20188, SAB, $2.25
Mark Hayes has captured the beauty and poignancy of this American folk ballad in perhaps the most effective arrangement ever done. He masterfully treats each of the four verses uniquely, beginning with a simple unison on the beautiful melody. The second verse has the men wistfully echoing the sopranos and altos; the lush 3-part harmonies and broader dynamic level of the third cannot help but provoke a profound emotional response in both the performers and the audience. The fourth verse provides contrast as the dynamic level decreases, and the choir has an opportunity to sing a cappella, with the men taking the melody supported by the ladies 3-part echo. Hayes then puts the perfect finishing touch to his arrangement with a musical fade on the line, “it fades away like the morning dew.”
As usual, Hayes’ piano accompaniment does more than just support the voices, rather playing an active role in developing the piece. High school or community choirs will find it quite accessible and will love singing it, and directors will love it for the chance it gives to teach tuning, well-supported singing, and musical sensitivity.
Acc. CD and Instrumentation available. See SATB listing.
To listen to or read a music sample, click link below: