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VIEW SCORE: SONG OF THE MOON-(excerpt) (SCORE–PDF)
INSTRUMENTATION: mixed chorus a capella (SATB with divisi-at least 16 voices recommended)
PERFORMANCE NOTES: Combining rich, lush harmony and a lovely unfolding of beautiful melody, this award-winning choral piece is within reach of strong high school programs, and even excellent junior high ensembles, but will also be a unique addition to the program of collegiate or professional choirs.
Near the end of Prometheus Unbound, Shelley’s epic “closet drama”–a genre of Romantic play intended to be staged only in the reader’s imagination–the earth and the moon sing a love song to each other as the universe is unified in song and spirit. The text of this poem is taken from the author’s reworking of the original song into a more succinct and perhaps more pure form that was published later by Mary Shelley under the title “Variation on the Song of the Moon.”
Though the text can certainly be heard as a Romantic love poem–the pairing of earth and moon often a metaphor for the masculine and feminine in Romantic poetry–it is, I think, also a great celebration of spirituality, the harmony of the universe, and the oneness of all things.