Dawn is not Distant, The

Program Notes:

With English words from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s Tales of a Wayside Inn and a passage from Genesis 15 sung in Latin, this new Canadian work offers a message of hope. Suspice caelum et numera stellas translates as Look at the heavens and count the stars.

Conductor Notes:

SSAA and piano. From the composer of the beautiful Magnificat, we finally have a new work! The Dawn is not Distant joins fragments of text from two very different sources: the Latin translation of Genesis chapter 15 and Tales of a Wayside Inn by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Says the composer, “Around the time that I began writing this piece, I was thinking about earlier times of my life, and in particular one event that left me heartbroken. The Dawn is Not Distant contains the message of hope and optimism that I would convey to my former self if I were able to travel back in time.” It is tempting to take too fast a tempo here, but I feel I found the right one when I stay in 6 and let each eighth-note have its day. My singers love creating the “pp” tone that starts on middle C and unfolds gently up. The lyrical solo could be done by virtually any voice, as the top note is an F. A sparse, delicate piano accompaniment set the mood and gently supports the sound. This is one of the “easier” pieces in the series for notes and rhythms, and would be beautiful performed by a children’s choir, too.

Composer / Arranger Notes:

The Dawn is Not Distant joins fragments of text from two very different sources: the Latin translation of Genesis chapter 15 and Tales of a Wayside Inn by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. When read together out of their original context, a new meaning is created. Around the time that I began writing this piece, I was thinking about earlier times of my life, and in particular one event that left me heartbroken. The Dawn is Not Distant contains the message of hope and optimism that I would convey to my former self if I were able to travel back in time.

References:

This lists any discs, concerts or collections where this piece is included.

Recordings

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Text / English Translation
Suspice caelum (Look at the heavens)
The dawn is not distant,
Nor is the night starless.
Suspice caelum (Look at the heavens)
et numera stellas (and count the stars.)