LIGHT MUSIC for Spring - May 13, 2023

Video Playlist – LIGHT MUSIC for Spring

PROGRAMME NOTES

*Canadian Composer

ALLELUIA (Javier Fajardo)

Javier Fajardo (b. 1992) is the Choirmaster at Gabinete de Comunicación de la Universidad de Valladolid in Spain. In 2017 he made this wonderfully simple and beautiful Alleluia available online for free download and performance. The simple line and repetitive text builds to a fervent declaration of praise before fading into soothing silence.

AVE VERUM CORPUS (Imant Raminsh*) - not performed at this concert.

Imant Raminsh (b. 1943) is a Canadian composer of Latvian descent, best known for his choral compositions. He resides in Coldstream, British Columbia. This Ave Verum Corpus was written in 1973 and has some hidden references to Mozart's Ave Verum Corpus which was an inspiration for the work.

Ave verum corpus, natum de Maria Virgine.
Hail, true Body, born of the Virgin Mary,

Vere passum, immolatum in cruce pro homine.
Who has truly suffered, was sacrificed on the cross for mortals,

Cujus latus perforatum, vero fluxit sanguine.
Whose side was pierced, whence flowed water and blood:

Esto nobis praegustatum mortis in examine,
Be for us a foretaste of heaven during the final judgement.

O clemens, O pie, Fili Mariae.  Amen.
O Jesu sweet, O Jesu pure, Jesu son of Mary.  Amen.

I WANT TO DIE EASY (Traditional Spiritual, arr. Robert Shaw & Alice Parker)

The partnership of Robert Shaw (1916-1999) and Alice Parker (b. 1925) produced a huge number of powerful arrangements of culturally significant American music. I Want To Die Easy is a spiritual with roots in the slave states of the deep south. The piece drives the listener to a climactic arrival in heaven. The heavy, weighty, and ponderous tempo signifies the difficulty of the singer's current condition, and the challenges of the journey to the promised land.

I want to die easy when I die, shout salvation as I fly.
I want to see my Jesus when I die, shout salvation as I fly.
I want to go to heaven when I die, shout salvation as I fly.

COME AWA' DEAR OLD GRANNY (Cape Breton Ballad, arr. Trevor Jones)

Stories passed down from older generations to the younger are important in families. Imagine a small child climbing onto their grandmother's lap, snuggling in, and asking for kisses and stories. This Cape Breton ballad may also serve as a reminder to not wait too long, as it seems to hint to a wake for the family matriarch.

Come awa' dear old Granny, and sit down beside me, Tell me a story of days long gone by,
When you were a lassie and Grandpa a laddie, Far o'er the ocean you travelled from Skye.

Bide a wee dear old Granny, and sing me a song now, Sunlight is fading, the night shadows creep.
Come sing of your homeland, a song of auld Scotland, those are the mem'ries forever you'll keep.

Come awa' dear old Granny, your eyelids are heavy, Golden the twilight, and day at the close,
Come let me caress you, and may the Lord bless you. Come awa' dear old Granny, the candlelight glows.

DU MEINES HERZENS KRÖNELEIN Op. 21, No.2 (Richard Strauss 1864-1949)

Du meines Herzens Krönelein, du bist von lautrem Golde,
You, my heart’s coronet, you are of pure gold,
Wenn Andere daneben sein, dann bist du noch viel holde.
When others stand beside you, you are more lovely still.
Die Andern tun so gern gescheut, du bist gar sanft und stille;
Others love to appear clever, you are so gentle and quiet;
Daß jedes Herz sich dein erfreut, dein Glück ist’s, nicht dein Wille.
That every heart delights in you, is your fortune not your will.
Die Andern suchen Lieb’ und Gunst mit tausend falschen Worten,
Others seek love and favours with a thousand false words,
Du ohne Mund- und Augenkunst bist wert an allen Orten,
You, without artifice of mind or eye, are esteemed in every place,
Du bist als wie die Ros’ im Wald, sie weiß nichts von ihrer Blüte,
You are like the rose in the forest, knowing nothing of its flowers,
Doch Jedem, der vorüberwallt, erfreut sie das Gemüte.
Yet rejoicing the heart of every passer-by.

ZUEIGNUNG Op.10, No.1 (Richard Strauss 1864-1949)

Ja, du weißt es, teure Seele,
Yes, dear soul, you know
Daß ich fern von dir mich quäle, Liebe macht die Herzen krank,
That I’m in torment far from you, Love makes hearts sick –
Habe Dank.
Have thanks.
Einst hielt ich, der Freiheit Zecher,
Once, revelling in freedom,
Hoch den Amethysten-Becher, Und du segnetest den Trank,
I held the amethyst cup aloft, And you blessed that draught –
Habe Dank.
Have thanks.
Und beschworst darin die Bösen,
And you banished the evil spirits,
Bis ich, was ich nie gewesen, Heilig, heilig an’s Herz dir sank,
Till I, as never before, Holy, sank holy upon your heart –
Habe Dank!
Have thanks!

