Amy Lowell’s poem At Night for SATB a cappella speaks of the wind singing through the trees and the excitement of the wild wind. The voices imitate this idea of the wind at the beginning and end of the piece through freely-sung sections. Much of the piece contains this feeling of joyful freedom, from the dance-like section of “with delight she listens to the booming of the seas” to the “wild, tumultuous joy” that grows and builds with excitement. When the voices come together to exclaim “And my mind, O Star! is filled with your white light,” we feel the true wonder of a hot July night and the freedom to enjoy the onward sweeping wind.This piece was selected as the recipient of the 2008 Sorel Medallion and was premiered in Zankel Hall in Carnegie Hall by Voices of Ascension under the direction of Dennis Keene on October 29th.
Voices of Ascension. Dennis Keene – director
Zankel Hall in Carnegie Hall – October 29th, 2008
Amy Lowell (1874-1925)
The wind is singing through the trees to-night,
A deep-voiced song of rushing cadences
And crashing intervals. No summer breeze
Is this, though hot July is at its height,
Gone is her gentler music; with delight
She listens to this booming like the seas,
These elemental, loud necessities
Which call to her to answer their swift might.
Above the tossing trees shines down a star,
Quietly bright; this wild, tumultuous joy
Quickens nor dims its splendour. And my mind,
O Star! Is filled with your white light, from far,
So suffer me this one night to enjoy
The freedom of the onward sweeping wind.