I Shall Not Forget
SATB chorus a cappella
Premiered May 7th, 2017 in Toronto, Canada by That Choir, Craig Pike – Artistic Director, as part of That Choir’s inaugural New Works Development Program.
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I Shall Not Forget – midi mockup
Live performance excerpt (3:47-5:59)
I SHALL NOT FORGET is a choral setting of White Pansies by Canadian poet, Archibald Lampman. Lampman wrote the poem in 1894 in response to the death of his young son, Arnold. The beautiful imagery and profound sadness of the text are a solemn reminder to never take any moment for granted, and had an anguished, lamenting quality that spoke to me in a way I felt needed to be expressed musically.
Archibald Lampman (1862-1899)
Day and night pass over, rounding,
Star and cloud and sun,
Things of drift and shadow, empty
Of my dearest one.
Soft as slumber was my baby,
Beaming bright and sweet;
Daintier than bloom or jewel
Were his hands and feet.
He was mine, mine all, mine only,
Mine and his debt;
Earth and Life and Time are changers;
I shall not forget.
Pansies for my dear one — heartsease —
Set them gently so;
For his stainless lips and forehead,
Pansies white as snow.
Would that in the flower-grown little
Grave they dug so deep,
I might rest beside him, dreamless,
Smile no more, nor weep.