I have only just a minute,
Only sixty seconds in it.
Forced upon me, can’t refuse it.
Didn’t seek it, didn’t choose it.
But it’s up to me
to use it.
I must suffer if I lose it.
Give account if I abuse it.
Just a tiny little minute,
but eternity is in it.
—Anonymous (attributed to Dr. Benjamin E. Mays)
“Svetik Savishna” takes a little over a minute to perform—but just listen to what’s packed in it:
. . . with O Darling Savishna, Mussorgsky succeeds completely in a setting that is indubitably in the “folk” style but also an art song. . . . The song is in the unusual time signature of 5/4. More unusually still, the melody line, if it can be called a melody, consists essentially of a one-bar-long figure, and the piano accompaniment consists essentially of the same gesture repeated over and over again for the entire 47 bars of the song . . . . an entirely new and completely coherent structure based on the folk idiom. [cite]
Another minute that packs a wallop is this one, which ended a billionaire’s vanity campaign: