Fall, Leaves, Fall (SATB divisi a cappella)

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 Page 1 Click to open a PDF

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.

Program Note:

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.

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Quick Bio

CBG2_WPRKOriginally from New York, Charles Griffin returned to the U.S. in 2010 to take a position at Florida's Full Sail University as course director of Advanced Music Composition in their MPBS program, after spending 5 years living and working in Latvia. His compositions and arrangements have been performed at festivals and concert halls throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Europe, Asia, Brazil, Cuba, and Puerto Rico.

He is also a radio show host on 91.5 WPRK FM. His show Zero Crossings incorporates live interviews with composers, conductors and performers with a focus on the local contemporary art music scene.

Read more in the biography section.