A Prayer, the poem written by Sara Teasdale, speaks of the world through the eyes of someone who lives to be in love. It isn’t until the end of the poem that we understand this passion comes from a longing to be in love. Where there is love, there is beauty. This setting opens and closes with a moment of stillness and presence, sung by a solo or small group of sopranos. It then flows like a river as we float along, recognizing the beauty that surrounds us.
Every voice has a chance to express the beauty that surrounds them. When all voices come together with “Oh, let me love with all my strength,” there forms a unity of one spirit and one heart. The voices break apart with the text, “Careless if I am loved again,” as each voice evokes a sense of humility and vulnerability. After that moment, the music and text bring us back to the passion and longing for love, but with a bit more self-reflection and awareness, as we continue to float down life’s river. The longing fades into a final moment of stillness and clarity for the “beauty of the earth.”
A Prayer – written by Sara Teasdale
Until I lose my soul and lie
Blind to the beauty of the earth,
Deaf though shouting wind goes by,
Dumb in a storm of mirth;
Until my heart is quenched at length
And I have left the land of men,
Oh, let me love with all my strength
Careless if I am loved again.
Adam Paltrowitz is a master educator, composer, conductor, and clinician.
During his 20-year tenure as the Director of Choral Activities at Plainview-Old Bethpage John F. Kennedy High School in New York, his groups have toured throughout Europe, Canada, and the United States.
He also has pioneered a philosophy that every student is a soloist. Adam’s choral program has also gained great acclaim for the cultivation of eight student-run a-cappella ensembles; some of these ensembles have performed on national and local television programs. His compositions and arrangements have been performed by choirs around the world.
Adam earned his B.S. in music education from New York University, M.A. in vocal pedagogy from Columbia University – Teacher’s College, and Ed.M. choral conducting from Columbia University – Teacher’s College.
Adam resides in Manhattan with his wife, Blair Goldberg, a professional Broadway actress, and their daughter, Lyla.