Fall, Leaves, Fall -
for medium voice and piano
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.
pages, circa 2' 15"
Emily Jane Brontë's (1818-1848) text echoes of Phineas Fletcher's "Drop,
drop, slow tears" or Jonson's "Slow, slow, fresh fount" in the opening
line's images, mingling noun and verb. Imperatives in the rhetoric suggested
the opening gestures for the vocal line. The interesting juxtaposition of
"die" and "decay" alongside "bliss" and wreaths of snow said to "blossom"
offers emotional complexity hidden within structural simplicity.
text is set as if two separate strophes in a simple binary form. A polytonal
accompaniment alters the harmonic colors in parallel tonal imagery in some
triadic gestures, though singular gestures are necessarily mirrored.
The score is available as a free PDF download, though any major commercial
performance or recording of the work is prohibited without prior arrangement
with the composer. Click on the graphic below for this piano-vocal score.
Fall, Leaves, Fall
in A4 format