Little Book of Care & Laughter (download)


Harpsichord solo–12′

A harpsichord suite which explores many shades of mood and ends with a familiar tune and a smile. 

Listen to excerpts: Lament, In Tandem, Revels, Tombeau

Preview the score:



A Little Book of Care and Laughter

Harpsichord solo

Exuberance • Lament • In Tandem • Question • Revels • Tombeau • A New Life

Program Note

three-shot of men in tiesA Little Book of Care and Laughter was conceived in the Schubert Club Musical Instrument Museum in Saint Paul, an intimate gallery tucked away in the basement of an old castle-like building. I served as a docent for several years there, and had the use of a Hubbard and Robertson two-manual harpsichord, with which I taught myself about music “in a resistant medium.” I remember once hearing harpsichord music described as laughter. The Book begins with hilarity, but proceeds immediately to the lyrical “Lament.” Manuals converse in “Tandem,” and the sentimental “Question” provides no answers. In “Revels,” two themes are contrasted and combined. “Tombeau” remembers Jim Avery (1949-1999), Northwestern University Chaplain from 1973-1986. The tune of the finale, which brings us round the circle, will be familiar as the Welsh New Year’s carol “Nos Galan,” sung in the States around Christmas as “Deck the Halls.”

David Evan Thomas has been honored with two McKnight Foundation Artist Fellowships, an Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and commissions from the Minnesota Orchestra and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Born in Rochester, New York in 1958, Thomas studied at Northwestern University, Eastman School of Music and the University of Minnesota. His music is published by ECS, MorningStar, Augsburg Fortress and several other publishers. While he started as a trumpet player, Thomas has studied the piano throughout the decades, most recently with Stephanie Wendt and Irina Elkina. In recent years, he has participated in the Bennington Chamber Music Conference. Thomas lives in Minneapolis.


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