First Snow

SA, piano

Beloved by children, but understood in a different way by more mature upper voice choirs, this is a song of the regret of winter, with the promise of spring. Score sample and recording of the 2004 SWACDA 5th-7th Grade Honor Choir, Bob Chilcott conducting, below.

Reginald Unterseher ยท First Snow, Unterseher
First-Snow.perusal-1

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PROGRAM NOTE

A song of the passing seasons, of the passing of generations, of the seasons of life. Dr. Dunlop wrote this poem as her mother was passing from Alzheimer’s disease.

NOTES ON PREPARATION AND PERFORMANCE

Pay particular attention to the sounds of the f’s and s’s as they make the sound of falling snow.

TEXT

–Sheila Dunlop
Soft as feathers, floating snow
In the wood a gentle doe
Forest king lays down his antlered crown
Winter covers autumn’s glow

Hoof-prints by a frozen pool (Fawn follows near)
Winter blows harsh and cruel (Senses sharp with fear)
Grass gone, trees feed the hungry deer (Sweet joy of..)
Autumn bows to winter’s rule

Ice-coated branches reflecting the starlight,
Clothed in crystalline sighs of delight.
Clear, starlit darkness, endless night,
Tree-jewels sparkle, shatter the light!

In the glade, a doe and fawn
one remains and one moves on.
Young and old turn in the dance;
Spring will come when Winter’s gone.

3 thoughts on “First Snow

  1. Julia Simon says:

    The sound cloud on First Snow seems to be the wrong recording.

    1. Thanks very much for the note, Julia– the link is now fixed, and the right recording should play. I really appreciate the alert!

      1. Julia Simon says:

        We’re doing this with my boychoir. This is the best recording I’ve found. I may let them listen to it a little later on in the rehearsal process. Thank you!

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