Soft Summer Airs
Soft Summer Airs (2010) piano solo 9′
- To the Summer House (2003) 2′
- Bright Wings! (2002) 2′
- Seated in the Rain (1992) 3′
- Now the Heart Sings (2000) 2′
- The Clear Water of Our Hearts (2005) 1′
This 2010 collection brings together five small pieces—each three pages at most—on summery themes. The title comes from a familiar song “Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair”: …”floating, like a vapor, on the soft summer air.” To the Summer House was a gift to the dear Twin Cities-pianist Thelma Hunter after a 2003 Music in the Park concert. It turns out that Thelma and her late husband Sam did indeed have a summer house on their Mendota Heights property. You may recognize a paraphrase of Mendelssohn’s famous bit “Oh, for the wings, for the wings of a dove” in Bright Wings!, for Nell Slater. It takes as a point of departure lines from Hopkins’s poem “God’s Grandeur”:
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things; . . . . Because the Holy Ghost over the bent World broods with warm breast and with, ah! bright wings.
Seated in the Rain was composed in the wake of a tragic event many years ago. Now the Heart Sings was a present for broadcasting friends Amy Roach and Martin Goldsmith on their first wedding anniversary. The Clear Water of Our Hearts was a wedding present for pianist Shannon Wettstein and William Sadler. The title borrows a line from one of Mr. Sadler’s poems.