Mathilde Blind's poem, "A Winter Landscape", is much more than a clever description about a snowstorm and its aftermath. It is a beautiful metaphor that compares powerful life messages to a snowstorm and the stunning beauty left behind. One such message is this: If you can somehow endure a little longer, many times, life teaches you that circumstances can and do change. In the end, what may have appeared to be a dark and insurmountable challenge, has turned into a thing of beauty. Furthermore, when the experience is illuminated by the light of time and the experience and wisdom of others, an even bigger picture emerges. And though it may be easy to look at the stars and think of one's insignificance in the universe, if allowed, life will teach that we are all stars among the stars.
This piece was commissioned by Northern Arizona University's Dr. Edith Copley. It was premiered at the annual Holiday Dinner concerts at the end of 2007 by the Shrine of the Ages choir. They also performed this piece at the Western ACDA convention in Anaheim, CA in February 2008.
- SATB divisi, unaccompanied
- Text by Mathilde Blind (1841-1896)
- Level: Advanced
- Duration: ~3:40
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Published by Santa Barbara Music Publishing
ALL night, all day, in dizzy, downward flight,
Fell the wild-whirling, vague, chaotic snow,
Till every landmark of the earth below,
Trees, moorlands, roads, and each familiar sight
Were blotted out by the bewildering white.
And winds, now shrieking loud, now whimpering low,
Seemed lamentations for the world-old woe
That death must swallow life, and darkness light.
But all at once the rack was blown away,
The snowstorm hushing ended in a sigh;
Then like a flame the crescent moon on high
Leaped forth among the planets; pure as they,
Earth vied in whiteness with the Milky Way:
Herself a star beneath the starry sky.