Wild Swans

Wild Swans

Chamber Works

Nancy Bachmann composer
Diane Maltester clarinet
Ann Moss soprano

Release Date: August 11, 2023
Catalog #: NV6547
Format: Digital
21st Century
Vocal Music

Diane Maltester and Nancy Bachmann take listeners on a mesmerizing musical journey with WILD SWANS.

Contemporary composer Nancy Bachmann’s exquisite music entices listeners with an artist’s pallet of expressive and progressive sounds. Released under Navona Records, this extraordinary album showcases Bachmann’s compositions for the superbly talented clarinetist, Diane Maltester.

WILD SWANS takes flight through compositions for voice, woodwind quintet, trios, duos, and unaccompanied clarinet. The wings of Bachmann’s imaginative energy and Maltester’s interpretive virtuosity transport the listener to beautiful and exotic destinations.

As one explores the transcendent compositions on WILD SWANS Bachmann’s brilliance and versatility shine through on every track, illuminated by the extraordinary artistry of Maltester and all her collaborators. A captivating mix of wildness and grace!


Hear the full album on YouTube

Track Listing & Credits

# Title Composer Performer
01 Two Songs on Poems by William Butler Yeats: I. The Lake Isle of Innisfree Nancy Bachmann Diane Maltester, clarinet; Ann Moss, soprano; Wendy Tamis, harp 5:49
02 Two Songs on Poems by William Butler Yeats: II. The Wild Swans at Coole Nancy Bachmann Diane Maltester, clarinet; Ann Moss, soprano; Wendy Tamis, harp 6:52
03 Latin Dances: I. Rumba Nancy Bachmann Diane Maltester, clarinet; Nancy Bachmann, piano 3:25
04 Latin Dances: II. Sarabande Nancy Bachmann Diane Maltester, clarinet; Nancy Bachmann, piano 4:54
05 Latin Dances: III. Tango Nancy Bachmann Diane Maltester, clarinet; Nancy Bachmann, piano 6:22
06 American Quilt Sketches: I. Five Pointed Star Nancy Bachmann Diane Maltester, clarinet; Michelle Caimotto, flute; Deborah Shidler, oboe; Alicia Telford, horn; Deborah Kramer, bassoon 4:10
07 American Quilt Sketches: II. Log Cabin Nancy Bachmann Diane Maltester, clarinet; Michelle Caimotto, flute; Deborah Shidler, oboe; Alicia Telford, horn; Deborah Kramer, bassoon 3:26
08 American Quilt Sketches: III. Sunbonnet Sue Nancy Bachmann Diane Maltester, clarinet; Michelle Caimotto, flute; Deborah Shidler, oboe; Alicia Telford, horn; Deborah Kramer, bassoon 1:52
09 American Quilt Sketches: IV. Double Wedding Rings Nancy Bachmann Diane Maltester, clarinet; Michelle Caimotto, flute; Deborah Shidler, oboe; Alicia Telford, horn; Deborah Kramer, bassoon 2:59
10 American Quilt Sketches: V. Wild Goose Chase Nancy Bachmann Diane Maltester, clarinet; Michelle Caimotto, flute; Deborah Shidler, oboe; Alicia Telford, horn; Deborah Kramer, bassoon 1:34
11 California Romances: I. Sonnet: The Serenade Nancy Bachmann Nancy Bachmann, lyrics, piano; Diane Maltester, clarinet; Ann Moss, soprano 5:01
12 California Romances: II. Autumn Equinox Nancy Bachmann Nancy Bachmann, lyrics, piano; Diane Maltester, clarinet; Ann Moss, soprano 6:56
13 California Romances: III. The Pacific is Playful Today Nancy Bachmann Nancy Bachmann, lyrics, piano; Diane Maltester, clarinet; Ann Moss, soprano 4:31
14 Pastorale and Romp Nancy Bachmann Diane Maltester, clarinet; Michelle Caimotto, flute; Deborah Shidler, oboe 8:09
15 The Nocturnal Ones Nancy Bachmann Diane Maltester, clarinet 4:22
16 Aviata Nancy Bachmann Diane Maltester, clarinet 3:55
17 Ave Maria Nancy Bachmann Diane Maltester, clarinet; Ann Moss, soprano 4:33

Performer Information
Nancy Bachmann: nancybachmann.com
Diane Maltester: dianemaltester.com
Ann Moss: annmosssoprano.com
Wendy Tamis: wendytamisharpist.com
Michelle Caimotto: flutestudiom.com
Alicia Telford: adtelford3@gmail.com
Deborah Kramer:

In Memorium
Deborah Shidler (1954-2021) was a gifted musician, devoted teacher, colleague and close friend. We miss her beautiful musicianship, joyful spirit, sparkling wit and infectious laughter.
Link to obituary here.

