deep inside the woods

deep inside the woods


a song for soprano and piano (4')

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Winner of the 2007 ASCAP / Lotte Lehmann Foundation Art Song Competition

Completed in February, 2006

Dedicated to Abigail Haynes. World premiere by Abigail Haynes (soprano) and Trevor Gureckis (piano) on April 20, 2006.

Text: by Ivy Wang (b. 1984). Used with permission.

Published: E. C. Schirmer Music Company #8312. Also included in "Collected Songs for Soprano and Piano," E. C. Schirmer #8270.


This is a live recording by Abigail Haynes (soprano) and Zachary Wadsworth (piano) at Yale University on February 8, 2007.


The music of the song follows Ivy Wang’s poem through its alternating moods of hollowness and horror, of homage and hope. In the piano, these disparate landscapes are represented by the wandering counterpoint of the opening, the shallow heartbeat of a muted piano string, and the lush evocation of music long past. In the voice, a simple, low melody grows into a virtuosic line of utmost passion, only to fade back to a resigned monotone. In the end, just as the poem seems more to slip away than to truly end, the piano’s closing music grows higher and higher, fainter and fainter, evaporating into the poem’s image of a ceaselessly cold, dark wood. The song is dedicated to Abigail Haynes, the soprano who sang its premiere.