If I Must Go

SATB divisi, soprano solo | Duration c. 5'25"

Available soon from GIA Publications

 
 

If I Must Go was commissioned by the choirs of Church of the Redeemer in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania and their director Michael Diorio. The textures created in this piece are meant to be in keeping with Sara Teasdale’s beautiful poem of the same name, in particular the line, “Climbing the ages like a stair.” In the vocalise sections, a “stair” motive, four quarter notes rising or falling in succession, has been paired with neutral syllables to create a sense of near-constant ascent and descent.

If I must go to heaven’s end
Climbing the ages like a stair,
Be near me, and forever bend
With the same eyes above me there.
Time will fly past us like leaves flying,
We shall not heed, for we shall be
Beyond living, beyond dying,
Knowing and known unchangeably.

Sara Teasdale (1884-1933)