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City Vignettes: Dawn, Dusk, Rain at Night
SAATB, unaccompanied
Words by, Sara Teasdale (1884-1933)

I came across Sara Teasdale’s City Vignettes, and I was inspired to do something that I hadn’t done before. I set Teasdale’s short, four-line vignettes by writing three small choral vignettes. These three are short, but they’re not simple. They are all around a minute long each, but they have some challenges for an advanced choir. I look at Teasdale’s three vignettes as short snap shots of city life.

The first piece is Dawn. “The greenish sky glows up in misty reds, The purple shadows turn to brick and stone, The dreams wear thin, men turn upon their beds, And hear the milk-cart jangle by alone.”

The second piece is Dusk. “The city’s street, a roaring, blackened stream, Walled in by granite, through whose thousand eyes A thousand yellow lights begin to gleam, And over all the pale, untroubled skies.”

The third piece is Rain at Night. “The street-lamps shine in a yellow line Down the splashy, gleaming street, And the rain is heard, now loud, now blurred By the tread of homing feet.”

Audio Sample

Photo by Anders Jildén on Unsplash