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“Spring Sunlight” is the fourth song in Songs from a Quaker Heart, commissioned and premiered by the Arlington-Belmont Chamber Chorus in 2016.
“Spring Sunlight” is such a very short poem. Marian has encapsulated the idea of growth/decay in just a few words. But each line is so short!, and the contrasts need to confront each other. It took me a while to find a musical treatment lasting longer than 30 seconds. My setting dwells on each pair of contrasts, developing a mood and texture for each pair. Then there’s a shape-shifting in the last two lines as the rhythm changes and the action spills into the last line, which I highlight with a surprise chord change.
I chose the poem “Spring Sunlight” from Marian Shapiro’s personal manuscripts.
by Marian Kaplun Shapiro
Green leaves growing
me. You sleeping.
(Copyright Marian Kaplun Shapiro. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.)
The Arlington-Belmont Chamber Chorus, directed by Barry Singer, sings this May 2017 performance.
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