EVEN WHEN HE IS SILENT (Kim André Arnesen)

Even When He Is Silent was commissioned in 2011 by the St. Olaf festival in Trondheim, Norway. The text was found written on a wall at a concentration camp after World War II. Norwegian composer Kim André Arnesen (b. 1980) notes: "Imagining what that person went through makes the words so powerful. As I read them, it was a Credo - when everything is dark and difficult you might wonder where God is, or if God is there at all. This is about keeping faith in God, love, and hope. I think of the sun as a metaphor for hope."

I believe in the sun even when it's not shining.
I believe in love even when I feel it not.
I believe in God even when He is silent.

JESU DULCIS MEMORIA (Tomás Luis de Vittoria, arr. Hilda Morgan)

Originally intended for male voices sung in medieval cathedrals, this wonderful SSAA arrangement gives each voice part a juicy melody of their own. The altos in particular finally get a chance to rumble some deep, deep notes.

Jesu dulcis memoria, dans vera cordi gaudia.
Jesus, the very thought of Thee, With sweetness fills the breast!
Sed super mel et omnia, Ejus dulcis praesentia.
Yet sweeter far Thy face to see, And in Thy Presence rest.

DUST IN THE WIND (Kerry Livgren, arr. Jacob Narverud)

Made famous by the rock group Kansas, Dust in the Wind speaks to the brevity of human existence. Just a speck of dust, just a drop of water, nothing lasts forever. Not to lose hope, but to keep a simple perspective.

I close my eyes only for a moment, and the moment's gone.
All my dreams pass before my eyes, a curiosity.
Dust in the wind, all they are is dust in the wind.

Same old song; Just a drop of water in an endless sea.
All we do crumbles to the ground, though we refuse to see.
Dust in the wind, all we are is dust in the wind.

Don't hang on; nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky.
It slips away, and all your money won't another minute buy.
Dust in the wind, all we are is dust in the wind.

SERENADE  fr. "The Student Prince" (Sigmund Romberg 1887-1951)

Overhead, the moon is beaming white as blossoms on the boughNothing is heard but the song of a bird filling all the air with dreaming.Could my heart but still its beating, only you can tell it how!
Beloved, from your window give me greeting; hear my eternal vow.
Soft in the trees sighs the echo of my longing, while all around you my dreams of rapture throng
(Visions glowing, around me thronging), My soul, my joy, my hope, my fear,
Your heart must tell you that I am near!
Lean from above while I pour out my love for you know to my life you are love.
Oh hear my longing cry! O love me or I die. (Love me!)
Overhead, the moon is beaming white as blossoms on the boughNothing is heard but the song of a bird filling all the air with dreamingCould my heart but still its beating, only you can tell it how!
Beloved, from your window give me greeting; I swear my eternal love.

BLACK IS THE COLOR OF MY TRUE LOVE'S HAIR (arr. John Jacob Niles 1892-1980)

Black, black, black is the color of my true love's hair,Her lips are something rosy fair,The pertest face and the daintiest handsI love the grass wheron she stands.I love my love and well she knows,I love the grass whereon she goes;If she on earth no more I see,My life will quickly leave me.I go to Troublesome to mourn, to weep,But satisfied I ne're can sleep;I'll write her a note in a few little lines,I'll suffer death ten thousand times.Black, black, black is the color of my true love's hair,Her lips are something rosy fair,The purtest face and the daintiest hands,I love the grass whereon she stands.

FOGGY FOGGY DEW (arr. Benjamin Britten 1913-1976)

When I was a bachelor I lived all alone and worked at the weaver’s trade
And the only, only thing that I ever did wrong, was to woo a fair young maid.
I wooed her in the winter time, and in the summer too …
And the only, only thing I did that was wrong was to keep her from the foggy, foggy dew.
One night she came to my bedside when I lay fast asleep,
She laid her head upon my bed and she began to weep.
She sighed, she cried, she damn’d near died, she said: ‘What shall I do?’
So I hauled her into bed and I covered up her head,
just to keep her from the foggy, foggy dew.
Oh, I am a bachelor and I live with my son, and we work at the weaver’s trade.
And ev’ry single time that I look into his eyes, he reminds me of the fair young maid.
He reminds me of the winter time, and of the summer too,
And of the many, many times that I held her in my arms,
just to keep her from the foggy, foggy dew.

AN DIE MUSIK (Franz Schubert)

Du holde Kunst, in wieviel grauen Stunden,
Beloved art, in how many a bleak hour,
Wo mich des Lebens wilder Kreis umstrickt,
when I am enmeshed in life’s tumultuous round, 
Hast du mein Herz zu warmer Lieb entzunden,
have you kindled my heart to the warmth of love,
Hast mich in eine bessre Welt entrückt!
and borne me away to a better world!
Oft hat ein Seufzer, deiner Harf entflossen,
Often a sigh, escaping from your harp,
Ein süsser, heiliger Akkord von dir
a sweet, celestial chord
Den Himmel bessrer Zeiten mir erschlossen,
has revealed to me a heaven of happier times.
Du holde Kunst, ich danke dir dafür!
Beloved art, for this I thank you!

