SSATTB with soprano soloist
Text by Sara Teasdale
Embedded within our ordinary daily lives is the notion that we are both inextricably connected to and a part of nature and the world around us – and also entirely alone. Anyone who has spent time in nature, whether in remote wilderness or a city park, understands this truth. Yet even in the most contrived and extreme of human situations, such as times of war, this truth resonates. This setting of Sara Teasdale’s poem begins and ends with sounds of nature that emerge between spring rain showers, and weaves this contrasting human experience into a musical setting with lush, but unresolving harmonies, which depict the internal struggle to come to terms with this knowledge.
The solo vocalese at the beginning of the piece is transcribed from a recording of an American Robin’s song. It’s transposed down two octaves and slowed to the pace of human song, but the outline of pitches is true to the spirit of the bird, a common reminder of nature in most of North America.