The Cloisters (for Voice and Piano)




Four songs to texts by William M. Hoffman
Solo voice and up to 8 players



Solo voice and up to 8 players


For voice and piano


13 minutes

commissioned by


Judith Keller, mezzo-soprano; Richard Woitach, piano at Town Hall, New York (November 15, 1965)

Program note

The Cloisters is one of John Corigliano’s earlier works, dating from 1965. After his friend the poet and playwright William M. Hoffman wrote The Unicorn, Corigliano suggested that several more poems, unified by the motif of the Cloisters, a museum of medieval art at the northern end of Manhattan, might provide wonderful material for a song cycle. The resulting group of four poems touches on romantic moods and picturesque images associated in Hoffman’s mind with the Cloisters. The third song, “Christmas at the Cloisters”, is dedicated to gospel singer Marion Williams. The cycle also exists in a version with orchestral accompaniment.

– Walter Simmons


Fort Tryon Park: September

Song to the Witch of the Cloisters

Christmas at the Cloisters

The Unicorn


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