Tone Poem Tuesday

Another by Eric Whitacre, this one is called Sleep. Here it is for wind ensemble:

Lovely and meditative, isn’t it? But it’s not doesn’t end there. Whitacre actually composed this piece for choir first. The idea was to set a Robert Frost poem called “Stopping By Woods On a Snowy Evening”, and Whitacre did in fact compose it that way at first…before learning that Frost’s poetry is still under copyright. So Whitacre had to get a new poem for the work, and he did, by Charles Anthony Silvestri. While Whitacre is happier now with the new lyric than with the original, to the point that he has no intention of releasing Sleep with the Frost poem even though the poem went into public domain five years ago, this still seems to me a very unfortunate use of copyright and a good example of how we’ve extended copyright to ludicrous lengths. Robert Frost has been dead for 61 years, after all.

Here is Sleep with its official choral text. I think I may actually prefer the vocal version to the band one!


This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.