Song of the Day for May 17 – 23

Monday Sluefoot from Daddy Long Legs (1955) Leslie Caron and Fred Astaire (4:51)

Tuesday Today I’m just going to hand over a big lovely chunk of classics: Ella and Louis – Jazz About Love  (53:12)

Wednesday Back to some choral music. I cannot get over how beautiful the work of Morten Lauridsen is. I’ve already shared the last song, “Dirait-on,” (watch out, it gets stuck in your brain!) Here’s the complete set of the  Songs of the Roses, performed by the Elora Festival Singers, directed by Noel Edison.  (Looking at the photograph used on the Youtube site, I have no idea why it’s a set of rather gloomy black and white photographs of grey landscapes…maybe they didn’t listen to the music. Maybe they’ve never smelled a rose.)

Les Chansons des Roses – Morten Lauridsen (17:09) Poetry by Rainer Maria Rilke

1. En une seule fleur

C’est pourtant nous qui t’avons proposé de remplir ton calice. Enchantée de cet artifice, ton abondance l’avait osé.   Tu étais assez riche, pour devenir cent fois toi-même en une seule fleur; c’est l’état de celui qui aime… Mais tu n’as pas pensé ailleurs.  It is we, perhaps, who proposed that you replenish your bloom. Enchanted by this charade, your abundance dared.   You were rich enough to fulfill yourself a hundred times over in a single flower; such is the state of one who loves … But you never did think otherwise.

2. Contre qui, rose

Contre qui, rose, avez-vous adopté ces épines? Votre joie trop fine vous a-t-elle forcée de devenir cette chose armée? Mais de qui vous protège cette arme exagérée?Combien d’ennemis vous ai-je enlevés qui ne la craignaient point. Au contraire, d’été en automne, vous blessez les soins qu’on vous donne.    Against whom, rose, have you assumed these thorns? Is it your too fragile joy that forced you to become this armed thing? But from whom does it protect you, this exaggerated defense? How many enemies have I lifted from you who did not fear it at all? On the contrary, from summer to autumn  you wound the affection that is given you

3. De ton rêve trop plein

C’est pourtant nous qui t’avons proposé de remplir ton calice. Enchantée de cet artifice, ton abondance l’avait osé.   Tu étais assez riche, pour devenir cent fois toi-même en une seule fleur ; c’est l’état de celui qui aime… Mais tu n’as pas pensé ailleurs.  It is we, perhaps, who proposed that you replenish your bloom. Enchanted by this charade, your abundance dared.   You were rich enough to fulfill yourself a hundred times over in a single flower; such is the state of one who loves … But you never did think otherwise.

4. La rose complète

J’ai une telle conscience de ton être, rose complète, que mon consentement te confond avec mon cœur en fête. Je te respire comme si tu étais, rose, toute la vie, et je me sens l’ami parfait d’une telle amie.      I have such awareness of your being, perfect rose, that my will unites you with my heart in celebration.       I breathe you in, rose, as if you were all of life, and I feel the perfect friend of a perfect friend

5. Dirait-on

Abandon entouré d’abandon, tendresse touchant aux tendresses… C’est ton intérieur qui sans cessese caresse, dirait-on; se caresse en soi-même, par son propre reflet éclairé. Ainsi tu inventes le thème du Narcisse exhaucé.    Abandon surrounding abandon, tenderness touching tenderness … Your oneness endlessly caresses itself, so they say;   self-caressing through its own clear reflection. Thus you invent the theme of Narcissus fulfilled.

Thursday Jacques d’Amboise, a great dancer and champion of the arts in the American school system, passed away several weeks ago. Here’s several films of his work.

Apollo – Stravinsky/Balanchine  (30:40) To see d’Amboise dance solo, go to 4:50 in the recording. This is one of my favorite ballet scores. The scenario involved the birth of Apollo, his interactions with the three Muses, Calliope (poetry), Polyhymnia (mime) and Terpsichore (dance and song), and his ascent as a god to Mount Parnassus

He Makes Me Feel Like Dancin’, about d’Amboise’s activities in the NYC schools,  won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 1984.  (47:48)

Friday Here’s a fun rendition of The Way You Look Tonight by Ruben Blades and Roberto Delgado & Orchestra (3:37) that will make you search for a good dance partner. Have a good May weekend!

