“Your clear eye is the one absolutely beautiful thing….”
“Child” is one of the most heartbreaking of Plath’s final poems. It is both an expression of her love for her children and an acknowledgment that she presents to them, when they look up at her, as “a troublous wringing of hands,” and a “dark ceiling without a star.” Against a very clear, luminous, and nearly a cappella setting of the text, an ominous roll in the bass drum gathers power throughout the short piece, until it eclipses all other sound.
Commissioned by the Los Angeles Master Chorale
Premiere: June 2, 2013, Grant Gershon, conducting