• Mark Adamo
  • Pied Beauty (1998)

  • G Schirmer Inc (World)
  • SATB a cappella
  • 4 min
  • Gerard Manley Hopkins
  • English

Programme Note

Gerard Manley Hopkins

Composer Note:
Pied Beauty was the first poem I ever set — indeed, the piece I ever composed — that ventured off the theatre songwriting path which had led me to music to begin with. What strikes me about Hopkins' language is how lavish and ardent it is: there's a wonderful tension in Pied Beauty between the formality of the quatrains and the rhyme schemes and their headlong, million-color imagery. It seemed natural, then, to embed the poem in comparably polychrome harmonies while respecting the symmetry and grace of its phrases: to make of it a modest motet, as opposed to the dramatic scena of God’s Grandeur, the second Hopkins poem on ecstatic themes that I set for choir (and, in that case, piano.)

— Mark Adamo


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