Voicing/Instrumentation: SATB a cappella
Lyrics: Stacey Philipps
Duration: 3:30 to 5:15, flexible duration in aleatoric section
Difficulty: moderate-advanced (GIA level 4)
This little gem of a poem captures all the anticipation, wonder, and magic of a grey day turning into a wonderland, especially the way it doesn't reveal what is happening until the very last word. In like manner, the music evokes the bent of the sky, our tiny earth in the enormous universe, nostalgia of winters past, a glimmer of a lingering rose, a subtle allusion to the Virgin Mary, and finally, the unexpected, cascading delight of snowflakes.
Some simple extended techniques of overtones and glissandi, combined with a make-your-own-adventure section of simple aleatory make this a fresh and exciting piece for winter.
The grey sky bent above us—
It seemed so little,
Like a very distant village trio
Of almost forgotten years,
The trees sang.
As a lone white rose,
That stays its complete departure
And leaf by leaf goes straying—
Came, as from a greater beauty,
Hidden in the grey, bending sky,
Kelley, Leone. “Snow.” Poetry Magazine, Jan. 1920, pp. 180
Practice tracks for singers are available here.
Hidden in the grey, bending sky
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