This piece immediately introduces itself as something out of the ordinary; a textural chord hummed by the choir, and a soaring, rhythmic flute solo as the primary highlight. This flute line is often technically demanding, and serves as a stark contrast to everything else in the work.
The text is a beautiful description of moonlight reflecting off of the surface of a lake.
Stuff of the moon
Runs on the lapping sand
Out to the longest shadows.
Under the curving willows,
And round the creep of the wave line,
Fluxions of yellow and dusk on the waters
Make a wide dreaming pansy of an old pond in the night
The flute serves as an audial representation of the “fluxions of yellow and dusk” shimmering on the water and shore, whereas the lush texture of the choir underneath it portrays the beauty and reverence of the sight.
The anticipation in the vocal lines grow more intricate and strong as we begin to discover more about the journey of the “stuff of the moon.” Each destination of the moonlight is set in a distinct way, and when we finally arrive at the lake, the music becomes more consonant, yet doubles in power and emotion.
Nocturne in a Deserted Brickyard was written to be challenging for even a semi-professional ensemble of trained singers.
Contact me if you want to give it a try.