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The Prairie

Viola and Piano / ca. 3:35 / 2015 / Expressively, with ebb and flow h=60

00:00 / 05:34
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Program Notes

Composed in 2007, The Prairie was written at the request of Peter Alexander (Alexander Publishing) and is part of a larger project of Solo Compositions written for each major instrument of the Orchestra: Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, Horn in F, Trumpet, Trombone, Tuba, Violin, Viola, Cello and Double Bass. The project consisted of composing music for specific poems chosen by Peter that he felt reflected the character of each instrument.  For the Solo Tuba, the poem assigned was The Prairie by Rudyard Kipling. This setting for Violin was requested by Ruth Meints (Omaha Conservatory of Music.)

 

The Prairie

by Rudyard Kipling

I see the grass shake in the sun for leagues on either hand,
I see a river loop and run about a treeless land --
An empty plain, a steely pond, a distance diamond-clear,
And low blue naked hills beyond. And what is that to fear?"

"Go softly by that river-side or, when you would depart,
You'll find its every winding tied and knotted round your heart.
Be wary as the seasons pass, or you may ne'er outrun
The wind that sets that yellowed grass a-shiver 'neath the Sun."

I hear the summer storm outblown -- the drip of the grateful wheat.
I hear the hard trail telephone a far-off horse's feet.
I hear the horns of Autumn blow to the wild-fowl overhead;
And I hear the hush before the snow. And what is that to dread?"

"Take heed what spell the lightning weaves -- what charm the echoes shape --
Or, bound among a million sheaves, your soul shall not escape.
Bar home the door of summer nights lest those high planets drown
The memory of near delights in all the longed-for town."


"What need have I to long or fear? Now, friendly, I behold
My faithful seasons robe the year in silver and in gold.
Now I possess and am possessed of the land where I would be,
And the curve of half Earth's generous breast shall soothe and ravish me!" 

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