A Premiere in Germany

An excerpt from Trains


Gregory Wiest premiered Rodney Waschka's song cycle Trains, for voice and piano, in Munich, Germany on March 25, 2007.

Wiest, a tenor based in Germany and a long-time proponent of contemporary music, sang the song cycle that is scored for voice and piano.  The cycle contains ten songs in which images of trains, war materials, and refugees make regular appearances. The text for the Trains is a poem of the same name by Waschka that was originally published in the New York Quarterly.

Trains was composed in the summer of 2006.  The song cycle asks the vocalist to speak the text parts and to use syllables of his choice for the sung portions.

"I'm delighted that Mr. Wiest gave the first performance of this work," Waschka said. "His voice sounds wonderful and his work shows diligence and a level of musicianship that is rare anywhere in the world."

Gregory Wiest was born in the United States and has lived in Germany for decades. In addition to singing traditional operatic repertoire, he regularly organizes and performs recitals of contemporary American and English songs. Wiest has recorded a highly praised compact disc of works by living composers for Capstone Records of New York.

Dr. Rodney Waschka is an internationally recognized composer known for his computer music and his theatrical works including two operas. His pieces are widely performed and have been recorded on the Capstone, AUR, Centaur, and IRIDA labels in the USA, on the PeP label in Canada, and on the Ama Romanta and Plancton labels in Portugal.  His works are published by Borik Press and ACE. He is Professor of Arts Studies at North Carolina State University.