Trees Need Not Walk the Earth

Instrumentation/Voicing: 
SATB choir, piano, marimba & rain stick

Jocelyn Hagen's "Trees Need Not Walk the Earth" was commissioned by the Young New Yorkers' Chorus and was awarded first prize for their Competition for Young Composers. The text by David Rosenthal is elegant and open to many interpretations involving nature and sense of self.  The choral writing is straight-forward and plaintive, and the impact of this simplicity is stunning.

~ Michael Kerschner, Director, Young New Yorkers' Chorus

Audio: 

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Order Sheet Music
Catalog Number: 
JH - C025
Duration: 
5:00
Total Pages: 
20
Commissioned By: 
The Young New Yorkers' Chorus
Premiere
Premiere Date: 
03/09/2013
Premiere Ensemble: 
The Young New Yorkers' Chorus
Premiere Conductor: 
Michael Kerschner
Awards: 

First prize, Competition for Young Composers, The Young New Yorkers' Chorus

Reviews: 

The piece sings like a richly harmonized Art Song, peppered with moments of sparkling counterpoint. The buoyant and majestic climax of the piece accompanies the text "In which each tree is kingly in its heritage of grace".  Hagen's piece is one of powerful ideas, both musical and philosophical, and its impact lingers, as Rosenthal's poetry suggests, "in the rainbow, the sunlight, and the lilac-haunted rain."
~Michael Kerschner, The Young New Yorkers' Chorus

Text
Text Author or Source: 
David Rosenthal
Language: 
English
Text: 

Trees need not walk the earth For beauty or for bread; Beauty will come to them Where they stand.
Here among the children of the sap
Is no pride of ancestry:
A birch may wear no less the morning Than an oak.
Here are no heirlooms
Save those of loveliness,
In which each tree
Is kingly in its heritage of grace.
Here is but beauty’s wisdom
In which all trees are wise.
Trees need not walk the earth
For beauty or for bread;
Beauty will come to them
In the rainbow –
The sunlight –
And the lilac-haunted rain;
And bread will come to them
As beauty came:
In the rainbow –
In the sunlight –
In the rain.
~David Rosenthal (public domain)