The Great Deep
for high voice and 10-string guitar, eight songs on life’s final journey, op. 51
Duration: 16 minutes; 24 pages
Written in: November, 2008
Instrumentation: tenor or soprano and ten-string guitar; piano version available here
Difficulty: both parts concert level
World premiere: January 30, 2009; Long Beach Guitar Society by Duo LiveOak
Preview: a sample PDF of The Great Deep
From the CD The Great Deep by Duo LiveOak
Eight moving songs pondering life’s greatest mystery, for high voice with lush accompaniments on 10-string guitar. Well-known poems by Turner, Donne, Pope, Shelley, Rossetti, Shakespeare, and Tennyson. The Great Deep was written in November of 2008. Wallace dedicated this song cycle to the parents of his wife and himself as three of them move well into their 90’s. The poems reflect on the transition from this life to the mysterious beyond.
The songs are:
1) The Glory that we Knew, Walter James Turner, 1889-1946
2) For whom the Bell Tolls, John Donne, 1572 –1631
3) Vital Spark of Heavenly Flame, Alexander Pope, 1688 –1744
4) Music, when Soft Voices die, Percy Bysshe Shelley, 1792–1822
5) Ode to the West Wind, Percy Bysshe Shelley, 1792–1822
6) When I am Dead, My Dearest, Christina Georgina Rossetti, 1830-1894
7) Our revels now are ended, from The Tempest, Act IV, Scene I, William Shakespeare
8) Rain, rain, and sun!, from The Coming of Arthur, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, 1809 – 1892
Copyright ©2008 Frank A. Wallace
Cover photography and design by Nancy Knowles
All rights reserved.
Click on this link to see the complete poetry of The Great Deep , song cycle by Frank Wallace
1. The Glory that we Knew, Walter James Turner, 1889-1946
Who shall invoke when we are gone
The glory that we knew?
Can we not carve To-Day in stone,
In diamond this Dawn’s dew?
The song that heart to heart has sung
Write fadeless on the air:
Expression in eyes briefly hung
Fix in a planet’s stare?
Alas, all beauty flies in Time
And only as it goes
Upon death’s wind its fleeting chime
Into sad memory blows.
Is this but presage of re-birth
And of another Day
When what within our hearts we said
We once again shall say?
On no! we never could repeat
Those numbered looks we gave:
But some pure luster from their light
All future worlds shall have.