Recorded March-June 2018 at the Berkeley Piano Club in Berkeley CA
Producer & Editing Lolly Lewis, Transparent Recordings
Engineers Lolly Lewis, Piper Payne, Zach Miley

Mastering Piper Payne, Infrasonic

Cover Photo by Cindy Goeddel

Executive Producer Bob Lord

A&R Director Brandon MacNeil
A&R Chris Robinson

VP of Production Jan Košulič
Audio Director Lucas Paquette

VP, Design & Marketing Brett Picknell
Art Director Ryan Harrison
Design Edward A. Fleming, Morgan Hauber
Publicity Aidan Curran

Artist Information

Nancy Bachmann


I have been fortunate in my life to have had three overlapping but distinct careers in music. As a younger woman I enjoyed freelancing as a pianist and singer; performing chamber music, solo and duo recitals, coaching, and doing some part time college teaching. Later I took a full time position as music professor at Los Medanos Community College, where I headed the piano, theory, and recital programs. Now, retired from teaching, I am turning my focus to composing, a long-neglected love. 

Diane Maltester


Diane Maltester is a renowned musician and educator based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is a talented clarinetist who has showcased her exceptional musical skills in a variety of orchestral settings. Maltester has wowed audiences with her expressive and lyrical interpretations in orchestras such as the cutting-edge Oakland Symphony, and the progressive Festival Opera, Bay Philharmonic, and Vallejo Symphony. Maltester’s contributions extend beyond her orchestral endeavors. She is active as a Bay Area soloist and chamber music performer and a regular member of Clarinet Fusion, a clarinet choir which performed at the 2022 International Clarinetfest.


The Lake Isle of Innisfree
By William Butler Yeats

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

The Wild Swans at Coole
By William Butler Yeats

The trees are in their autumn beauty,
The woodland paths are dry,
Under the October twilight the water
Mirrors a still sky;
Upon the brimming water among the stones
Are nine and fifty swans.

The nineteenth Autumn has come upon me
Since I first made my count;
I saw, before I had well finished,
All suddenly mount
And scatter wheeling in great broken rings
Upon their clamorous wings.

I have looked upon those brilliant creatures,
And now my heart is sore.
All’s changed since I, hearing at twilight,
The first time on this shore,
The bell-beat of their wings above my head,
Trod with a lighter tread.

Unwearied still, lover by lover,
They paddle in the cold,
Companionable streams or climb the air;
Their hearts have not grown old;
Passion or conquest, wander where they will,
Attend upon them still.

But now they drift on the still water
Mysterious, beautiful;
Among what rushes will they build,
By what lake’s edge or pool
Delight men’s eyes, when I awake some day
To find they have flown away?

Three dances from the “New World”: Rumba from the Caribbean, Tango from Argentina and Sarabande, thought to come originally from Mexico.

— Nancy Bachmann

Traditional quilting, like chamber music, is a cooperative, communal activity and the clean crisp lines delineating the sewn patterns brought woodwind sonorities to my mind. This suite celebrates the remarkable needlecraft of our American foremothers. They took scraps, rags, and remnants of otherwise worn out garments and household fabrics to stitch together useful (often life saving) “blankets” that were also beautiful works of art. These early quilters favored certain shapes and designs that I have used for my musical inspiration. In these five pieces I have tried to honor the physical shapes of the patterns as well as emotions evoked by their use.

I. “The Five Pointed Star” was often the strong central piece in a quilt. Smaller stars would appear in multiples on a dark background, evoking the night sky. Frequently the quilt colors were red, white, and blue, bringing to mind the American flag and an old fashioned Fourth of July celebration. This big opening movement carries a sense of the strength and pride of our pioneering foremothers, as well as a pensive appreciation of the powerful natural surroundings of open plains and sprawling farmlands. I’ve used five beat time signatures and pointedly disjunct melodic motives to illustrate the star’s physical structure.

II. “The Log Cabin” quilt design was staggered, long, thin rectangles: what one would see looking at the inside wall of a log cabin. The layered, overlapping sustained notes depict the shape of the quilt pattern pieces, while the horn solo expresses the feelings of a peaceful, loving home.

