song cycle for female voice and piano. Duration: approx. 10’30”
Advice to a Girl (2013)
I Love You (2013)
After Love (2010)
A huge admirer of the poetry of Sara Teasdale, I began this song cycle in the Spring of 2010. As a woman poet in the early 1900s, Teasdale was not considered to be worth any more than she could marry. Her poetry beautifully reflects the soul of a woman who always searched for love but never found it, often kept her feelings hidden under the societal pressures of being a silent, submissive possession of a patriarchy. Perfect fifths permeate the cycle as the framework for the expectations of women in this time period, and the woman’s melody and personality elide in and out of this framework as their passion takes them through the depths of her heart.
The first piece, “Advice to a Girl” represents the passing of valuable knowledge from mother to daughter, hoping her daughter will guard her heart if and when she finds love. “I Love You” describes the hidden desire of a woman to tell her beloved how she feels, but instead tells the birds and takes her secret to the grave. “After Love” describes a girl who fell out of love and was forced to move on with life. “Alone” is the resolution of a woman who understands that the opportunity for love is over in her life.
Teasdale did marry (and consequently divorced), but never considered herself to ever truly find love. She eventually committed suicide at the age of 48 by overdosing on sleeping pills.
Audio- Advice to a Girl
Laura Schachner, soprano; Alex Munger, piano. October 15, 2013