A Line-Storm Song

Performers: Mezzo Katharine Soroka & Pianist Nathan Carterette

Instrumentation: Soprano or mezzo and piano
Duration: 4:45
Commission: Ensemble for These Times/Jewish Music Commission of LA
Premiere: 6/11/16
Nanette McGuinnes, soprano, Dale Tsang, piano
Trinity Concerts, Berkeley, CA

View Score (Soprano)  |  View Score (Mezzo)  |  View Score (Baritone)  |  Purchase Music

Program Note:
Robert Frost’s poem, A Line-Storm Song, is a love poem, where love has been through a wild storm, and yet persists. In my setting, I have tried to capture something of the wistful, wild, urgent nature of the poem. This song was commissioned by the Ensemble for These Times, through their Jewish Music and Poetry Project, with support from the Jewish Music Commission of Los Angeles. Nanette McGuinness and Dale Tsang premiered it on their Trinity Chamber Concert on 6/11/16. It has also been sung by mezzo Katharine Soroka, with pianist Nathan Carterette, presented by the Tuesday Musical Club of Pittsburgh. I dedicate this song to my beloved Michael. –JS

A Line-Storm Song
By Robert Frost

The line-storm clouds fly tattered and swift.
The road is forlorn all day,
Where a myriad snowy quartz stones lift,
And the hoof-prints vanish away.
The roadside flowers, too wet for the bee,
Expend their bloom in vain.
Come over the hills and far with me,
And be my love in the rain.

The birds have less to say for themselves
In the wood-world’s torn despair
Than now these numberless years the elves,
Although they are no less there:
All song of the woods is crushed like some
Wild, easily shattered rose
Come, be my love in the wet woods, come,
Where the boughs rain when it blows.

There is the gale to urge behind
And bruit our singing down,
And the shallow waters aflutter with wind
From which to gather your gown.
What matter if we go clear to the west,
And come not through dry-shod?
For wilding brooch shall wet your breast
The rain-fresh goldenrod.

Oh, never this whelming east wind swells
But it seems like the sea’s return
To the ancient lands where it left the shells
Before the age of the fern;
And it seems like the time when after doubt
Our love came back again.
Oh, come forth into the storm and rout
And be my love in the rain.

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