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SATB

Duration

5 minutes

Year of Composition

2000

Licensing

GIA Publications

Purchase

US: GIA Publications
UK: Musicroom
World: Music Shop Europe

Note from Composer

In the winter of 1999 I was contacted by Ms. Julia Armstrong, a lawyer and professional mezzo-soprano living in Austin, Texas. She wanted to commission a choral work from me that would be premiered by the Austin ProChorus (Kinley Lange, cond.), a terrific chorus in which she regularly performed.

The circumstances around the commission were certainly memorable. She wanted to commission the piece in memory of her parents, who had died within weeks of each other after more fifty years of marriage; and she wanted me to set her favorite poem, Robert Frost’s immortal Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening. I was deeply moved by her spirit and her request, and agreed to take on the commission.

I took my time with the piece, crafting it note by note until I felt that it was exactly the way I wanted it. The poem is perfect, truly a gem, and my general approach was to try to get out of the way of the words and let them work their magic. We premiered the piece in Austin, October 2000, and the piece was well received. Rene Clausen gave it a glorious performance at the ACDA National Convention in the spring of 2001, and soon after I began receiving letters, emails, and phone calls from conductors trying to get a hold of the work.

And here was my tragic mistake: I never secured permission to use the poem. Robert Frost’s poetry has been under tight control from his estate since his death, and until a few years ago only Randall Thompson (Frostiana) had been given permission to set his poetry. In 1997, out of the blue, the estate released a number of titles, and at least twenty composers set and published Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening for chorus. When I looked online and saw all of these new and different settings, I naturally (and naively) assumed that it was open to anyone. Little did I know that the Robert Frost Estate had shut down ANY use of the poem just months before, ostensibly because of this plethora of new settings.

After a LONG legal battle (many letters, many representatives), the estate of Robert Frost and their publisher, Henry Holt Inc., sternly and formally forbid me from using the poem for publication or performance until the poem became public domain in 2038.

I was crushed. The piece was dead, and would sit under my bed for the next 37 years because of some ridiculous ruling by heirs and lawyers. After many discussions with my wife, I decided that I would ask my friend and brilliant poet Charles Anthony Silvestri (Leonardo Dreams of His Flying MachineLux AurumqueNox AurumqueHer Sacred Spirit Soars) to set new words to the music I had already written. This was an enormous task, because I was asking him to not only write a poem that had the exact structure of the Frost, but that would even incorporate key words from “Stopping”, like ‘sleep’. Tony wrote an absolutely exquisite poem, finding a completely different (but equally beautiful) message in the music I had already written. I actually prefer Tony’s poem now…

And there it is. My setting of Robert Frost’s Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening no longer exists.

UPDATE JANUARY 2019: The Robert Frost text entered the public domain on 1 January 2019. At this point in time, Eric does not plan on releasing the work with the original text.

The Text

The evening hangs beneath the moon,
A silver thread on darkened dune.
With closing eyes and resting head
I know that sleep is coming soon.

Upon my pillow, safe in bed,
A thousand pictures fill my head.
I cannot sleep, my mind’s a-flight;
And yet my limbs seem made of lead.

If there are noises in the night,
A frightening shadow, flickering light,
Then I surrender unto sleep,
Where clouds of dream give second sight,

What dreams may come, both dark and deep,
Of flying wings and soaring leap
As I surrender unto sleep,
As I surrender unto sleep.

Charles Anthony Silvestri, b.1965

Concert Band

Duration

5.5 minutes

Year of Composition

2003

Difficulty

Level 3.5

Licensing

GIA Publications

Purchase

US: Hal Leonard
UK: Musicroom
World: Music Shop Europe

Perusal Score

View

Note from Composer

In the winter of 1999 I was contacted by Ms. Julia Armstrong, a lawyer and professional mezzo-soprano living in Austin, Texas. She wanted to commission a choral work from me that would be premiered by the Austin ProChorus (Kinley Lange, cond.), a terrific chorus in which she regularly performed.

The circumstances around the commission were certainly memorable. She wanted to commission the piece in memory of her parents, who had died within weeks of each other after more fifty years of marriage; and she wanted me to set her favorite poem, Robert Frost’s immortal Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening. I was deeply moved by her spirit and her request, and agreed to take on the commission.

I took my time with the piece, crafting it note by note until I felt that it was exactly the way I wanted it. The poem is perfect, truly a gem, and my general approach was to try to get out of the way of the words and let them work their magic. We premiered the piece in Austin, October 2000, and the piece was well received. Rene Clausen gave it a glorious performance at the ACDA National Convention in the spring of 2001, and soon after I began receiving letters, emails, and phone calls from conductors trying to get a hold of the work.

