Faye-Ellen Silverman

Wings of Night

Year: 2008

Duration (in minutes): 25'39;

Difficulty: Medium (college/community)

Category: choral

Publisher: Subito Music Corporation

My five-movement work contrasts the positive and negative aspects of night - night as a time for love and passion, and night as a cover for evil deeds. The first movement sets Emily Dickenson’s well-known poem “Wild Nights! Wild Nights!” Emily Dickinson has always fascinated me because her life was so confined and proper, yet her emotions so strong. The guitar introduces and supports the passion of the chorus. A guitar interlude dissolves this passion, and sets the mood for the next movement. The second and fourth movements match each other. Both use mezzo-soprano and baritone soloists (dark voices), and both set Shakespeare. Both deal with the negative aspects of night. The first. ”Comfort-Killing Night” deals with the rape of Lucrece. Her innocence, portrayed by guitar harmonics, contrasts with her pain. The fourth movement, “The Night Before the Battle”, from Henry V, is the famous passage of the hours before the battle between England and France. The third movement shows the fun of “Saturday Night”. With energy somewhat akin to rap music, it is mainly spoken. It is set only for chorus – speaking, clapping, stamping feet and, on occasion, even singing. This texture balances the two interludes that are only for guitar. The fifth movement, “May Night” is purposely simple – pure and joyous. The voices sing in unisons and octaves, and the guitar strums continuous chords. This movement is set up by a short guitar interlude, “From War to Peace”, which begins with commentary on the fourth movement and dissolves to harmonics and pure sounds.

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