Before Quiet - (2022)
for mezzo soprano and piano
I will think of water-lilies
Growing in a darkened pool,
And my breath shall move like water,
And my hands be limp and cool.
It shall be as though I waited
In a wooden place alone;
I will learn the peace of lilies
And will take it for my own.
If a twinge of thought, if yearning
Come like wind into this place,
I will bear it like the shadow
Of a leaf across my face.
4 page, circa 2' 45"
This text of Hazel Hall (1886-1924) is found in Poetry - A Magazine of Verse, Volume 24, No. 4, ed. Harriet Monroe, July 1924.
These two strophes somewhat alike carry the imagery of this moment in the cycle of life and death, and the last strophe is treated as a small recitative at first before the remembrance of the opening gesture as it slows and simplifies to its end. The various triple gestures break the seeming strict underscoring of sixteenths.
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 art song score.