Sleep (arr Nowlin)

From Wind Repertory Project
Eric Whitacre

Eric Whitacre (arr. Ryan Nowlin)

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General Info

Year: 2000 / 2016
Duration: c. 5:00
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Walton Music Corp.
Cost: Score and Parts - Unknown


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None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Eric Whitacre’s composition Sleep was originally commissioned as an a-cappella choral work in 1999 by mezzo-soprano Julia Armstrong to commemorate the lives of her parents who, after more than fifty years of marriage, had died within weeks of each other following an auto accident. The work was to be set to Armstrong’s favorite poem, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost. Legal difficulties over the use of Frost’s poem led Whitacre to approach his good friend, poet Charles Anthony Silvestri, who wrote a beautiful original poem that seamlessly fit the music Whitacre had already composed. The poem was inspired by Silvestri watching his son fall asleep.

Charles Anthony Silvestri

The evening hangs beneath the moon,
A silver thread on darkened dune.
With closing eyes and resting head
I know that sleep is coming soon.

Upon my pillow, safe in bed,
A thousand pictures fill my head.
I cannot sleep, my mind’s a-flight;
And yet my limbs seem made of lead.

If there are noises in the night,
A frightening shadow, flickering light,
Then I surrender unto sleep,
Where clouds of dreams give second sight,
What dreams may come, both dark and deep,
Of flying wings and soaring leap
As I surrender unto sleep,
As I surrender unto sleep.

Reprinted with permission

- Program Note from U.S. Marine Band concert program, 14 December 2016


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State Ratings

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Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

  • The Seal Lullaby (Flex instrumentation) (arr. Ambrose) (2011/2021)
  • Sing Gently (Flex instrumentation) (arr. Mösenbichler-Bryant) (2020/2021)

All Wind Works


None discovered thus far.