Claude Baker’s General 2008 Commission, From Noon to Starry Night, premiered January 7 – 8, 2011 in the Hilbert Circle Theatre in Indianapolis, Indiana. An additional performance took place on January 9, 2011 at the Indiana University Musical Arts Center. The soloist for these performances was pianist Marc-André Hamelin. He was accompanied by the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra with Gilbert Varga conducting.
Peter Jacobi of the Herald Times in Bloomington, Indiana stated that the piece “emerges as music surely interesting enough, music skillfully designed and intriguingly orchestrated with all sorts of striking resonances, music stylistically varied from fully contemporary to effusively Romantic, music stimulating enough to draw and sustain a listener’s attention.”
In regards to the usage of Whitman’s poetry, Jacobi stated, “On listening to Baker’s musical responses to Whitman’s verbal stimulus, one can latch on to connections. The opening movement offers drumbeats and a metallic, warlike ambiance, a tumult suggestive of “Beat! Beat! Drums!” There is a lovely tilt to the movement about lilacs and resurgent nature. Ecstatic joy may be discerned in the closing movement, stirred by ‘The Mystic Trumpeter’.”
Claude Baker’s General Commission piece, From Noon to Starry Night, was performed by the Staatskapelle Halle, with Claire Huangci as the soloist and with Mario Venzago conducting, on January 24-25, 2016.