III. “The Sunbonnet Sue” design is all bonnet, skirt, and apron. She’s just cute! I imagined a little girl playfully enjoying the sunshine of a bright spring day.

IV. “The Double Wedding Rings” with its interconnected circles was a difficult pattern to render in cloth. It was often used in the special quilt made as a wedding gift. I have chosen a rather circular melodic motive, frequently in duet, to depict the happy married couple. The layered accompaniment pattern is reminiscent of the log cabin motive, and the overall feeling is one of peaceful domestic bliss.

V. “Wild Goose Chase”: The Flying Geese pattern was simple triangles of fabric combined in many different ways. Sometimes the pattern that emerged was symmetrical, other times the “geese” seemed to chase each other all over the quilt. The triangles are depicted in the melodic shapes and by three note rhythmic patterns. This movement suggests flight as I hope to give wings to the memory of those remarkable, inventive pioneer women who took fabric scraps and quilted their history into true art!

— Nancy Bachmann

Music and lyrics by Nancy Bachmann

I wrote these songs in homage to the German art song tradition. The poems are Romantic in style and intent. Like so many German Lieder, they celebrate the beauty of nature; fields of California poppies and lupin; foggy redwood forests; and the many moods of the Pacific Ocean.

— Nancy Bachmann

I. Sonnet: The Serenade

Your silver song threads softly through my dreams,
Weaving silken visions of delight:
I soar o’er crimson mountains crowned in white,
Then glide through purple skies on moonlit beams.
My fantasy becomes a morning bold,
That sparkles bright as every waking bird
Pipes crystal trills, competing to be heard
‘Cross fields of lupin blue and poppy gold.
Then I awake and hear your music still
Entwining gentle tendrils ’round my heart,
“Come to me,” you plead, “let us depart!
I’ll never cease my song to you until
Together, hand in hand, we wander through
Fields of poppy gold and lupin blue.”

II. Autumn Equinox

There’s an ache in the air of September
That longs for the Winter’s rest,
It’s difficult now to remember
The breath of Spring we thought we loved best.
The tops of the Redwoods are spangled
By Autumn’s ethereal glow,
While mosses and ferns, entangled,
Guard the spent creek’s meager flow.
Here Oak and Aspen leaves shimmer
Fueled by an inner source,
Exhaling the last of the Summer
Sun’s exuberant force.

Now Fog threads its way through the branches,
The Redwoods sigh with relief,
Marking the mist as the cloud advances,
Soft but relentless daylight thief.

A blanket of silence descends
From arbor to forest floor,
No tree creak, no bird song attends
The damp hush that sinks to the core

Of this, the year’s sweet balance point,
Between light and dark, watching and sleep,
I lift my face so the Fog may anoint
The ache that has settled so deep.

Now my heart yearns for you
And holds you dear.
My heart holds you, and yearns.

III. The Pacific is Playful Today

The Pacific is playful today,
The breakers, akimbo,
Come tumbling on to the beach.
Their crashing and teasing
Make gleeful seagulls screech!

The Pacific is playful today,
Recalling that May
When we romped and we kissed and we planned.
Now the sea holds the secrets
Of love notes we wrote in the sand.
The Pacific is playful today,
Surging and swelling,
It’s bringing you back to me now.
I see your bright sail,
The clean cut of that dancing bow!
With our toes in the sand,
We’ll join heart and hand,
As breakers roll into the bay.
Then with newlywed glee
We’ll take to the sea,
And together, sail away!
Ba da ba da da da…

Impressionist in style and Baroque in structure, the opening of this piece depicts birds awakening in a peaceful pasture, and breezes playing through the grasses. The Romp is inspired by the antics of playful Spring lambs.

— Nancy Bachmann

The forest night shelters many mysterious creatures who step watchfully, scurry, slither, or take flight through dark, leafy shadows.

— Nancy Bachmann

This flight of fancy for the highest clarinet was inspired by the different birds that live in my backyard.

— Nancy Bachmann

I composed this Ave Maria shortly after the 9/11 attacks. The times were so disturbing I was unable to write anything but a prayer. Each phrase is shaped like a slow breath of meditation. The text “Mater, Mater” is set with descending thirds like a child’s cry: “Mommy, Mommy.” I hoped to express the longing and trust that a call to Mother Mary declares. The prayer ends as it begins with a full circle of breath.

Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum.
Benedicta tu in mulieribus,
et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus.
Sancta Maria, Mater Dei,
ora pro nobis peccatoribus,
nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and in the hour of our death. Amen.

— Nancy Bachmann