For SSAATBB chorus with TBB solo trio and piano
Another setting of Madeleine L’Engle’s beautiful and poignant poetry, “The Wise Men” was my first exploration into “sound clouds.” Searching for the Christ Child led by a single star seemed a perfect subject for this etherial style of writing. Likewise, Ms. L’Engle’s fragmented verse style seemed more suited to vast aural imagery than homophonic sentence-friendly choral writing. The piece is not easy to learn, but it makes a lovely addition to Christmas concerts, especially if you have an excellent trio of men at your disposal. This piece was composed in loving memory of my brother, Gary Driskell, who was a brilliant composer in his own right, and one of the wisest men I’ve ever known.
The Wise Men
by Madeleine L’Engle
A star has streaked the sky.
Where, oh where, where leads the light?
We came and left our gifts
Time had passed, friends gone from sight
One by one, they go, they die
gone in the dazzling dark of night.
Oh how, and where, and when, and why
and may, and should, O God, and might
a star, a wind, a laugh, a cry
the blazing word of power and might-
use our gifts of gold and myrrh
as our intention was doing the right?
Here, there, hear- soft as a sigh-
all that is spoken, back to the flight
blazing too fierce for mortal eye.
oh, Love, until we, too, may dazzle bright.
Solo Trio: Eric Reichenbach (tenor), Matthew Grothouse (baritone), Grant Ebert (baritone)
Pamela Haynes, piano
Haley Neilson, recording engineer (Summer 2017)
Recorded at Wine Recital Hall, Manchester University
North Manchester, Indiana