"Winter Night"

Song for Soprano Voice, Oboe, and Piano

Matt Fossa's 'Winter Night'

One day in the summer of 2000 when I was working for the Florida Dept. of Education in Tallahassee, I started thinking about a friend whom I would be visiting for a day during a long summer vacation I had planned. She was a terrific soprano with a voice that, in my humble opinion, was absolutely exquisite. Well, I decided to write her a little song that, perhaps, we could play together.

The overall tone of the piece was supposed to be very delicate and... well... snow-like, for lack of a better word. I hadn't written anything in F Sharp Minor before, but that seemed to be the key that appealed to my ear. The piano accompaniment still reminds me of something out of one of Tori Amos' very quiet pieces... which is interesting because I, at that point, hadn't listened to her music for quite some time. 

The lyrics, however, were a different matter. Finally, I decided on something the both of us could identify with. Since we graduated from the same undergraduate college, we both knew very well the wonders (and headaches) associated with the winter weather in Potsdam. After making this decision, it wasn't too long until I had managed to complete the few stanzas of text.

The trees in the field are all barren and bare.
The moon shines above with mysterious air.
The earth is kept covered in blankets of white,
while singing and spinning, the wind rushes on through the night.

The riverbed frozen where once it did flow
The pines standing tall with their limbs hanging low.
No more will the robins take colorful flight,
while winding and whistl'ing, softly lamenting,
the wind rushes on through the cold winter night.

The forest is suddenly still.
A silence sits over the hill.
The stars up above sparkle peaceful and bright.
A picture serene that can only be seen on a cold winter night.

Winter Night was premiered on November 14, 2000 at a recital at the Florida State University. The performers were soprano Jessica Shepard, pianist Gregory Unangst, and myself. Since then, "Winter Night," has been performed in a variety of venues by several different performers. It has also appeared on a vocal repertoire list for the studio of Trudie Sherwood, a very prominent voice instructor in Pensacola.


Winter Night

Twin Reeds

©1999-2012 Matthew A. Fossa