Briefly It Enters

Song Collection

Briefly It Enters sets nine poems of Jane Kenyon for high voice and piano.

The audio recordings from Briefly It Enters are made possible through a collaboration between the Hampsong Foundation and SongFest. The performers are the 2012 SongFest Sorel Fellow Rachel Schutz, soprano, and Tomasz Lis, piano, and the performance took place at SongFest 2012 at The Colburn School.

Date: 1996Composer: William BolcomText: Jane Kenyon

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Briefly It Enters



    Briefly It Enters

    Donald Hall, Kenyon’s husband and also a poet, wrote the following preface for the song cycle:

    “Jane Kenyon’s passion for music was as great as her genius for writing poetry. Before we left Michigan in 1975, we came to know William Bolcom and Joan Morris, who visited us several times on our farm in New Hampshire. When Jane contracted leukemia in 1994, Bill had already set Jane’s “Let Evening Come” in a cantata.

    “While she was ill she listened over and over again, with the greatest pleasure, to a tape of Benita Valente singing her words.

    “She loved Bill’s music and Benita Valente’s voice. Bill was already planning Briefly It Enters, for Benita Valente, which was a thrill for Jane to imagine. She corresponded with Bill about the choice of poems before she died at forty-seven on 22 April 1995.”


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    Sheet Music

    Briefly It Enters

    Composer(s): William Bolcom

    Song(s): 1. Who
    2. The Clearing
    3. Otherwise
    4. February: Thinking of Flowers
    5. Twilight: After Haying Text: Jane Kenyon6. Man Eating
    7. The Sick Wife
    8. Peonies at Dusk
    9. Briefly It Enters, and Briefly Speaks

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