Song cycles are something that is not all that common in the world of today’s music and yet, by its very nature, so much of the music created in a neoclassical, spiritual/new age style is exactly that; a song cycle. Composer and pianist Pam Asberry has created a fresh, enjoyable tribute to Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel who composed a beautiful song cycle Daas Jahr in 184, along with many other pieces, during a time when music was not considered as a suitable or respectable career for a woman.
Twelvemonth begins in January a time of Snow with a dainty collection of notes delicately falling as the snowflakes do, gentle, soft, delicate and perfectly formed. The year moves along with Romance arriving in February with a gentle considered tempo that is deliciously soft, warm and cuddly, all the elements that make up a good old fashioned romance.
As the year unfolds the melodies formed are jaunty, reflective and exciting. Before long a Processional is held, perhaps in response to the early romance in February. Carefully spaced the notes form an image of the Bride slowly walking down the aisle to begin her life with the man of her heart. Rich and lovely, Processional is full of dreams of happy tomorrows filled with love.
Fireworks, skies lit up with magical, fleeting colour, sparklers waving, leaving a mystical trail of vapour only to disappear in the blink of an eye, is captured in the vibrant piece Sparklers, a celebration of Independence Day held in July in the United States.
As the lively days of summer draw to a close how easy it is to Lament the passing of the seasons, which has been captured in the up-tempo melody laced together with a strong, deep thread portraying the slow but persistent change arriving in the chill of the days, as summer is on the wane.
Ghosts arrive in October, their Shades all around, particularly as the sun sets ushering in the darkness. The quirky little piece Shadows pays tribute to the month of ghosts, mystique and Celtic festivals.
Christmas is a time of hope, family and joy which is celebrated in the hymn like Hope set to be a favourite come Christmas time in December this year. Hope is also the perfect ending to a beautiful song cycle which commenced with the delicate and dainty Snow, to gently segue through the emotions to conclude with the wonderfully meaningful, immensely touching piece Hope.