Ring Out, Wild Bells (2007)

Instrumentation: SATB chorus and celesta
Duration: 4'
Text: Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Premiere: American Radio Choir on June 5, 2008 at Church of the Ascension in New York City

This score is available from GIA Publications, Inc.

A very interesting and haunting treatment of the text by Victorian poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson—the poetic texts forms part of In Memoriam, Tennyson’s elegy to Arthur Henry Hallam. This riveting song to ring in the New Year deftly portrays the fury of fleeting time. The spirited accompaniment breaks way to a mysterious a cappella middle section, moving seamlessly back to the lively tempo and ending sweetly with a plea to ring out the darkness of the land.
— GIA Publications, Inc.

Program Note

The text of Ring Out, Wild Bells comes from Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s poem, In Memoriam.  The poem’s subject, tone, and natural rhythm lend themselves to music. Tennyson’s message of renewal speaks to our contemporary society as much as it did to his. Through shifting major and minor tonalities along with the coming and going of the accompaniment, this piece dramatizes the moment of uncertainty between “ringing out the old” and “ringing in the new.”