3 min.

Program Notes

WHEN MUSIC SOUNDS is Peter’s setting of the Walter de la Mare poem. Composed for the Central Bucks High School West Choir, under the direction of Dr. Joseph Ohrt, the piece was premiered at the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington DC with the composer conducting.  It is Peter’s 4th commission from Dr. Ohrt and Central Bucks West.


When music sounds, gone is the earth I know,
And all her lovely things even lovelier grow;
Her flowers in vision flame, her forest trees
Lift burdened branches, stilled with ecstasies.

When music sounds, out of the water rise
Naiads whose beauty dims my waking eyes,
Rapt in strange dreams burns each enchanted face,
With solemn echoing stirs their dwelling-place.

When music sounds, all that I was I am
Ere to this haunt of brooding dust I came;
And from Time’s woods break into distant song
The swift-winged hours, as I hasten along.

— Walter de la Mare, 1873 - 1958

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