(Ellen Bryant Voigt)

Year: 2020

Instrumentation: mezzo soprano, violin, 2 violas, cello

Duration: 20 minutes

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Program Notes

Living through the COVID-19 pandemic, my thoughts often turn to 1918. A century later and people remain the same – and learn so little from the past. As the death toll soared, I searched for poetry for times such as these, and came across a poem by Ellen Bryant Voigt that grabbed my attention with its first line: “thought at first grief had brought him down.” Moved by the poem, I soon learned that this was but one poem of many from a volume of poems, published back in 1995, portraying life during those years when so many died, yet which seemed strangely lost to our collective memory.

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