Ol' Marse Winter, 1914. Gena Branscombe, 1881-1977. A. P. Schmidt Collection. Music Division, Library of Congress. Call number: ML1570.B
Branscombe's SSA setting of poetry by Mary Alice Ogden (1858-1926) was published by Arthur P. Schmidt Co., Boston, in 1914. Ogden's verse was used by permission of The Smart Set Co., a New York literary and cultural magazine edited by H. L. Mencken and George Jean Nathan between 1914 and 1923. Branscombe sets the text, written in African-American dialect, to constant eighth notes, "All de streams a runnin', wind am blowin' sof'." The motion stops abruptly as "Ol' Marse Winter" appears in four stark half notes. Eighth notes return to paint the snow and rain. At the mention of "Golden sun a shinin', the choral counterpoint stops as the voices declaim the text in f octaves. The final section builds as the winter and sun motives come together ff, marcato, with all voices in their highest range, "Ol' Marse Winter gwine to marry Spring."