The Burial of the Stars

Programme Note

The Burial of the Stars is a setting of Walt Whitman’s poem ‘On the Beach at Night’. In the poem a father and daughter contemplate the night sky. The child, initially upset that the clouds appear to be devouring the stars, is comforted by her father, who assures her that the stars are immortal, and are destroyed ‘only in apparition’. The father ends with the enigmatic suggestion that there is something ‘more immortal even than the stars’. The music is for the most part brooding and reflective in character, and attempts to capture both the calm majesty of the natural scene depicted in the poem and the more turbulent emotions of the father and daughter.


23th February 2017
Harriet Burns, Cellophony
Milton Court, London

Year: 2016
Duration: 15′
Instrumentation: Soprano, 8 Celli
Commission: Commissioned by Cellophony with funds provided by the Britten-Pears Foundation.