Music and Texts of Gary Bachlund


Velvet Shoes - (2015)    

Elinor Wylie

for soprano and piano


Let us walk in the white snow
     In a soundless space;
With footsteps quiet and slow,
     At a tranquil pace,
     Under veils of white lace.

I shall go shod in silk,
     And you in wool,
White as a white cow’s milk,
     More beautiful
     Than the breast of a gull.

We shall walk through the still town
     In a windless peace;
We shall step upon white down,
     Upon silver fleece,
     Upon softer than these.

We shall walk in velvet shoes:
     Wherever we go
Silence will fall like dews
     On white silence below.
     We shall walk in the snow.

4 pages, circa 3' 00"

Elinor Wylie


The text is from "Still Colors," in Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22, edited by Harriet Monroe. For other settings of Wylie's texts, click here.




 The four stanzas of poetry are treated as two, the setting a simple A-A form. Two against three rhythms are expanded from repeated chords into more fluid gestures to underpin the sweet sense and imaginative imagery of the text. As Wylie had spoken of her work as done by "small clean technique," the gestures here are few and used as harmonic and structural brushstrokes to paint the scene, all of white.



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.


Velvet Shoes

in A4 format