And here was my tragic mistake: I never secured permission to use the poem. Robert Frost’s poetry has been under tight control from his estate since his death, and until a few years ago only Randall Thompson (Frostiana) had been given permission to set his poetry. In 1997, out of the blue, the estate released a number of titles, and at least twenty composers set and published Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening for chorus. When I looked online and saw all of these new and different settings, I naturally (and naively) assumed that it was open to anyone. Little did I know that the Robert Frost Estate had shut down ANY use of the poem just months before, ostensibly because of this plethora of new settings.

After a LONG legal battle (many letters, many representatives), the estate of Robert Frost and their publisher, Henry Holt Inc., sternly and formally forbid me from using the poem for publication or performance until the poem became public domain in 2038.

I was crushed. The piece was dead, and would sit under my bed for the next 37 years because of some ridiculous ruling by heirs and lawyers. After many discussions with my wife, I decided that I would ask my friend and brilliant poet Charles Anthony Silvestri (Leonardo Dreams of His Flying MachineLux AurumqueNox AurumqueHer Sacred Spirit Soars) to set new words to the music I had already written. This was an enormous task, because I was asking him to not only write a poem that had the exact structure of the Frost, but that would even incorporate key words from “Stopping”, like ‘sleep’. Tony wrote an absolutely exquisite poem, finding a completely different (but equally beautiful) message in the music I had already written. I actually prefer Tony’s poem now…

And there it is. My setting of Robert Frost’s Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening no longer exists.

UPDATE JANUARY 2019: The Robert Frost text entered the public domain on 1 January 2019. At this point in time, Eric does not plan on releasing the work with the original text.

Instrumentation

Flutes 1 & 2
Oboes 1 & 2
Bassoon
Clarinets in B1, 2 & 3
Bass Clarinets in B1 & 2
Alto Saxophone in E 1 & 2
Tenor Saxophone in B
Baritone Saxophone in E
Trumpets in B1, 2 & 3
Horns in F 1-4
Trombones 1 & 2
Bass Trombone
Baritones 1 & 2
Baritones TC 1 & 2
Tubas 1 & 2
Timpani
Percussion 1, 2 & 3
Tubular Bells
Bass Drum
Marimba
Vibraphone
Suspended Cymbal
Piatti/2 Crash Cymbals

String Orchestra & Percussion

Duration

5.5 minutes

Year of Composition

2010

Difficulty

Level 3.5

Licensing

GIA Publications

Hire

Zinfonia

Note from Composer

In the winter of 1999 I was contacted by Ms. Julia Armstrong, a lawyer and professional mezzo-soprano living in Austin, Texas. She wanted to commission a choral work from me that would be premiered by the Austin ProChorus (Kinley Lange, cond.), a terrific chorus in which she regularly performed.

The circumstances around the commission were certainly memorable. She wanted to commission the piece in memory of her parents, who had died within weeks of each other after more fifty years of marriage; and she wanted me to set her favorite poem, Robert Frost’s immortal Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening. I was deeply moved by her spirit and her request, and agreed to take on the commission.

I took my time with the piece, crafting it note by note until I felt that it was exactly the way I wanted it. The poem is perfect, truly a gem, and my general approach was to try to get out of the way of the words and let them work their magic. We premiered the piece in Austin, October 2000, and the piece was well received. Rene Clausen gave it a glorious performance at the ACDA National Convention in the spring of 2001, and soon after I began receiving letters, emails, and phone calls from conductors trying to get a hold of the work.

And here was my tragic mistake: I never secured permission to use the poem. Robert Frost’s poetry has been under tight control from his estate since his death, and until a few years ago only Randall Thompson (Frostiana) had been given permission to set his poetry. In 1997, out of the blue, the estate released a number of titles, and at least twenty composers set and published Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening for chorus. When I looked online and saw all of these new and different settings, I naturally (and naively) assumed that it was open to anyone. Little did I know that the Robert Frost Estate had shut down ANY use of the poem just months before, ostensibly because of this plethora of new settings.

After a LONG legal battle (many letters, many representatives), the estate of Robert Frost and their publisher, Henry Holt Inc., sternly and formally forbid me from using the poem for publication or performance until the poem became public domain in 2038.

I was crushed. The piece was dead, and would sit under my bed for the next 37 years because of some ridiculous ruling by heirs and lawyers. After many discussions with my wife, I decided that I would ask my friend and brilliant poet Charles Anthony Silvestri (Leonardo Dreams of His Flying MachineLux AurumqueNox AurumqueHer Sacred Spirit Soars) to set new words to the music I had already written. This was an enormous task, because I was asking him to not only write a poem that had the exact structure of the Frost, but that would even incorporate key words from “Stopping”, like ‘sleep’. Tony wrote an absolutely exquisite poem, finding a completely different (but equally beautiful) message in the music I had already written. I actually prefer Tony’s poem now…

And there it is. My setting of Robert Frost’s Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening no longer exists.

