Octavo of the Month (February 2005)
Mike Walag, Iowa High School R&S Chair
Where the Earth Meets the Sky, No. 2: The Pasture
Z. Randall Stroope (text: Robert Frost)
Colla Voce 45-21102
This piece is from a set of three works chosen by Stroope to “enhance the artists’mutual respect for the splendor of nature and earth’s gifts”. He chose this text by Robert Frost, a leading American 20th century poet, because of its pastoral theme and to cause an awareness of our responsibility to preserve our natural resources.
The simple expressive melody is shared by women (1st verse) and men (2nd verse) and employs lots of unison and simple harmonies. The piano part is an equal partner in the lyrical melodic line woven between the choral parts.
This piece is a great teaching tool for legato phrasing, vowel matching, syllabic stress, and dynamic contrast within the phrase. It is all about expressive singing, emotional involvment, and musicality.Z. Randall Stroope is Director of Choral Activities at the University of Nebraska in Omaha, as well as Director of the Nebraska Children’s Chorus and Nebraska Choral Arts Society.