One of the most often used music for try-outs in choral music in high school is The Silver Swan.
This morning it is all I can think about.
Lyrics-wise, it goes something like this:
The silver swan, who living had no note,
When death approached unlocked its silent throat.
Leaning her breath upon the reedy shore,
Thus sang her first, and last, and sang no more.
Wow, that's pretty heavy.
Four part harmony at least, sometimes contrapuntal in entry, this dirge drags on for only a short time, but it allowed each part to come in, testing the ability of the singer to read the music and entry as well as the tune. I guess this is what the judges were after. Could the alto come in before the tenors but certainly behind the beloved sopranos?
Was the tone sufficient? Not to block out anyone but rather blend to an almost madrigal POS music?
Gawd, how I hated that stupid, horrible song.
Here's why, sopranos be not offended.
It's about a poor beautiful bird, mute its entire life, that when dying, is allowed by nature or God or Richard Attenborough to sing one note. It honks out one bloody note, probably all it has ever wanted to sing its entire short lifespan, and dies.
The sad, pitiful end.
Now, I wonder why this came to me after four hours' sleep. Was there a message in that swan's song? For me?
When death approached--
I've been thinking about the deaths of so many people, of dear friends...so many victims of the plague and of unspeakable violence and my current fear of coming to the end of everything.
Do I have only one note to sing? One valuable word to write?
And who, if anyone, would be there to hear it?
(The Silver Swan can be found on YouTube, if you are interested, or if, perhaps, you remember trying out for All State or All County when you could still sing.)