A London Thoroughfare, 2AM

for tenor, horn, violin, & piano

Merritt uses unexpected shifts in tempo and tonality for dramatic effect: long, simple lines with echoing violin and horn phrases reflect the singer’s musing. As his unease increases, so does the music, in an undercurrent of skittery, edgy passages and tight harmonics. Bold use of clashing chromatics intensifies the experience, especially in the score’s starkly luminous finale.

-Diane Windeler, San Antonio Express-News

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score sample

A London Thoroughfare, 2 A.M.

They have watered the street,
It shines in the glare of lamps,
Cold, white lamps,
And liesLike a slow-moving river,Barred with silver and black.
Cabs go down it,
One,And then another.
Between them I hear the shuffling of feet.
Tramps doze on the window-ledges,
Night-walkers pass along the sidewalks.
The city is squalid and sinister,
With the silver-barred street in the midst,Slow-moving,A river leading nowhere.
Opposite my window,
The moon cuts,
Clear and round,
Through the plum-coloured night.
She cannot light the city;
It is too bright.It has white lamps,And glitters coldly. I stand in the window and watch the moon.
She is thin and lustreless,
But I love her.
I know the moon,
And this is an alien city.
-Amy Lowell