Two Nocturnes (2011)

Tenor, piano. Two movements, 10'.


Text by Stephen Cuttler and the composer:​


I. Starless
by Stephen Cuttler

No stars shine tonight
Is Earth blind to the heavens,

Or the heavens blind to Earth?

The moon is veiled by a wispy sky
It glows against dark clouds
A pool of misty light
Shimmering with each passing tendril

Stars fall from the sky
Their final salutes unseen, unknown

To land upon a pillow of winds

Never to ascend to the heavens

The darkness holds

The night is absolute

A veil of mist surrounds the choir of night

Sounding its cacophony of silence

Trumpeted on the whispering wind
That races against the dim clouds

And through the unlit stars

II. Solemn Night
by Eric Hessel, based on a poem by Stephen Cuttler

The evening sky,

Obscured by rain

Shrinks and fades

While we sleep again

Shadows grow on glistening streets

Black and silver where water pools

In the gray haze a specter hides

Glaring with piercing eyes
He takes the road

Through evening rain

That bathes the town

He glides a stealth

With soaking feet

Soundly we rest while he slips by

Touching our beds

But the sun has set

And soon he dies

Where immortals fall

The lifeless thrive

It is night
It is night, dark, and night when shadows die

Black and silver where water pools

No shadow lives

Without the light

No specter creeps

Beyond the night

Only calm

Dark and calm

The rain pours on

So soft
So sweet
On a solemn night

With all asleep 




Performance History:

  • ​currently unperformed. 

ERIC HESSEL