Four Nature Canticles
composer: Nancy Galbraith (2011)
authors: Emily Dickinson, Robert Browning, James Joyce,
Robert Frost
genre: SSAA choir, chamber orchestra
length: 4 movements, 20:00 minutes
orchestration: SSAA (div); fl, ob, cl, bn, hn; vln1, vln2, vla, vcl, cb; pno
publisher: Subito Music Publishing (ASCAP)
60 Depot Street, Verona, NJ 07044 • 973-857-3440
audio/video:       (Seminar)

movements: 1. A Something in a Summer's Day – Emily Dickinson
2. My Star – Robert Browning
3. From Dewy Dreams – James Joyce
4. A Prayer in Spring – Robert Frost
world premiere: 22 April 2012
Lyrica Chamber MusicAdam Waite, conductor
Kent Place Chamber SingersEdel Thomas, music director
Presbyterian Church of Chatham Township • Chatham, New Jersey
program notes: "Four Nature Canticles" was commissioned by Lyrica Chamber Orchestra for its 25th anniversary concert season, and was premiered on April 22, 2012 in Chatham New Jersey. The new work, scored for women's choir and chamber orchestra, was conducted by Adam Waite. Lyrica was joined by the Kent Place Chamber Singers. The concert program, titled "The Art of Composition," also included a new work by Alex Weston. Both Waite and Weston are graduates in composition from the Carnegie Mellon School of Music where they were taught by Professor Nancy Galbraith.
recordings: Lyrica Chamber OrchestraKent Place Singers
Adam Waite & Edel Thomas, directors

I. A Something in a Summer's Day

A something in a summer's Day
As slow her flambeaux burn away
Which solemnizes me.
A something in a summer's noon—
A depth—an Azure—a perfume—
Trancending ecstasy.
And still within a summer's night
A something so transporting bright
I clap my hands to see—
Then veil my too inspecting face
Lets such a subtle—shimmering grace
Flutter too far for me—


The wizard fingers never rest—
The purple brook within the breast
Still chafes its narrow bed—
Still rears the East her amber Flag—
Guides still the sun along the Crag
His Caravan of Red—
So looking on—the night—the morn
Conclude the wonder gay—
And I meet, coming thro' the dews
Another summer's Day!

~ Emily Dickinson

  II. My Star

        All that I know
            Of a certain star
        Is, it can throw
            (Like the angled spar)
        Now a dart of red,
            Now a dart of blue;
        Till my friends have said
            They would fain see, too,
        My star that dartles the red and the blue!
Then it stops like a bird; like a flower, hangs furled:
They must solace themselves with the Saturn above it.
What matter to me if their star is a world?
Mine has opened its soul to me; therefore I love it.

~ Robert Browning

  III. From Dewy Dreams

From dewy dreams, my soul, arise,
From love's deep slumber and from death,
For lo! the trees are full of sighs
Whose leaves the morn admonisheth.
Eastward the gradual dawn prevails
Where softly-burning fires appear,
Making to tremble all those veils
Of grey and golden gossamer.
While sweetly, gently, secretly,
The flowery bells of morn are stirred
And the wise choirs of faery
Begin (innumerous!) to be heard.

~ James Joyce

  IV. A Prayer in Spring

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.
Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.
And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stands still.
For this is love and nothing else is love,
The which it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends He will,
But which it only needs that we fulfil.

~ Robert Frost