Mystic Shadows (2017)

Mystic Shadow is a work for woodwind quintet interpreting Stephen Cranes poem, “Mystic Shadow Bending Near Me,” in an aural soundscape of gesturalism, counterpoint, and contemporary harmonies.

SKU: CTJ2017012 Categories: ,


“…an engaging musical narrative with effective use of extended techniques.” – Arcadia Winds.

Approximate Duration: 8’00”

Instrumentation Information:

Woodwind Quintet (Flute, Oboe, Clarinet in Bb, Horn in F, and Bassoon)

World Premiere Recording:

Premiered on December 2nd, 2017 by the Antero Woodwind Quintet at the Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts Recital Hall at the University of Wyoming in Laramie.

Program Notes

Mystic Shadow, by Chase Jordan, is a work for woodwind quintet creating an aural soundscape interpretation of the Stephen Crane poem, “Mystic Shadow Bending Near Me.” It opens with gestural motives dancing among the voices in utter stillness of sound – the shadow bending. A theme slowly risings from the tension, first in the flute and horn, but steadily perpetrating into a 5-part counterpoint that continuously moves forward instantly until the final question is asked in a virtuosic blaze of notes. The work ends with a fugal section morphing into a choral as a demand for an answer to the question of truth is stated, to not be resolved.

Mystic Shadow
by Stephen Crane

Mystic shadow, bending near me,
Who art thou?
Whence come ye?
And — tell me — is it fair
Or is the truth bitter as eaten fire?

Tell me!
Fear not that I should quaver.
For I dare — I dare.
Then, tell me!

First published in The Black Riders and Other Lines, Copeland and Day, 1895.

Additional information

Ensemble Type

Chamber Music, Quintet, Woodwind Quintet


Bassoon, Clarinet in B♭, Flute in C, Horn in F, Oboe