SATB divisi, a cappella (1996) ca. 3’
Emily Brontë, Text.
Premiered by San Francisco Choral Artists, Magen Solomon, director.
Listen to a performance by the Freeport High School Select Chorale, Stephen Pagano, Director
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Fall, leaves, fall; die flowers, away;
Lengthen night and shorten day;
Every leaf speaks bliss to me,
Fluttering from the autumn tree.
I shall smile when wreaths of snow
Blossom where the rose should grow;
I shall sing when night’s decay
Ushers in a drearier day.
In my setting of Brontë’s poem, I tried to musically linger on the image of a falling leaf through the use of suspensions and lazy, chromatic, interweaving vocal lines. As with leaves, the motion is primarily one of descent, but an occasional updraft lifts the vocal lines too. In most cases, by the time the suspended line resolves, the chord around it has changed, forcing the line to continue.