This setting of the Robert Browning poem attempts to reflect the text's rhyme scheme in its formal structure. The text is in two parts with six lines each, with this rhyme scheme repeated twice: ABCCBA. The music follows this expansion and contraction, while also trying to capture the sense of longing and expectation as expressed in the poem.
The grey sea and the long black land;
And the yellow half-moon large and low;
And the startled little waves that leap
In fiery ringlets from their sleep,
As I gain the cove with pushing prow,
And quench its speed i' the slushy sand.
Then a mile of warm sea-scented beach;
Three fields to cross till a farm appears;
A tap at the pane, the quick sharp scratch
And blue spurt of a lighted match,
And a voice less loud, thro' its joys and fears,
Than the two hearts beating each to each!
from Concert Music
track released October 13, 2010
Florentino Zarate, tenor
Joshua Vigran, piano
all rights reserved