Instrumentation SATB choir a cappella
Poem by Carol Burdick
Commissioned by the Alfred Chamber Singers in honour of Carol Burdick
World Premiere April 6, 2001, Alfred University, Alfred, New York. Alfred Chamber Singers; Luanne Crosby, conductor
Performance Note After Storm may be performed as a stand-alone piece or as part of the trilogy Three Songs for CB
When I first read Carol Burdick’s poem After Storm, I was struck by a poetic voice breaking with grief. The simplicity of the opening words masks an underlying sense of loss and pain. I imagined someone whose heart was suffering, who sought to bring peace to where there was only unrest. But the peaceful beauty of the winter snow, outside, does not find its way into this troubled soul.
This setting emphasises this contrast between the outer and inner worlds. After a gentle opening suggesting the calming of the falling snow, the sopranos continue this mood with a long melody, while the lower voices struggle to speak underneath. In the next section, the voices combine to appeal for rest, but ultimately beg to be released of all feeling. The last section suggests both a sense of defeat and resignation, and the possibility of eventual release.
Composer Jeffrey Ryan brings a strong and unique voice to the table and the Canadian Chamber Choir was well suited to his idiom. After Storm displayed shifting colours, delicate part writing, and a contemplative atmosphere that balanced accessibility with contemporary harmonies. (Andrew Thompson/Winnipeg Free Press)
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