Emily Hogstad’s mother Dodie has died peacefully today. As I’ve mentioned, she was a great-hearted woman and will be missed.
To celebrate her life, I’d like to share one of my favorite works with you, Ralph Vaughan Williams’s The Lark Ascending. I know the work is also a particular favorite of Emily (appropriate enough, in that her blog’s name is Song of the Lark) and her mother, and in its gorgeous luminosity, it feels particularly appropriate for this moment.
Inspired by a poem by George Meredith, The Lark Ascending is a romance for violin and orchestra that depicts depiction of a bird shaking itself awake in the morning light, spreading its wings and taking to the sky. The work will be played by Erin Keefe and the Minnesota Orchestra at its next subscription concert; while I haven not heard anything officially, I believe the musicians will be dedicating the work to Dodie’s memory.
Here’s the work, and the poem that inspired it:
He rises and begins to round,
He drops the silver chain of sound,
Of many links without a break,
In chirrup, whistle, slur and shake.
For singing till his heaven fills,
‘Tis love of earth that he instils,
And ever winging up and up,
Our valley is his golden cup
And he the wine which overflows
to lift us with him as he goes.
Till lost on his aerial rings
In light, and then the fancy sings.
May Dodie rest in peace.