Saturday Today the community chorus I am a member of will be singing a short concert. We’ll be singing masked, standing on a hill, standing 6 feet apart, facing out to a parking lot, to an audience limited to 60, also seated 6 feet apart. We’ve been practicing every Monday night for several months, in that parking lot. We’ve been bundled up again the cold wind, our music has been clipped with clothes pins to keep it open to the right place, and we’ve used little book lights so we can see the page. Our conductor was presented with a light sabre baton so we could see his direction in the dark, which worked. Every now and then geese would fly over and add their own music in the middle of a phrase.

And it’s all been worth it. We’ve met, we’ve made good music. Today we’ll share that with an audience. Keep on making music!

Here’s one of our songs, Crossing the Bar, by Gwyneth Walker, sung by the Southwestern ACDA Conference 2014 High School Men’s Honor Choir, Robert Ward, Conductor, with mixed chorus and orchestra. Here’s an arrangement for women’s chorus from the University of Manitoba Women’s Chorus.

  Crossing the Bar  by Alfred, Lord Tennyson 
Sunset and evening star,
  And one clear call for me!
   And may there be no moaning of the bar,
      When I put out to sea,      
But such a tide as moving seems asleep,    
   Too full for sound and foam,    
When that which drew from out the boundless deep  
     Turns again home.      
Twilight and evening bell,   
    And after that the dark!   
And may there be no sadness of farewell,  
     When I embark;      
For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place   
    The flood may bear me far,   
I hope to see my Pilot face to face     
  When I have crost the bar.  

Sunday When you have a significant liturgical day, you can count on finding something appropriate and excellent by Bach. Bach Cantata BWV 34 Pentecost «O ewiges Feuer, o Ursprung der Liebe» Concentus Musicus Wien Stefan Gottfried (16:02)

Cantata for the First Day of Pentecost
1. Chor
O ewiges Feuer, o Ursprung der Liebe,
Entzünde die Herzen und weihe sie ein.
  Laß himmlische Flammen durchdringen und   wallen,
  Wir wünschen, o Höchster, dein Tempel zu   sein,
  Ach, laß dir die Seelen im Glauben gefallen.
1. Chorus
O eternal fire, o source of love,
ignite our hearts and consecrate them.
  Let heavenly flames penetrate and surge   over us,
  we wish, o Highest, to be Your temple,
  Ah, may our souls be pleasing to you in   faith!
2. Rezitative Tenor
Herr, unsre Herzen halten dir
Dein Wort der Wahrheit für:
Du willst bei Menschen gerne sein,
Drum sei das Herze dein;
Herr, ziehe gnädig ein.
Ein solch erwähltes Heiligtum
Hat selbst den größten Ruhm.
2. Recitative Tenor
Lord, our hearts keep
Your word of truth fast:
You delight to be with mankind,
Therefore let our heart be Yours;
Lord, enter graciously in.
Such a chosen shrine
will itself receive the greatest fame.
3. Arie Alto
Wohl euch, ihr auserwählten Seelen,
Die Gott zur Wohnung ausersehn.
  Wer kann ein größer Heil erwählen?
  Wer kann des Segens Menge zählen?
  Und dieses ist vom Herrn geschehn.
3. Aria Alto
It is well for you, you chosen souls,
whom God has designated for his dwelling.
  Who could choose a greater bliss?
  Who can count the throng of blessings?
  And this has come from the Lord.
4. Rezitativ Bass
Erwählt sich Gott die heilgen Hütten,
Die er mit Heil bewohnt,
So muß er auch den Segen auf sie schütten,
So wird der Sitz des Heiligtums belohnt.
Der Herr ruft über sein geweihtes Haus
Das Wort des Segens aus:
4. Recitative Bass
If God chooses the holy dwellings
that He inhabits with salvation,
so must He also scatter blessings upon them,
so will the site of the sacrament be rewarded.
The Lord pronounces over His consecrated house
this word of blessing:
5. Chor
Friede über Israel.
Dankt den höchsten Wunderhänden,
Dankt, Gott hat an euch gedacht.
Ja, sein Segen wirkt mit Macht,
Friede über Israel,
Friede über euch zu senden.
(Psalm 128:6)
5. Chorus
Peace upon Israel.
Thank the exalted wondrous hands,
give thanks, God has considered you.
Indeed, His blessing works with power,
to send peace upon Israel,
peace upon you.