May Wind (2015)

About

May Wind is based on a poem by Sara Teasdale (1884–1933), taken from her 1917 Love Songs poetry collection. It was written for Jasmine Johnson, and was premiered at the Sixth Biennial Art Song Competition. The poem describes the futility of avoiding love, especially as life barges in on what we believe to be our private world. The piano accompaniment reflects the initial “closing,” then inevitable “opening” of the poet’s heart:

I said, “I have shut my heart
As one shuts an open door,
That Love may starve therein
And trouble me no more.”

But over the roofs there came
The wet new wind of May,
And a tune blew up from the curb
Where the street-pianos play.

My room was white with the sun
And Love cried out in me,
“I am strong, I will break your heart
Unless you set me free.”

- Sara Teasdale (1884–1933)

Instrumentation

Mezzo-Soprano, Piano

Duration

c. 2 minutes

Performances

May 10, 2015
Graduate Recital at San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Sol Joseph Recital Hall, San Francisco, CA
Jasmine Johnson – mezzo-soprano, Julie Barwick – piano

March 18, 2015*
Sixth Biennial Art Song Composition Competition at San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Sol Joseph Recital Hall, San Francisco, CA
Jasmine Johnson – mezzo-soprano, Julie Barwick – piano

*Indicates a world premiere