…and low to the lake falls home (A Memoriam to Joseph and Margaret Wincenc)
Scored for: flute, viola, harp
Duration: 25 min.
Premiere: 2/22/10 at The Morgan Library, NYC, Carol Wincenc, Cynthia Phelps and Nancy Allen
Commissioned by: Carol Wincenc
Published by: Self-published, Angelfire Press
Contact Andrea Clearfield for score and parts:
Presenting a Shiny Gem in an Unusual Setting
by Allan Kozinn, February 23, 2010, The New York Times
“The highlights of the program were the premieres of two scores commissioned for the ensemble. Andrea Clearfield’s “… and low to the lake falls home …” was inspired by the poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins and Adolf Heyduk, chosen by the composer and Ms. Wincenc. The texts, included in the program, are never heard, though their essence — particularly that of Hopkins’s “Spring and Fall, to a Young Child,” which inspired the introspective fourth movement — is palpable in the score. Ms. Clearfield’s consonant and melodic style, and the ease with which she moves between graceful tracery and lively, rhythmically vital writing, suits these instruments and players perfectly, and the trio gave the work the quicksilver performance it demanded.”
Congratulations to YOU–you have made a valuable addition to our repertoire, and it was an honor to give the premier.
- Cynthia Phelps, Principal Viola, New York Philharmonic
…and low to the lake falls home…A Memoriam to Joseph and Margaret Wincenc for flute, viola and harp (2009) (world premiere)
I. …and low to the lake falls home
II. songs my mother taught me
III. pipes and fiddles
IV. …to a young child
V. the golden cage
This piece is commissioned by, and dedicated to, my long-time dear friend, acclaimed
flutist Carol Wincenc in celebration of her Ruby Anniversary Series. Her brilliant and expressive playing,
generous and open spirit and stunning range of musical color captured my inner ear as I was composing the work.
Ms. Wincenc requested a piece for her trio, Les Amies, that would be dedicated to her
beloved parents, Margaret and Joseph Wincenc, both major influences on her musical
education. We chose five evocative texts to commemorate their lives by English poet
Gerard Manley Hopkins and Czech poet Adolf Heyduk. Each of the texts provided
a point of departure for the music. The cycle is named after a line from the first poem,
“Inversnaid”, which flows with Hopkins’ rapturous, rich language, a plea to save the
wildness of nature. Songs II, III and V are inspired by texts written by Heyduk and set
to music by Antonín Dvorák in his famous Gypsy Melodies, Op. 55. The second movement is a reflection on melody, mother and memory. The third is a romp in the face of death – turning, dancing, spinning, laughing “while we may”. The fourth movement is a song for a young girl who weeps for the dying autumn leaves; the fifth, a declamation of freedom. These five musical tableaus, informed by the emotional and contextual undercurrents, rhythm, energy and soundscape of the poems, also nod to Wincenc’ Irish and Slovak heritage.
With much gratitude to The MacDowell Colony and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts where this work was composed.
I…and low to the lake falls home
From “Inversnaid” (Gerard Manley Hopkins)
This darksome burn, horseback brown,
His rollrock highroad roaring down,
In coop and in comb the fleece of his foam
Flutes and low to the lake falls home.
A windpuff-bonnet of fawn-froth
Turns and twindles over the broth
Of a pool so pitchblack, fell-frowning,
It rounds and rounds Despair to drowning.
Degged with dew, dappled with dew
Are the groins of the braes that the brook treads through,
Wiry heathpacks, flitches of fern,
And the bead bonny ash that sits over the burn.
What would the world be, once bereft
Of wet and of wildness ? Let them be left,
O let them be left, wildness and wet ;
Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet.
II. Songs my mother taught me (Adolf Heyduk)
Songs my mother taught me
Songs she cherished dearly
Bitter tears would glisten on her eyelids weary
Now my eyes are weeping, tears of bitter yearning,
When my gypsy children, these old strains, these old strains are learning.
III. Pipes and fiddles
From “Come and join the dancing” (Heyduk)
Come and join the dancing,
Pipes and fiddles follow
Leap with joy, leap while you may
Morning may bring you sorrow
There will be no returning from the great here-after
Take your bow and fiddle, join the dance, join in the song and the laughter
IV … to a young child
From “Spring and Fall, to a Young Child” (Hopkins)
Margaret, are you grieving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leaves, like the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! as the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you will weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sorrow’s springs are the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What héart héard of, ghóst guéssed:
It is the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.
V. The golden cage
From “Give the proud hawk a cage of pure gold” (Heyduk)
Given a cage to live in made of pure gold,
the Gypsy would exchange it
for the freedom of a nest of thorns.
Just as a wild horse rushes to the wasteland,
seldom bridled and reined in,
so too the gypsy nature has been given eternal freedom.