Amy Marcy Cheney Beach (or Mrs. H.H.A. Beach) was probably the first woman composer to gain attention for writing successfully in the large forms of the 19th century: symphony, concerto, oratorio, and chamber music. Yet it is in her songs and solo piano music that we glimpse a more private and intimate Beach. Of the 120 songs she produced, only a handful are known to the general public.
For text settings, Beach utilized works by a diverse assortment of poets, including Shelley, Browning, Tennyson, Shakespeare, Hugo, Burns, Goethe, Heine, Schiller, and her own husband, Dr. Henry Harris Aubrey Beach.
by Dr. Henry Harris Aubrey Beach
No sun to warm
The darkening cloud of mist,
The steamy earth sends up
A veil of gray and damp
To kiss the green and tender leaves
And leave its cool imprint
In limpid pearls of dew
The blackened trunks and boughs
In ghostly silhouette
Mark grimly in the coming eve
The shadows of the past. All sounds are stilled,
The birds have hushed themselves to rest
And night comes fast, to drop her pall
Till morn brings life to all.
Three Songs, Op. 2
Composer(s): Amy Beach
Song(s): Twilight (op. 2, no. 1)
When Far From Her (op. 2, no. 2)
Empress of Night (op. 2, no. 3)