The spring of joy : for piano
by Miriam Hyde (1946)
Miriam Hyde and her husband, Marcus Edwards, were married in
December 1939, immediately before he left Australia for active
service in World War II. They were separated for the next five
and a half years, during much of which time he was a Prisoner of
War. They were reunited in June 1945.
She composed The Spring of Joy at the piano during March-April, 1946, but none of it was written down until May. Such feats of memory were normal for her. When she had finished it she played it to her husband and sought his impressions. He said, "It sounds happy ... quite ecstatic at times", so she gave it the title The Spring of Joy. The composer noted, "It was written at a time when my war worries were cast off and the surprisingly brief period of readjustment (actually beginning married life), after such a long separation, had passed into the realisation of a great inward joy".
This work is thus a personal expression of a range of emotions around her joy. She described the music as 'rather veiled' initially, 'hinting at something exquisite, perhaps transient, which is grasped firmly ... when the realisation of the new joy is overwhelming. The spring wells over.' Along the way there are fluctuations including 'a tinge of doubt ... the sweetness of a subtle joy, inseparable from faint pain ... a sweet-sad blend becoming more wistful ... the exciting impact of an emotion that is new, but soon to be absorbed into one's experience ... sometimes a calm, inward joy which bubbles up like a spring.'
Duration: 6 min.
Difficulty: Advanced — AMEB L.Mus.A level
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