The Wind in the Hemlock

The Wind in the Hemlock was premiered in the Sydney Symphony Sinfonia’s Discovery program on April 27, 2010. It is scored for double woodwind, two French horns, two trumpets, two trombones, one bass trombone, percussion, mezzo-soprano and strings. The text, which depicts a woman's struggle against her own mortality, was written by Sara Teasdale in 1920 as the final poem in her collection, Flame and Shadow. 

The extract below is the second section of the work, in which the strings discover new possibilities in a musical figure that was previously shouted down by the brass. This figure is then taken up by a series of solo woodwinds, while the woman reflects on the calmness of the world inside a hemlock tree.