Music I Heard With You

for soprano, cello, and piano

Text by Conrad Aiken

premiered June 23, 2009

Lucy Shelton, soprano
Tom Flaherty, celllo
Genevieve Lee, piano

Italian Academy
New York

recording by
Gwendolyn Lytle, soprano
Tom Flaherty, celllo
Genevieve Lee, piano

Conrad Aiken's touching poem "Music I Heard With You" came to my attention shortly after the death of my wife Cindy's mother. Last year I had an opportunity to write a short piece for soprano Lucy Shelton, Genevieve Lee, and myself to play at an event in New York. Lucy's and Cindy's mothers had both passed away just a few weeks earlier. Both mothers were strong women and close to their children, and their love of music surely had an influence in their daughters' lives. The song is dedicated to the memories of Betty Fogg and Gwin Shelton.

Music I heard with you was more than music, 
And bread I broke with you was more than bread; 
Now that I am without you, all is desolate; 
All that was once so beautiful is dead.

Your hands once touched this table and this silver, 
And I have seen your fingers hold this glass. 
These things do not remember you, beloved, 
And yet your touch upon them will not pass.

For it was in my heart that you moved among them, 
And blessed them with your hands and with your eyes; 
And in my heart they will remember always, —
.They knew you once, O beautiful and wise.

–Conrad Aiken


score excerpt


other works for solo voice