About the Piece
Written for the University of Nebraska - Lincoln Chamber Singers under the direction of Dr. Marques Garrett. Premiered by a choir comprised of various professional musicians from the Denver area under the direction of Michael Ballard on June 26th, 2020 at the St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Denver, CO.
"To the River!" is another work symbolic of a growth point in my compositional process as a MM student. Attempting to explore writing music that implies the "second level" of the meaning of the text opposed to its surface, this work is about love.
Using a running triplet line throughout the work (representing both the river the poet is looking at and his heart at the thought of woman he loves), this piece twists and turns as the poet reflects on a river. Suddenly, it's revealed that he's not actually thinking of the river, but Old Alberto's daughter, whom he loves. From there, the joy of love is celebrated before the poet, realizing what it means to risk love, is put in a new and uncomfortable place that only the stirrings of the heart can bring one to. Your advanced choir will absolutely love singing this work!
See the Score:
Poem by Edgar Allan Poe
Fair river! in thy bright, clear flow
Of crystal, wandering water,
Thou art an emblem of the glow
Of beauty—the unhidden heart—
The playful maziness of art
In old Alberto's daughter;
But when within thy wave she looks—
Which glistens then, and trembles—
Why, then, the prettiest of brooks
Her worshipper resembles;
For in my heart, as in thy stream,
Her image deeply lies—
His heart which trembles at the beam
Of her soul-searching eyes.