the darkling thrush (satb)


  • Catalog ID: S-234
  • First Line: i leant upon a coppice gate
  • Composer: Timothy Takach
  • Voicing: satb
  • Solo: SAT
  • Accompaniment: a cappella
  • Language: English
  • Country: United States
  • Series: Anton Armstrong Choral Series
  • Other: 2005
  • Score: View Score
  • Sound: Listen


The thrush in this poem is a symbol of strength, faith, and reasonless hope in the face of an environment that lacks sympathy.  Its voice is the antithesis to the “strings of broken lyres” we see in the first stanza.  The musical colors in this piece mirror the author’s narrative description.  The beginning should feel cold and “spectre-grey” in contrast to the third stanza, which should elicit excitement and joy as the thrush begins to sing (SAT soli).  This piece should take the singer, the conductor, and the audience on a journey from the cold, austere setting Hardy sets up in the first two stanzas to the warm, hopeful appreciation of the thrush’s song at the end.