Leta Miller, director
Spring, 2002: The Sounds of Nature
Nature's cornucopia of songs with snails, lizards, turtles, aspen leaves, sweetwoods, trees and swans.
Temple Beth El
Saturday, April 27, 2002
$12 or $8 seniors/students
Sumer is icumen in / Anonymous (ca. 1310)
Summer is coming in; loudly sing "cuckoo." The seeds grow, the meadow blows, the woods spring anew. The ewe bleats after the lamb; the calf, loudly, after the cow. The bullock starts, the buck farts; merrily sing "cuckoo."
Morgengruss / Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel (1805-47)
The shadows of night fade quickly; fields filled with flowers blossom brightly. High above, the forest rustles in splendor; the flower listens secretly to him. How blissful to see the morning in the glistening, sparkling fields! Come, love, fulfill my dream. My song resounds in sweet murmurs; come listen like the flower. My trembling desire wants to moisten you with its joyful tears.
READING: Animal Limericks Edward Lear (1812-88)
Turtle (Joshua Bongers, tenor solo) / Joshua Bongers (b.1973)
Snail (Rosella Crawford-Bathurst, alto solo) / Libby Larsen (b. 1950)
Chameleon Wedding / Libby Larsen
READING: #87, #1 e.e.cummings (1894-1962)
Le chant des oiseaux (Song of the birds) / Clément Janequin (c. 1485-1558)
Wake up, sleepy hearts, the god of love summons you! On the first day of May the birds will do miracles to wake you from your stupor. Unstop your ears and sing prettily. You will be filled with joy because the season is fair. You will give forth, at my command, sweet musicthat of the royal thrush and the little delicate starling. Its time to go drinking. Go, mistress, to the mass of St. Cackle who cackles, to the mass of St. Trotin to see St. Robin! Laugh and rejoice, thats my motto. The nightingale in pretty wood, whose voice resounds to relieve you of boredom, talks jargon. Flee regrets, tears and cares, because the season is fair. Back, Mr. Cuckoo. Everyone thinks youre evil because you are nothing but a traitor who silently lays eggs in others nests. Wake up, sleepy hearts, the god of love summons you!
Im Herbst (In Fall) / Johannes Brahms (1833-97)
Solemn is the autumn. When the leaves fall, the heart, too, sinks in troubled grief. Still are the fields; the silent songsters have flown to the south, as to the grave. The day is dreary. Pallid clouds veil the sun. Night comes early. All the powers rest and oblivion falls on all that is. Gentle becomes the man. He sees the sun sink and foresees that life, like the year, must close. Moist is his eye, but through his tears, his heart pours out in blessed effusion.
READING: The Trees Adrienne Rich (b.1929)
O Sweet Woods / John Dowland (1563-1626)
(Solo quartet: Kathy Caton, Susana Wessling, Patrick North, Dan Landry)
O Sweet Woods, the delight of solitariness; how much do I love your solitariness. From fames desire, from loves delight retired; in these sad groves a hermits life I led. And those false pleasures which I once admired, with sad remembrance of my fall I dread. To birds, to trees, to earth impart I this, for she less secret and as senseless is. You men that give false worship unto love, and seek that which you never shall obtain, the endless work of Sisyphus you prove, whose end is this: to know you strive in vain. Hope and desire, which now your idols be, you needs must lose and feel despair with me. You woods, in you the fairest nymphs have walked, and seek that which you never shall obtain. You woods in whom dear lovers oft have talked, how do you now a place of mourning prove? Wanstead, my mistress said this in the doom, thou art loves childbed, nursery, and tomb.
The Willow Song / Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958)
The poor soul sat sighing by a sycamore tree; sing all a green willow. Her hand on her bosom, her head on her knee. The fresh streams ran by her and murmured her moans. Her salt tears fell from her and softened the stones. Sing all a green willow must be my garland.
READING: Let Evening Come Jane Kenyon (1947-1995)
Abendlich / Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel
Already evening rustles in the wood from deep below. High above, God will soon light the stars. How quietly in the gorges the wood rustles out from the deep ground. Everything comes to rest. As the world fades away, the traveler listens anxiously, deeply yearning for his home. Here in the woods green solitude, heart, why dont you rest too!
READING: The Kitten & the Falling Leaves William Wordsworth (1770-1850)
Na osice (Aspen leaves) / Karel Husa (b. 1921)
When the leaves fade on the aspen tree one day, they just flutter to the ground and then the wind will blow them away. When the time comes, when the golden years end, shall I also grow faded and unbending like the aspen leaves? Dear beloved, hear me, come what may; never let our love grow faded, rather let it flutter away.
