Rorems’s Bitchy Picnic on the Marne

Rorems’s Bitchy Picnic on the Marne

Ned Rorem’s bitchy recollection of a “collapsed romance” inspired Picnic on the Marne: Seven Waltzes (1984). The romance with Claude Benedick was hot in the 1950s but by 1967 all that was left was rancor. The New York Diary (1967) spews his anger: “Sweet memories will...
Bowles & Schuyler’s Delightfully Silly Picnic Cantata

Bowles & Schuyler’s Delightfully Silly Picnic Cantata

Paul Bowles and James Schuyler’s performance piece A Picnic Cantata: for Four Women’s Voices, Two pianos, and Percussion (1954) is delightfully silly. It is a picnic that is happy and makes no sense. The music by Paul Bowles’ and the libretto by James Schuyler...