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WILL WE STAY by Todd Goodman

for soprano, clarinet (or flute), and piano
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Product Details
UPC: WNM49801
Brand: Wrong Note Media
Composer: Todd Goodman
Year Written: 1998
Type: Chamber Music
Ensemble: high voice, clarinet, and piano
Parts: 2 scores and clarinet part included

SCORED FOR: soprano, clarinet in Bb (alternate flute), and piano. TOTAL TIME: [11:00]

Order ships with score and clarinet part. (alternate flute part is delivered as digital download)


from James Joyce’s Chamber Music (1918)

All day I hear the noise; Of waters making moan.
Sad as the seabird is; When going forth alone.
He hears the wind cry; To the waters monotone.
The gray winds, the cold winds; Are blowing where I go. I hear the noise; Of many waters far below.
All day, all night, I hear them; Flowing to and fro.

This heart that flutters near my heart.; My hope and all my riches is; Unhappy when we draw apart; And happy between kiss and kiss; My hope and all my riches - yes! -; and all my happiness.

For there, as in some mossy nest; The wrens that divers treasures keep; I laid those treasures I possessed; Ere that mine eyes had learned to weep. Shall we not be as wise as they; Though love live but a day?

O cool is the valley now; And there, love, will we go;
For many a choir is singing now;
Where love did sometimes go. And hear you not the thrushes calling;
Calling us away. O cool and pleasant is the valley; And there, love, will we stay.

NOTE FROM THE COMPOSER (written December 2021)

Will We Stay is a collection of three songs, with text by James Joyce, written for high voice, clarinet, and piano. This work is monumental—for me, at least. Written during my junior year at the University of Colorado, it was my first work that unapologetically broke away from the sterile, diatonic language that I had used in my previous works. Looking for something new, while also feeling the pressure of conforming to the atonal-academic style of composing, I landed on the language you will hear in this work—and much of my work since. It is a mix of tonal, modal, bitonal, and bimodal harmony that shifts and changes with the mood and needs of the music—often abruptly. While still in its infancy in the piece, the allure of the colors of these sounds still excites me today. Ironically, the poems used in this piece are from James Joyce’s first published work. A first for both of us.

While Will We Stay did set the stage for my more mature harmonic language, one element that I discovered during this process changed my writing forever. Throughout the last movement, the pianist creates a mysterious blanket of sound by quickly repeating a series of notes. This fast repetition of notes, which provides the harmony in a unique and energizing way, is now found in ALL of my work. And, it has been aptly dubbed, “The Goodman Doodle.”

James Joyce’s Chamber Music is a set of 36 love poems that was published in 1907. In this set, three poems stood out. The first, “All Day I Hear the Noise,” portrays a young man at sea longing for someone to love him. Joyce’s colorful language allowed for me to compose with broad brush strokes, painting words like “monotone” and phrases like “far below” and “winds cry.” The second poem in this piece, “This Heart that Flutters,” is written for only the clarinet and the voice and it tells the story of the same man, who this time has found love—even if it only feels fleeting. You can hear the fluttering heart, his tenderness, and his apprehension. In the last movement, “Oh Cool is the Valley Now,” our young lovers have discovered that love can stay. You will hear a warm blanket of sound—The Goodman Doodle—as melodic ideas are presented in fragments both above and below The Doodle. Elements of the first two movements are also interjected throughout the movement.

Todd Goodman’s Will We Stay was written for Sarah Davis.


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