Night of the Sanziene

Johna Saltsman

Grade 12, North Country UHS, Newport VT

The Night of the Sanziene
On that Sanziene night,

Somewhere between the earth and sky,

Adored by moon and wind above the lands they fly.

The groups of Sanziene sing
 and braid their flower crowns

From evening dew just picked, moon rays and summer blooms.

If moon and sun 
wear the crown 
they become one.

The Sanziene Night is the Romanian celebration of the Summer Solstice. There is an age-old belief that this day holds immeasurable magic, from aiding in having a good harvest and picking plants have magically potent healing qualities on this evening, to even telling the future. On this day in Romania, the girls dress up in beautiful clothing, pick flowers, gypsy maidens release floating candles on lakes, and perform beautiful dances while the rest of the people light torches, make bonfires, and do many other celebratory activities. This piece has a bright, warm feel like a festival in the middle of summer when with dances and people gathered around bonfires while the hint of magic adorns the air. With lots of rhythmical pizzicato and a complex time signature, The Night of the Sanziene is a piece that will bring you to the candle-lit lakes, bonfire speckled hills, and dancing-filled fields of Romania during celebration of the enchanted day of June." (poem credit: Lori Tiron-Pandit)

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Tags: Opus 28, live performance, student composer