Autumn Movement - (2015)    

Carl Sandburg

soprano and piano


 I cried over beautiful things knowing no beautiful thing lasts.

The field of cornflower yellow is a scarf at the neck of the copper sunburned woman, the mother
of the year, the taker of seeds.

The northwest wind comes and the yellow is torn full of holes, new beautiful things come in the
first spit of snow on the northwest wind, and the old things go, not one lasts.

2 pages, circa 2' 10"

Carl Sandburg


The text was found in The Second Book of Modern Verse, Jessie B. Rittenhouse, ed., 1922. The prose poem style was new a century ago, and in the passing years to my ear the best of it sings quite as does rhymed, metered work. For other settings of Sandburg's texts, click here .



The long arch of a succession of chords, doubled in the hands in softest dynamics, makes a more static gesture which then gives way in the second section to movement, at the calling up of images of northwest wind and that first spit of snow. The voice declaims in hushed tones,
I cried."



The score for Autumn Movement 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.


Autumn Movement