Through the House Give Glimmering Light (1908), by Arthur Rackham (1867-1939). Pen and ink and watercolor wash drawing. Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, D.C. Art Box R122, no. 6. This watercolor was illustrated in A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare. London: Heinemann, 1908, facing page 132. Call number: PR2827.A2 Shakespeare Collection
from Three Shakespeare Songs, op. 39
Through the House Give Glimmering Light, op. 39, no. 3, is the last piece in Beach's Three Shakespeare Songs. The text from A Midsummer Night's Dream, act 5, scene 2, receives a madrigalesque setting by the composer. Other titles in the set include Over Hill, over Dale and Come unto these Yellow Sands. The songs were premiered by the Detroit Madrigal Club, Charles B. Steven, conductor, on December 8, 1896. There were sixteen singers in the women's madrigal group.
Beach's thirty works for women's chorus are a significant part of her output. They include major choral/orchestra cantatas such as The Chambered Nautilus, op. 66, (1907), commissioned by the St. Cecilia Club of New York. The demand for women's chorus repertoire grew exponentially in the last decade of the nineteenth century. Women's musical clubs flourished in the years following the 1893 meeting of the Woman's Musical Congress at the Chicago World Fair, where Beach played a prominent role. She later credited the proliferation of women's clubs with spreading musical taste and fostering more frequent performance of music by women composers.