The Music of Elizabeth Alexander

Even the Stars will Wonder

Songs of love and loss in the aftermath of war

Music: Elizabeth Alexander

Words: Rose Ausländer

The stark and compelling words of Rose Ausländer, a survivor of World War II’s Czernowitz ghetto, are set to music with delicacy, ferocity and compassion.

These three songs, scored for soprano, percussion, piano/celeste, harp and strings, are the central movements of a larger work for soprano and full orchestra, So Many Corners.

1. So Many Corners
2. Our Unforgettable Earth
3. Even the Stars Will Wonder

Instrumentation: Soprano, chamber orchestra (percussion, piano/celeste, harp, strings)

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Even the Stars will Wonder

I. It is Said
It is said
the ocean is round
the earth is round
the sky is round
so much roundness
have so many corners

II. Bereft
Bereft of our land
our familiar things
Not another word about it
Our dead
live with us
We share with them
our unforgettable

III. Love
We will find each other again
in the lake
you as water
I as lotus blossom
You will carry me
I will drink you
We will belong to each other
in everyone’s eyes
Even the stars
will wonder:
here two people
have changed back
into their dream
that has chosen them

Poems by Rose Ausländer
English translation by Ingeborg Wald
© by Rose Ausländer. Translations by Ingeborg Wald. Reprinted by permission of Helmut Braun.



Soprano and orchestra
Premiere: Festival Chamber Orchestra / Janet Youngdahl, soprano / Elizabeth Alexander (Ithaca, NY)
Charleston Symphony Orchestra / Deanna McBroom, soprano / David Stahl. Piccolo Spoleto Festival. (Charleston, SC)
National Orchestral Association (Reading and Recording) / Andrea Cawelti, soprano / Mark Stringer (New York City, NY)

Soprano and piano
Premiere: Susan Craft and Genevieve Jones (Madison, WI)
Carol Haywood and Milton Peckarsky (Stevens Point and Milwaukee, WI)