Poem of the Air

SATB and cello

Text by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 

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Snowflakes

Out of the bosom of the Air, 

      Out of the cloud-folds of her garments shaken, 

Over the woodlands brown and bare, 

      Over the harvest-fields forsaken, 

            Silent, and soft, and slow 

            Descends the snow. 

 

Even as our cloudy fancies take 

      Suddenly shape in some divine expression, 

Even as the troubled heart doth make 

      In the white countenance confession, 

            The troubled sky reveals 

            The grief it feels. 

 

This is the poem of the air, 

      Slowly in silent syllables recorded; 

This is the secret of despair, 

      Long in its cloudy bosom hoarded, 

            Now whispered and revealed 

            To wood and field. 

Performed by Grinnell New Music Choir, directed by John Rommereim

Program Notes

The text gracefully describes the grief of the sky being shown through the "silent, and soft, and slow" descent of snow.  This piece features a dialogue between the cello and the choir, with short cello solos between sections, giving time to reflect. 

Premiered by Grinnell New Music Choir, directed by John Rommereim 

Sebring-Lewis Hall, Grinnell IA, September 16 2011