[HUSH]

Price: $2.50 ea   ("License to Create Copies", purchase through PayPal) 

Please note: A minimum quantity of 10 must be ordered
Please read about "Print on Demand/License to Create Copies
" before you place your first order) 
 
 
SATB/cello/piano
Secular text in English by Laura Chester
Difficulty rating (1-5): 3.5
Duration: 6 minutes

 
 listen to HUSH

P
erformed by the Illinois State University Concert Choir,
directed by Karyl Carlson

Premiered April 27, 2008 by the Concert Choir of Illinois State University, directed by Dr. Karyl Carlson


 
[HUSH] is Laura Chester’s brilliant poem about loss and hope -- a poem which, although born from a very personal experience of the poet’s,  yields a unique meaning to each reader. It is also a poem that requires multiple readings, as the imagery and the not fully explained “story” have so many intertwined elements and possible meanings that only a patient reader will be able to piece together a meaning for themselves. Laura actually told me the personal story behind the poem, but I don't think it is necessary to tell it here,  thus allowing each reader to their own interpretation.
 
In many  poems about hope, we are so often hit over the head with saccharine platitudes. It is refreshing to read a poem about hope this intelligently crafted and based in our humanity, thus avoiding  Hallmark greeting card cliches. To learn more about Laura Chester and her poetry, visit www.laurachester.com

In setting this poem I used two main ideas-- first a consoling chorale-like theme that appears first in mm. 7-9, and later 57-62, 75-81, and 100-128. The chorale represents acceptance and coming to peace with the outer and inner world.

The second element is a soaring use of tessitura creating a sence of  euphoria to represent remberance of simple yet poignant moments of past happiness...
"putting us beside the wood stove, where
the copper pot sings for its supper, and the mouths
of the children breathe against the frozen
glass", ...and later the flight of hope for the future... "sing, for
tomorrow will amaze us, as the
constellation rides, and the moonlight
doubles in the heart of the beholder".

This was a poem that took me quite a while to get started on. I let the poem simmer in my head much longer than I do for other settings, as I was very concerned about not doing a disservice to this great poem and its author. In fact, I was farily blocked on this until Laura herself suggested I should just let loose and let it happen!


 


TEXT
 

HUSH, WAS WHISPERED, guard it. There is
nothing to be done now, listen. Nothing you
can do. First snow descends most silent. Falling
through worlds to be our covering, our rest,
putting us beside the wood stove, where
the copper pot sings for its supper, and the mouths
of the children breathe against the frozen
glass. There is nothing to accomplish, no
test. Just allow that flower to break
its sheath of ice, and warming, bloom in
brightness. No one has to take it.
Nothing to be said. Let it open--
toward the hills, the higher hills. Let it
be the song on which you rise, even as
the snow descends, and absence
animates the landscape, even at
this time of darkness—sing, for
tomorrow will amaze us, as the
constellation rides, and the moonlight
doubles in the heart of the beholder,
balancing the curving slopes of white.

 

  

Click to See pdf Score
       (partial score)
 


(select your quantity
after you click here)

Please note: A minimum quantity
of 10 must be ordered
 

        RETURN TO:

  Mixed Chorus
  Treble Chorus
  Children's Chorus
  Male Chorus

  Instrumental   
  Solo Voice

  Sacred
  Secular
  Winter Holidays

  Commisioned Works

  Index of Titles