A Cradle Song of the Lonely Mother

Amy Beach

A Cradle Song of the Lonely Mother

B81, Op. 108

About this work

After her husband, a physician who was a prominent member of Boston society, died in 1910, she was released from her promise to limit her performing career to one or two recitals a year. Soon, Mrs. H.H.A. Beach was touring North America in programs of primarily her own music, chosen from over 300 works written during the course of the marriage.

This late piano piece, four minutes long, was written in 1924. It shows that the composer kept abreast of developing trends in music. It is a highly chromatic, almost atonal, piece. The rhythm is the traditional rocking motion of a lullaby. The melody is lyrical, but its chromatic lines and the consonant accompaniment often clash with strong dissonance. But this is tempered by the fact that the music is nearly always quiet. The piece is an affecting lament.