraordinary happened. Lori Laitman’s setting is so perfect that it seems to have emerged naturally from the words as if the music had always been hidden in the lines. Every nuance of her settings seems absolutely inevitable. I can’t imagine another possible setting of the poem. And the song is so suave, so beautiful — somehow both understated and dramatic. I loved it from the first moment I heard it. And oddly I have never heard a performance which didn’t work. A collaboration this perfect is a very rare thing.