Stephen Paulus wrote many pieces dealing with nature and the splendid beauty of this planet we call home. Here are some highlights:
The Earth Sings
Commissioned for youth chorus, this uplifting piece written for SSA, piano and percussion is three movements, with the first "Daybreak" available separately on it's own. The piece slows down for second movement, "Sea and Sky", which is more haunting and somber, while rounding out with a strong and energetic third movement entitled, "Wind and Sun". Duration: 9:00
The Spring and the Fall
This stunningly beautiful piece is a Paulus family favorite. It's written for SSAATTBB and is accompanied by a gorgeous harp part. It's a song of love and seasons changing with cadences that rise and fall throughout its 5 minute duration ending in a spectacular oscillation between major chord harmony and dissonance. Text by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Sea Portraits is a majestic tribute to the depth of the ocean for full orchestra, commissioned by the New Bedford Symphony in conjunction with the New Bedford Whaling Museum and U-Mass/Dartmouth. Just like the sea, it bounces back and forth between calm tranquility and splashy turbulence. Over 4 movements this 22 minute piece goes through a "Storm" with chaotic timpani rumbles and percussive blasts and ending in the tranquility only experienced after such an event with a sudden boom of an ending.
Echoes Between the Silent Peaks
Dedicated to maestro Dale Warland and commissioned by the Dale Warland Singers, this beautiful 25 minute piece runs the gamut across 6 sprawling movements. The SSAATTBB singers are accompanied by flute, oboe, violin, cello, percussion and harp with a lovely soprano solo. The text is by acclaimed Chinese poet, Tu Fu.
An early Paulus work, the North Shore on Lake Superior is a place where Paulus spent many of his childhood summers. The text is written by mainstay collaborator, Michael Dennis Browne. It's a 32 minute piece, written for SSAATTBB Chorus, baritone soloist, mezzo-soprano soloist and small orchestra.
A lovely tribute to the great American prairies, this beautiful 5 movement piece includes the finale "The Old Church", a haunting tune which has become a Paulus classic over the years. It was commissioned and premiered by the Madison Festival Choir in 2001. 18 minutes, SSAATTBB, A Cappella