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