DIFFICULTY: 1st Section+
'Water Lilies' is a setting of a short poem by the American War poet Sara Teasdale from 1937. Teasdale's evocative writing is steadily becoming a renowned influence for composers - particularly in the choral scene, and this was where my first introduction to her work was founded in a work by Eriks Esenvalds entitled 'Stars'.
The percussion writing in this depicts a gentle ripple on a lake as water lilies float by at dusk, whilst the band writing explores a deep and personal interpretation of Teasdale's words which whilst on the face seem quite dark and brooding, yet really seem to express a feeling of longing and determination.
If you have forgotten water lilies floating
On a dark lake among mountains in the afternoon shade,
If you have forgotten their wet, sleepy fragrance,
Then you can return and not be afraid.
But if you remember, then turn away forever
To the plains and the prairies where pools are far apart,
There you will not come at dusk on closing water lilies,
And the shadow of mountains will not fall on your heart.
Sara Teasdale (1937)