Chrysalis (for soprano and two violas)



LIVE recording March 26, 2006, by Abigail Haynes, soprano; Anna Pelczer, viola; and Margaret Carey, viola, Yale University, New Haven, CT.

Program Note:

Chrysalis sets the eponymous poem by the young poet, Ivanna Yi, whom I met in an art-songwriting course at Yale. Ivanna’s deceptively simple, lyrical poetry was a revelation to me.

The poem I have not written
comes to me in my sleep,
a woman dressed in white.

I have been waiting for you,
I tell her. After all this time,
why are you still unwritten?

Without shame she slips out of her dress.
I tried to become a poem, she says,
until I became human.

September 8, 2019

Chicago Classical Review

“Nicholas Phan took the stage in the second half of the intermission-less program with a pair of songs by Sarah Kirkland Snider. The tenor captured the room with a haunting a cappella setting of William Blake’s “Mad Song.” Violinist Yuan-Qing Yu and cellist Kenneth Olsen traced gauzy lines around [Nicholas] Phan’s plaintive, austere vocalism in “Chrysalis,” in which the speaker—in a dream—encounters an unwritten poem in the form of a woman. The results were mesmerizing.”

Landon Hegedus