UPDATE JANUARY 2019: The Robert Frost text entered the public domain on 1 January 2019. At this point in time, Eric does not plan on releasing the work with the original text.

Instrumentation

Violin I
Violin II
Viola
Violoncello
Contrabass
Suspended Cymbal

Cello Ensemble

Duration

5 minutes

Year of Composition

2015

Licensing

GIA Publications

Purchase

US: Hal Leonard

Note from Composer

In the winter of 1999 I was contacted by Ms. Julia Armstrong, a lawyer and professional mezzo-soprano living in Austin, Texas. She wanted to commission a choral work from me that would be premiered by the Austin ProChorus (Kinley Lange, cond.), a terrific chorus in which she regularly performed.

The circumstances around the commission were certainly memorable. She wanted to commission the piece in memory of her parents, who had died within weeks of each other after more fifty years of marriage; and she wanted me to set her favorite poem, Robert Frost’s immortal Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening. I was deeply moved by her spirit and her request, and agreed to take on the commission.

I took my time with the piece, crafting it note by note until I felt that it was exactly the way I wanted it. The poem is perfect, truly a gem, and my general approach was to try to get out of the way of the words and let them work their magic. We premiered the piece in Austin, October 2000, and the piece was well received. Rene Clausen gave it a glorious performance at the ACDA National Convention in the spring of 2001, and soon after I began receiving letters, emails, and phone calls from conductors trying to get a hold of the work.

And here was my tragic mistake: I never secured permission to use the poem. Robert Frost’s poetry has been under tight control from his estate since his death, and until a few years ago only Randall Thompson (Frostiana) had been given permission to set his poetry. In 1997, out of the blue, the estate released a number of titles, and at least twenty composers set and published Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening for chorus. When I looked online and saw all of these new and different settings, I naturally (and naively) assumed that it was open to anyone. Little did I know that the Robert Frost Estate had shut down ANY use of the poem just months before, ostensibly because of this plethora of new settings.

After a LONG legal battle (many letters, many representatives), the estate of Robert Frost and their publisher, Henry Holt Inc., sternly and formally forbid me from using the poem for publication or performance until the poem became public domain in 2038.

I was crushed. The piece was dead, and would sit under my bed for the next 37 years because of some ridiculous ruling by heirs and lawyers. After many discussions with my wife, I decided that I would ask my friend and brilliant poet Charles Anthony Silvestri (Leonardo Dreams of His Flying MachineLux AurumqueNox AurumqueHer Sacred Spirit Soars) to set new words to the music I had already written. This was an enormous task, because I was asking him to not only write a poem that had the exact structure of the Frost, but that would even incorporate key words from “Stopping”, like ‘sleep’. Tony wrote an absolutely exquisite poem, finding a completely different (but equally beautiful) message in the music I had already written. I actually prefer Tony’s poem now…

And there it is. My setting of Robert Frost’s Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening no longer exists.

UPDATE JANUARY 2019: The Robert Frost text entered the public domain on 1 January 2019. At this point in time, Eric does not plan on releasing the work with the original text.

Instrumentation

8 x Violoncello

Marimba Quartet

Duration

5 minutes

Year of Composition

2018

Licensing

Boosey & Hawkes

Purchase

US: Sheet Music Direct

Note from Composer

I was delighted when Eric got in touch to ask if I might arrange some of his choral music for marimba. I first met and worked with Eric in 2012, when I was invited to organise the percussion elements of his debut BBC Proms Concert at London’s Royal Albert Hall.

His music contains many of the things I love in choral music; lush tonal harmonies, strong audience engagement and a firm spiritual connection. We also share a similar taste in 1980’s pop, although I would be the 4th member of A-ha, not the 5th member of Depeche Mode!

I began with three pieces from the album ‘Light and Gold’, which sit perfectly for marimba quartet, positioning four players at two marimbas.

I transcribed Sleep replacing the voices with the warm, earthy tones of the marimbas to make a seriously special marimba chorale. To contrast A Boy and a Girl contains some eighth note passages to convey momentum, whilst Lux Aurumque employs up to twelve mallets across the instruments to keep the original division of parts.

For October I added two vibraphones (played without motor) to the marimbas to utilize the wider sound pallet of the mallet quartet. Using the choral reworking Alleluia this music chimes and sparkles, a humble meditation on the glory of autumn.

Joby Burgess, Arranger

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Instrumentation

4 Marimbas