Wildwood Etude (1999), dedicated to Tellef Johnson, is a transcription of the second song ("In the Temple") from Gay Life, my song cycle for baritone and orchestra premiered by the San Francisco Symphony in May 2001. On top of the song's stately melody, I added an obbligato of continuously running sixteenth notes. I also inserted several virtuosic interludes. At the end, I added a coda quoting the last few measures of the Liszt Sonata, above which the by-now-quite-familiar-obbligato is superimposed. (The "Temple" of the song title is at the northern California retreat facility of the Body Electric School known as "Wildwood.")
Ballad in Yellow is beguilingly romantic. Wildwood Etude is moody and brooding. Del Tredici deftly reworks themes from Virgil Thomson's Four Saints in Three Acts in Opposites Attract.