Instrumentation: SSAATTBB Choir and Piano, with Soprano Soloists
From As Time Stops To Rest (Song Cycle)
I. Two Friends (3:45)
II. Storm’s End (3:45)
III. Magic (6:00)
Premiered by: The South Bay Chamber Singers (Palos Verdes, CA in 2017)
“Magic” (the third and final movement of the choral song cycle As Time Stops To Rest) describes how the narrator senses the closeness of “the spirit kingdom” all around him or her, but only has fleeting glimpses of it. The piece opens with an a cappella dialogue between the altos and tenors, who are then joined by the sopranos and basses. The a cappella opening features lush and tightly packed harmonies that lead to a soprano soloist cueing in a lyrical piano arpeggio. The piece then builds to the joyous climax of the whole song cycle: “But oh, for a moment I grow flowers with my hands!”, alluding to how powerful and wondrous these brief glimpses of the spirit kingdom are. The texture then drops down to lulling a cappella chords in the lower voices as two featured soprano soloists “dance on wings uplifted”. The narrator then finally enters “the kingdom of all” he or she has been sensing, possibly through death. The movement concludes peacefully as the narrator “enter[s] the kingdom of all and AM”. The piano concludes with a peaceful postlude recalling motives used throughout the movement.
As Time Stops To Rest is a three-movement song cycle for SSAATTBB Choir and Piano, with featured soprano and tenor soloists. The cycle is dedicated to the composer’s late aunt Susan Jordan. The works sets three poems from a larger set of poetry entitled As Time Stops To Rest, also written by Susan Jordan. The song cycle has an overall arch form of peace followed by tragedy and loss, ultimately giving way to a final sense of peace.
Magic may be performed as part of the entire song cycle or as a stand-alone piece.
Also see the first movement Two Friends and the second movement Storm’s End.
Not far from me
Decked in light
Glowing with warmth
The spirit kingdom
For a moment
I grow flowers
With my hands
With all beauty
As I enter
Of All, and AM