Before Life and After

Poet: Thomas Hardy (1840-1928)

Source:  Winter Words

Date of Composition:  1953 (Mar. – Sep.)

Publication: Boosey & Hawkes, 1953

Voice Difficulty Level: Moderately Difficult

Subject:  Longing to return to childhood innocence.

Range:  D4 – G5

Tessitura:  A4 – D5

Tempo: Quietly moving; 4/4

Duration:  02:34

Vocal Characteristics: Highly chromatic, floating, legato vocal line; descending phrases; one sustained high phrase at the end;

Piano Difficulty Level:  Moderate

Accompaniment Characteristics: Left hand eighth note chords with right hand counter melody; left hand has chromatically planing triads;

Additional Comments: Final page becomes harmonically dense making pitch independence difficult for the singer; Manuscript does not include numerical tempo marking; mm. 32, the word “long” falls on beat 4 of this measure rather than the downbeat of the next in the manuscript copy; pp. 33, the indications and moving forward and (broadening) are not in the manuscript

© Nicholas Perna and Mandy Spivak 2013