Music and Texts of Gary Bachlund



Music - (2006)    

Walter de la Mare

for high voice and piano


When music sounds, gone is the earth I know,
And all her lovely things even lovelier grow;
Her flowers in vision flame, her forest trees
Lift burdened branches, stilled with ecstasies.

When music sounds, out of the water rise
Naiads whose beauty dims my waking eyes,
Rapt in strange dreams burns each enchanted face,
With solemn echoing stirs their dwelling-place.

When music sounds, all that I was I am
Ere to this haunt of brooding dust I came;
And from Time's woods break into distant song
The swift-winged hours, as I hasten along.

[ 5 pages, circa 3' 10" ]

Walter de la Mare

Among de la Mare's books of children verse and stories are Peacock Pie: a Book of Rhymes (1913) and Broomsticks and Other Tales (1925). One of de la Mare's most successful books for children was The Three Mulla Mulgars (1910) and subsequently re-titled as The Three Royal Monkeys, which told a story of three royal monkeys on a long journey. Come Hither (1923) is a widely admired anthology for children, incorporating long prefaces and commentaries.  De la Mare wrote about 100 short stories in collections titled The Riddle, and Other Stories (1923), On the Edge (1930), and A Beginning, and Other Stories (1955). From the mid-1930s de la Mare focused on poetry. Essays and critical work include studies of R. Brooke (1919) and Lewis Carroll, the pseudonym of Charles Dodgson (1932) and an edition of Christina Rossetti in 1930.

This simple setting employs a gentle, rhapsodic accompaniment to underscore a lyric melody, in order to capture the overall lyric quality of Walter de la Mare's text. The opening phrase rises by thirds such that the first note above the accompaniment's lyricism is drawn down into the tonality from the supertonic, a melodic motive repeated throughout.

The score is available as a free PDF download, though any major commercial performance or recording of the work is prohibited without prior arrangement with the composer. Click on the graphic below for this piano-vocal score.