Purple - (2016)     

 Margaret Steele Anderson

for soprano or mezzo soprano and piano


A pigeon walking dainty in the street;
The morning mist where backyard fences meet;
An old Victoria—and in it, proud,
An old, old woman, ready for her shroud:
These are the purple sights for me,
Not palaces nor pageantry.

3 pages, circa 2' 40"

...an old Victoria....


Margaret Steele Anderson (1867-1921) was literary editor of the `Evening Post' of Louisville, Kentucky, published one volume of poetry, The Flame in the Wind (John P. Morton and Company, 1914), and was also an art critic who wrote A Study in Modern Painting.  This text was published in Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, Harriet Monroe, ed., 1912–22.




 A simple melody in the piano sings over an arpeggio beneath in two bar spans of a very slow harmonic motion of only eight closely-related chords. The accompaniment repeats as the voice part enters and sings the innocence-laden lines until the imagery of the purple of impending death deepens the color of the whole. The last restatement raises the accompaniment an octave, in a music-box like fading away.





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.