Silver Filigree -
medium voice and piano
On trees in festoon
Swing, swayed to our breathing:
They're made of the moon.
She's a pale, waxen taper;
And these seem to drip
Transparent as paper
From the flame of her tip.
Molten, smoking a little,
Into crystal they pass;
Falling, freezing, to brittle
And delicate glass.
Each a sharp-pointed flower,
Each a brief stalactite
Which hangs for an hour
In the blue cave of night.
pages, circa 2' 30"
fine crisp and frozen day in Berlin, there are icicles on our terrace, and
the bare trees in the park are sometimes "wreathed" and "festooned" as Wylie
spins the image. The sharp-pointed flowers snowflake on the city over these
last days as winter takes us in hand. The text is from Wylie's 1921
collections, Nets to Catch the Wind.
quiet dissonance of the three chords as seen throughout the setting become
consonant as the vocal line steps through their flatted coloration to sing
in a steadfast Phrygian awaiting the final cadence for its true resolution.
This is something akin to minimalist in approach and yet color-filled and
lyrical, as the vocal line's consistent triple feeling bends not to the
underlying duple meter and overall rhythms.
The score for
Silver Filigree 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