In the Forest - (2009)
for baritone and piano
Out of the mid-wood's twilight
Into the meadow's dawn,
Flashes my Faun!
He skips through the copses
And his shadow dances along,
And I know not which I should
Shadow or song!
O Hunter, snare me his shadow!
Nightingale, catch me his strain!
Else moonstruck with music and madness
I track him in vain!
[ 3 pages, circa 1' 30" ]
The text comes late in Wilde's complete poetry, slightly before his lengthy
late works, The Sphinx and The Ballad of Reading Gaol. The
story of Wilde is well documented at this time in history, and his
relationships to women (as in his marriage and other family life) as well as
his homosexual affair for which he was jailed both touch his work, this text
obviously speaking to the later, while
Requiescat (which I set earlier this week) speaks to the former. It
is the imagery of a chase melded with confusion, the rhythm of the words
pushing forward with an urgency which finally confesses to a kind of "music
The 6/8 meter and tempo urge the text forward over a simple and often single
musical line rushing underneath. The harmonic framework on which this
accompaniment is based is a single tonic chord including its major seventh
of the scale; a notation of blurring with the pedal is suggested.
The score for In the Forest 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.
In the Forest