A setting of the poem ‘He wishes for the cloths of heaven’ by WB Yeats (1899) for a cappella chorus (SSAATTBB)
- 3 minutes
This short work was written for The Walter Hussey Composition Competition, launched in January 2018. The theme of the inaugural competition was ‘Gold’ to coincide with the Reading Phoenix Choir’s 50th season.
‘He wishes for the cloths of heaven’ is perhaps the most often set poem from his 1899 collection ‘The Wind Among the Reeds’. The title is actually the second line of the poem and the words ‘golden’ and ‘silver’ are repeated antiphonally throughout the music. Set tonally in A flat major the setting exploits clustering, with gentle dissonance, and textural contrasts. The movement was incorporated into an expanded Yeats setting The Wind Among the Reeds (Op.59), this time with piano accompaniment.