Choral Choir (SATB divisi) - Level 4 - Digital Download
Composed by D. M. Gardner. Contemporary. Octavo. 13 pages. D. M. Gardner Music #37659. Published by D. M. Gardner Music (A0.799635).
This setting of Percy Shelley's Love's Philosophy mirrors the grandiose, romantic ideas of love captured so simply in the poem's text, musically describing how "the lover's regard of the universe is entirely coloured by his emotions."
Shelley's poem is heavily water-themed (fountains, rivers, ocean, sea), and this setting anchors on that idea. The introduction, for example, is water meandering, cascading down steps in a stream, making its way toward the vast ocean (presumably of love/life). An alternating 8th-note pattern (originally Gb to Ab) carries this theme of persistence in the pursuit of love (the continuous flow of water) throughout. The main melodic theme, first stated by the tenors (mm. 8-10) and continued by the baritones (mm. 11-12), mirrors the shape of waves.
Each phrase and sub-phrase should be thought of in terms of waves either building or dissipating, increasing or decreasing in frequency. Measures 36-40 particularly emphasize this concept, but the effect should be carried throughout. As a whole, the piece starts very quietly and gradually builds to a great wave breaking against the rocks (obstacles to love) in mm. 42-43. Measures 46 53 are a great release of emotional energy and freedom, settling down and gently washing into the shore (mm. 54-end) as the author's intentions are finally requited (a poetic license taken for this setting) and each person becomes of the same mindset, changing the nature of the pursuit.
The concept of wind is treated similarly to water, but light is used as a sharp contrast, emphasizing the difference between "disdain" (mm. 29-32) and the "sweet emotion" of love (mm. 33-35).
Generally, an additive texture is employed, starting simply and gradually thickening the tonal landscape. Melodically, a variation of the basic melody is inter-weaved between voices such that no one line contains it, but that it is perceived as a whole. For purposes of performance, the choir should be thought of a string orchestra that breathes.
Difficulty: Advanced (may be sung down a 1/2 to whole step, as desired)
Approx. 4’20" minutes in length.
To learn more about the composer, please visit https://www.dmgardner.com
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