Amy Beach's Song, "The Year's at the Spring" (1899)
Level of Education of Students Involved
Dr. Katharina Uhde
Arts and Sciences
Music Theory, Music History
My research discusses American composer's Amy Beach’s “The year’s at the spring”, No. 1 from her Three Browning Songs, Op. 44. Anecdotal documentation claims that the first piece was composed in part on the train to Boston and that Amy Beach was inspired by the rhythmic noise of the train wheels. But the text of the song portrays an optimistic awakening of nature in the morning and a sense of trust in God ("God’s in His heaven– All’s right with the world!"). Overall, Amy Beach looked to European Western Art music with regard to style, genre choice, and text-music relationship. How does this song navigate between specific Western European influences -- such as by song composers Franz Schubert and Robert Schumann -- and the tension between the text's evocation of nature/trust in God and the composer's own words regarding "what inspired" this song? In providing a close reading, I determine that in addition to all of these present influences we find in this song the composer-musician herself: a brilliant pianist whose virtuosity and pianism influenced the accompaniments of the song.
Tyderek, Georgina, "Amy Beach's Song, "The Year's at the Spring" (1899)" (2023). Symposium on Undergraduate Research and Creative Expression (SOURCE). 1145.