THE PRAYER (Carole Bayer Sager & David Foster*)

The Prayer was featured in the 1998 Warner Bros. animated film "Quest for Camelot" and was originally performed by Céline Dion and Andrea Bocelli. The eclectic mix of classical and pop musical styles are highlighted by the combining of English and Italian lyrics.

I pray you'll be our eyes, and watch us where we go,
and help us to be wise in times when we don't know.
Let this be our prayer, when we lose our way.
Lead us to a place, guide us with your grace to a place where we'll be safe.

La luce che tu dai (I pray we'll find your light,) ne cuore resterá (and hold it in our hearts.)
A ricordarci che (when stars go out each night,) l'eterna stella sei (you are the eternal star.)
Nella mia preghiera (Let this be our prayer,) quanta fede c'é. (when shadows fill our day.)
Lead us to a place, guide us with your grace. Give us faith so we'll be safe.

Sognamo un mondo senza piú violenza. Un mondo di giustizia e di speranza.
We dream of a world without more violence, A world of justice and hope.
Ognuno dia la mano al suo vicino simobolo di pace, di fraternitá.
Where everyone holds their neighbour's hand in peace and unity.

La forza che ci dai (We ask that life be kind,) é il desiderio che (and watch us from above.)
Ognunu trovi amore (We hope each soul will find,) intorno e dentro sé (another soul to love.)
Let this be our prayer, just like ev'ry child,
Need to find a place, guide us with your grace. Give us faith so we'll be safe.

E la fede che hai acceso in noi. Sento che ci salverá.
And the faith you ignite in us, I feel it will  save us.

IGNITE (Emile Deedes-Vinck*)

From despair to hope, from darkness to light; commissioned by Laudate Singers, Ignite is a joy to sing. This original composition and poem is intended to inspire listeners with a message of hope. Singers and listeners will reflect on the light within each of us. Emile Deedes-Vinck (b. 1999) grew up in North Vancouver and studied classical music at Capilano University.

There are times when you might fall, and times that you must always stand tall.
And light may start to fade, but there's still music left to be made
tonight, tonight.

Though the past may leave its mark, and sunlit days may turn into dark,
you can close your eyes and see the light that we are all meant to be.
Ignite, ignite.

When you're in the dark, all alone and scared, you can close your eyes and see your light.

With the music in each heart, in time we're never far apart.
And each note will fight the storm. There are still those who cannot stay warm.
Ignite, ignite.

HOLD ME, ROCK ME (Brian Tate*)

An award-winning composer, as well as an accomplished and versatile musician, choir director, and educator, British Colombia-based Brian Tate (b. 1954) attributes the success of his multifaceted career to a love of working with people and a passion for the arts. Hold Me, Rock Me is an original composition, but has the flavour of old and well-loved spiritual. Any mother in the audience today (in fact, any parent) may perhaps feel a tug at their heart from the role they play in nurturing and preparing children to "set out on [their] own."

Hold me, rock me, calm and easy, Hold me, rock me, deep and wide.
Hold me, rock me, in your arms, Oh I got a home on the other side.

Some day, gonna cross that river, someday gonna set out on my own,
Don't know where my journey leads, but I'll keep on walkin' till I get me home.

My life is a runnin' river flowin' from the mountains to a distant sea.
I've known many hills and valleys, but when I reach that ocean, I'll be free!

MY GOD IS SO HIGH (Traditional Spiritual, arr. Moses Hogan)

Until his untimely death in 2003, Moses Hogan (1957-2003) was one of the most celebrated contemporary directors and arrangers of spirituals. In his short life, he created dozens of new original arrangements of classic spirituals, and formed several choirs that performed them with new vitality. My God Is So High is a classic spiritual arrangement that gives the soloist a chance to truly soar!

My God is so high you can't get over Him, He's so low you can't get under Him,
He's so wide you can't get 'round him, you must come in by and through the Lamb.

One day as I was a walkin' along the heav'nly road
my Saviour spoke unto me and He filled my heart with His love.

I'll take my gospel trumpet and I'll begin to blow,
And if my Saviour helps me I'll blow where ever I'll go.

THE BLESSING OF LIGHT (Mark Sirett*)

Spring in Saskatchewan - sunlight, warm breezes, rains that soak the ground. Though many of us aren't directly involved in the agro-economy, none of us are far removed from it. May this closing ancient Scottish blessing by Ontario composer Mark Sirett (b. 1952) follow you this summer.

May the blessing of light be on you, Light without and light within.
May the sunlight shine on you like a fire so friend and stranger may come and be warm.

May sunlight, may it shine from your face, like a candle set in a window pane,
Like a candle set to welcome you home and guide the lost from the storm.

And may the blessing of rain be with you. May it wash your spirit fair and clean,
And reflect the blue of heaven or a star.

May the blessing of earth be on you, be it soft under your feet as you pass.
The Lord bless you, and bless you kindly.