The Wind and the Day (A Sunset on Yarrow), 1908. Arthur Foote, 1853-1937. Music Division, Library of Congress. Call number: M1552.F
This part-song, one of fifty-two composed by Foote, was dedicated to Horatio Parker (1863–1919), a fellow member of the Second New England School of composers. It sets a pastoral poem by Scottish writer Andrew Lang, who edited the poems and songs of Robert Burns in 1896. The text and music paint a picture of a sunset over the heather. Foote injects chromatic harmonies at the mention of "the sultry weather." As the day dies, the dynamic indication is "ppp possible." When one last ray suddenly "flushed a flame in the grey soft air," the soprano rises to a high B. Ever the practical composer, Foote offers an optional one-measure ossia that takes the soprano up to only a G-sharp. In that moment two lovers "seemed to look on the hills of heaven;" to the poet "'twas given to see your face as an angel's there." The opening music returns, and the narrator nostalgically remembers that one moment, "Twain grown one in the solitude, never again." The music ends in A major, "morendo, espress."