The Metropolitan Tower


"The Metropolitan Tower" is the first song in Laitman's song cycle The Metropolitan Tower and Other Songs. The poem, by Sara Teasdale, was published in her 1911 volume Helen of Troy and Other Poems.

Composer's Note:

"'The Metropolitan Tower,' the first art song that I ever composed, was written at the request of Lauren Wagner for inclusion on her debut CD. I listened to many art songs for guidance, and read much poetry. The simple lyricism of Sara Teasdale had an immediate appeal, and I was also attracted to 'Secret Words' and other songs by Paul Bowles. As in 'Secret Words,' melody is the primary force in 'The Metropolitan Tower,' and the piano accompaniment doubles the vocal line."

--Lori Laitman


The composer's note and the second audio clip for "The Metropolitan Tower" (provided in the media player to the right) are made possible through a collaboration between the Hampsong Foundation and SongFest. The performers are Katie Martin, soprano, and Barbara Bochenek, piano, and this performance took place at Pepperdine University at SongFest 2010. To listen, please click on the track name itself.

The Metropolitan Tower
by Sara Teasdale

We walked together in the dusk
To watch the tower grow dimly white,
And saw it lift against the sky
Its flower of amber light.
You talked of half a hundred things,
I kept each hurried word you said;
And when at last the hour was full,
I saw the light turn red.
You did not know the time had come,
You did not see the sudden flower,
Nor know that in my heart Love's birth
Was reckoned from that hour.

Audio PLaylist