Desert Places (2019)

for choir

Instrumentation:  choir

Movements:

I.  Desert Places

II. Inter Ignes Luna Minores

III. All

IV. Song of the Stars

V. Lux Aeterna

 

Duration:  12 minutes

 

Program Notes:

This cycle of five contrasting songs takes its title from the poem of Robert Frost.  The various texts in the piece reference our psychological and spiritual inner spaces as well as the vast infiniteness of interstellar space.  The first song speaks of places of emptiness and fear, but also of home.  The second song, with a text by Sappho, references the lovely moon and stars.  The third song, with a text by Whitman taken from “On the Beach at Night Alone”, uses the repeated word “all” to present a sense of the infinite.  The fourth song, with a text by William Cullen Bryant, is a fast thrill ride beginning with the words, “Away, away!”.  The cycle ends with a meditation on the words “Lux Aeterna”.

 

Desert Places was commissioned by the Houston Chamber Choir, Robert Simpson, founder and artistic director, and was premiered by the Houston Chamber Choir on November 16, 2019, at South Main Baptist Church, Houston, Texas.

Copyright © 2019 Pierre Jalbert, Desert Places