A Winter Ride
for SATB and Piano (2020)

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Duration: 4+ minutes

     If you have read any of my vocal or choral pages on this site, you likely have come across the name of Amy Lowell (1874-1925). She is my poet, and I have set, and re-set, many of her works. I'm nevertheless sure that I still have not reached the end of my fascination for, and gratitude toward, Ms. Lowell. Click here for a a list of vocal and choral works based on her poetry, a glimpse of the hold she has over me - all sorts of chamber and orchestral settings for solo voices and choruses.

     She was a Boston Lowell, rich and privileged, but not very

  



impressed by show and glitz. In fact her poem,"The Dinner-Party" is scathing in its depiction of the society into which she had been born. She was a member of a group of poets known as Imagists, and for good reason: in one poem she compares the heat and urgency of first love to "red wine and honey" that "burned my mouth with its sweetness"; in another she imagines an elderly craftsman who paints roses upon silk wishing he could paint them bursting into sound; and she says in another, speaking of her failed argument with a smug dinner guest, "...my weapon slithered over his polished surface" (see "The Dinner-Party" link above). These are memorable images indeed and "A Winter Ride" fully lives up to that standard.

Who shall declare the joy of the running!
Who shall tell of the pleasures of flight!
Springing and spurning the tufts of wild heather,
Sweeping, wide-winged, through the blue dome of light.
Everything mortal has moments immortal,
Swift and God-gifted, immeasurably bright.


So with the stretch of the white road before me,
Shining snow crystals rainbowed by the sun,
Fields that are white, stained with long, cool, blue shadows,
Strong with the strength of my horse as we run.
Joy in the touch of the wind and the sunlight!
Joy! With the vigorous earth I am one.

     As a former chorister, singing tenor for many years in a fine choir in Canada, I have learned much of what the voice can accomplish. And being married to Andrea Mellis, one of the finest voice teachers extant helps too! Thus choirs will find this work admirably singable, if somewhat challenging rhythmically. The momentum is that of a charging horse and it must not be allowed to flag. Good luck and good fun to those who try it!

     A sample score can be viewed by clicking above, and the full score may be obtained from the Canadian Music Centre, or by sending me an email (below). Also, you may hear a computer-generated MIDI file (notes only - the computer doesn't know the words!) And if your group decides to perform "A Winter Ride", do please notify me of date and location so I can keep my Performances Page up-to-date.


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