READING: Starting at Dawn Sun Yün-Fêng (1764-1814)
Uz je slúnko (Sunrise) / Karel Husa
There is the sun, climbing the skies. My dearest love, open your eyes. Till you are here, sad is my heart. Hurry to me, never to part.
The Silver Swan / Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625)
(Maria Stolz, Ruth Schmitz, Jas Cluff, Michael McGushin, Alan Miller)
The silver swan who living had no note, when death approached unlocked her silent throat. Leaning her breast against the reedy shore, thus sung her first and last and sung no more. Farewell all joys, o death come close mine eyes. More geese than swans now live, more fools than wise.
The Silver Swan / John Smith (17th cent.)
(Alison Skinner, Susan Parrish, Sarah Tuttle)
Il bianco e dolce cigno / Jacques Arcadelt (1507?-68)
The white and gentle swan, while singing, dies, and I, weeping, come to the end of my life. Strange and diverse fate that he dies disconsolate and I die blessed a death which as I die fills me with complete joy and desire. If in dying I feel no other grief, a thousand deaths per day Id be content to die.
READING: Letter to Rachel. Turnings Joseph Stroud (Contemporary)
Svogava con le stelle / Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643)
Communing with the stars a lovers anguish, his pain under the night sky. Gazing on them, he said, "Oh beautiful images of the idol whom I adore, since you show me her own rare beauty in so much splendor, thus show her my living adoration. With your exalted countenance, make her compassionate, as you made me loving."
Schöne Fremde / Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel
The treetops rustle and shudder, as though at this hour around the walls half crumbled the ancient gods were making the rounds. Here, under the myrtle trees, in secret slumbering splendor, what are you saying to me, fantastic night? Confusing, as in a dream. All the stars are twinkling down on me with a glowing, loving gaze. The faraway place speaks ecstatically of great happiness to come.
READING: The Human Seasons John Keats (1795-1821)
April is in my mistress face / Thomas Morley (1557 or 58-1602)
April is in my mistress face and July in her eyes hath place. Within her bosom is September, but in her heart a cold December.
Jig / Nicholas Maw (b. 1935)
That winter love spoke and we raised no objection; at Easter twas daisies all light and affectionate; June sent us crazy for natural selection; not four traction engines could tear us apart. Autumn then colored the map of our land. Oaks shuddered and apples came ripe to the hand. In the gap of the hills we played happily. Even the moon couldnt tell us apart. Grave winter drew near and said, "This will not do at all. If you continue, I fear you will rue it all." So at the new Year we vowed to eschew it, although we both knew it would break our heart. But spring made hay of our good resolutions. Lovers, you may be as wise as Confucians. Yet once love betrays you he plays you and plays you, like fishes for ever, so take it to heart!
READING: Er Ists Eduard Mörike (1804-75)
Spring lets its blue ribbon flutter through the air again. Sweet, familiar fragrances wave full of anticipation over the land. Violets are dreaming already, wanting soon to come. Listen, from afar a gentle harp sounds! Spring, yes, thats you! It is you I have heard!
In these delightful, pleasant groves / Henry Purcell (1658-95)
In these delightful, pleasant groves, let us celebrate our happy loves. Lets pipe and dance and laugh and sing. Thus every happy living thing revels in the cheerful spring.
O süßer Mai! / Johannes Brahms
O sweet May, the stream is free. I stand worn out, my eye reluctant. I do not see your green garb nor your blooming colored splendor nor your blue skies. To earth I look. O sweet May, set me free like the song along the dark hedges.
READING: At Stinson Beach Robert Hass (b.1941)
Song for a Dance / Libby Larsen
Shake off your heavy trance, and leap into the dance! Fit only for Apollo to play to, for the moon to lead and the stars to follow.
Veronika / Walter Jurmann (1903-71)
Veronika, the spring is here! The girls sing tra la la. The whole world is bewitched, Veronika; the asparagus are growing! Ah, Veronika, the world is green, so lets stroll in the woods. Even grandpa says to grandma, "Veronika, spring is here!" A girl laughs, a young man says, "Miss, like it or not, outside its spring." The poet Otto Licht sees it as his duty to write this poem, "Veronika, spring is here!" The son and the father are crazy about Veronika; thats because of the spring. Everyone comes knocking in secrecy. Everyone asks her: "Where and when will it finally be my turn?"