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Amy Beach’s “Hermit Thrush At Morn” and “Beach Romance”

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Scott Yoo and pianist Ieva Jokubaviciute play Amy Beach’s “Hermit Thrush At Morn” and “Beach Romance” at MacDowell, an artist residency that the composer frequented during her life. This piece is an homage to the scenery and wildlife of Petersborough, New Hampshire.

TRANSCRIPT

♪♪♪ Isn't it beautiful?

I love that. I've never heard that.

In the original key, an octave lower. Obtained at MacDowell colony.

Actually, Amy Beach writes here, in the score, that these bird calls are exact notations of hermit thrush songs.

Oh, that's beautiful. And then what's your left hand doing?

My left hand is accompanying, sort of setting the scene, crossing the horizon, the morning mist.

I hear that.

Things are still and quiet, and the solitude of the bird is in the right hand.

This piece is Romantic not only because there is nature, but the sound, the language that is used here is romantic.

Right. It captures a feeling. A very clear feeling.

It's free also.

True. It's colorful. Just like the Romance ... for violin and piano.

Yes! Do you and Scott want to play that?

Beautiful.

♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ Early in her career, Beach could not go to Europe to study Romantic composition.

So, she bought German and French books on the subject and translated them herself so she could learn to write like a Romantic. In many works like this early Romance, she certainly sounds like one.

♪♪♪

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