THE LAST OF JAMES FENIMORE COOPER
(19:30) String Orchestra (V1,V2,Vla,Vc,Cb), Narrator. Copyright Fee: Score. Music and Lyrics Copyright ©2001, Brent Michael Davids.
The Last of James Fenimore Cooper is a narrated and humorous story featuring a string orchestra musical score. James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851) penned his famous "The Last of the Mohicans" in 1826, setting the stage for numerous films and adaptations. Two Mohicans, Uncas and his father Chingachgook, befriend Hawkeye and some English colonists. In the original story, an Iroquois guide named Magua kills the younger Mohican, leaving the old man to be the final member of the Mohican race. Anyone might assume that Cooper would get the rightful facts, but he did not. With his mainstream popularity, Cooper's DEAD "Mohicans" have overshadowed the REAL Mohicans, who remain quite alive! So, after hearing jokes such as "Oh ... are you the second-to-the-last of the Mohicans?" and variations ad-nauseam, I decided to compose my own story, "The Last of James Fenimore Cooper." The new work combines the plot of Cooper's original story with that of a much older Mohican story about the Snow Monster of the North. In my version, Cooper is a character in his own story and becomes transformed -- his brainless deed forgiven -- all scored for string orchestra music.
Rewritten for string orchestra, the original "The Last of James Fenimore Cooper" was commissioned for the Miró Quartet by the Caramoor International Music Festival for A String Quartet Library for the 21st Century, and is dedicated to the surviving Mohicans, the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of the Mohican Nation, and to our perseverance, longevity, humor and unique way of life.