After the Dazzle of Day, on Walt Whitman’s poem

 

From the choral cycle ‘Songs of Spring’, No.2

Date of composing April 2014; May 2015 – revised; January 2016 – revised

Genre choral song for alto solo and mixed chorus SATB a cappella

Language English

Style Romantic

Duration [2’21”]

Level of difficulty advanced

Copyrights music: © 2014-2016 Natalia Pispini; lyrics: Walt Whitman’s poems from public domain (credit to http://www.gutenberg.org)

Description

The song is in B minor – B major, Lento. For the lyrics, I chose ‘After the Dazzle of Day’ poem by Walt Whitman from his ‘The Leaves of Grass’:

After the dazzle of day is gone,

Only the dark, dark night shows to my eyes the stars;

After the clangor of organ majestic, or chorus, or perfect band,

Silent, athwart my soul, moves the symphony true.

The free developing form is based on alternation alto solo and chorus sections. The chorus repeats the poetical phrases sung by the soloist, and only near the end they sing together. The solo and chorus sections have different music by their meter (3/4 vs. 5/8), rhythm (more varied rhythm vs. more monotonous) and melodic contours (wider melody vs. step-by-step moving melody). The vocal ranges are: Alto solo – G3 – B-flat4; Chorus: Soprano – C-sharp4 – F5, Alto – A3 – A-sharp4, Tenor – F-sharp3 – F4, Bass – G-sharp2 – F-sharp3.

Performance notes

The alto solo voice is expected to have deep and rich timbre. The parts for alto solo and alto chorus are composed in such a way, when the best performance could be provided if the soloist is placed near other altos or surrounded by them. The 5/8 meter beats need to be as rhythmically precise as possible. The chorus harmonies contain a number of dissonant combinations.

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The First Dandelion, on Walt Whitman’s poem

From the choral cycle ‘Songs of Spring’, No.1.

Date of composing April 2014; May 2015 – revised; January 2016 – revised

Genre choral song for mixed chorus SATB a cappella

Language English

Style Romantic

Duration [1’43”]

Level of difficulty advanced

Copyrights music: © 2014-2016 Natalia Pispini; lyrics: Walt Whitman’s poems from public domain (credit to www.gutenberg.org)

Description

The song is in C major, Adagio. For the lyrics, ‘The First Dandelion’ poem by Walt Whitman from ‘The Leaves of Grass’ had been chosen:

Simple and fresh and fair from winter’s close emerging,

As if no artifice of fashion, business, politics, had ever been,

Forth from its sunny nook of shelter’d grass — innocent, golden, calm as the dawn,

The spring’s first dandelion shows its trustful face.

When I was composing this piece, I thought of simple and easy-to-listen music. The texture is quite transparent, with drops of motif imitations. The form is following the changes of the poetic lines and has ABCA1 scheme. The vocal ranges are: Soprano – D4 – F5, Alto – A-flat3 – G4, Tenor – E-flat3 – D-flat4, Bass – G2 – A3.

Performance notes

The pastoral character of this song better matches with light-colored voices. Prevailing low dynamics and slow Adagio tempo might constitute certain difficulties for a chorus. In this case, slightly changes toward louder volumes or/and faster tempos are possible.

Look at the score sample

Listen to the midi rendering

Purchase the score and parts on Etsy