An Evening with the RNCM Songsters and Chamber Choir

Programme

Still I Rise

Alma Mahler Fünf Lieder
i.  Die stille Stadt; ii. In meines Vaters Garten; iii. Laue Sommernacht; iv. Bei dir ist es traut; v. Ich wandle unter Blumen

Morgana Warren-Jones, Sophie Clarke mezzo-soprano
Theodore Murphy-Jelley baritone
Rose McLachlan piano

Lili Boulanger Clairières dans le ciel (Excerpts)
i. Elle était descendue au bas de la prairie; v. Au pied de mon lit; viii. Vous m’avez regardé avec toute votre âme

Sally Pitts soprano
Jonathan Fisher piano

Rebecca Clarke The Seal Man; June Twlight; Shy One; Down by the Salley Gardens; A Dream

Ellen Pearson soprano
Morgana Warren-Jones mezzo-soprano
Joseph Ashmore baritone
Mariko Ishiyama piano

Interval

Sarah Quartel Songbird
Roxanna Panufnik Celestial Bird
Kerry Andrew Two Bird Proverbs
Caroline Shaw and the swallow
Fanny Hensel Gartenlieder Op 3 Nos 5 and 3
María Guinand Y se quedarán los pájaros cantando
Young-Ah Kim Saeya Saeya Parang Saeya
Heather Masse Bird Song

Stuart Overington director
Anna Beresford conductor
RNCM Chamber Choir

 

This concert will include an interval and will end at approximately 9.30pm.

Song texts are below, except for the following:
Kerry Andrew Two Bird Proverbs
María Guinand Y se quedarán los pájaros cantando
Young-Ah Kim Saeya Saeya Parang Saeya

RNCM Chamber Choir Personnel

FIRST SOPRANOS
Lokyin Liu
Sarah Thomas
Ruby Magee

SECOND SOPRANOS
Taylor London
Emily Stewart
Phoebe Palmer

FIRST ALTOS
Olivia Townell
Ellen Pearson
Gracie Caton

SECOND ALTOS
Olivia Hamblyn
Billie McCaffrey
Llinos Jones

FIRST TENORS
Jacob Parker
Joe Taylor
Alex Kirkland

SECOND TENORS
Ethan Jacobs
Carl Leighton
Dominic Morgan

FIRST BASSES
Sam Lightwing
Theo Murphy-Jelley
Sam Weakley

SECOND BASSES
Dominic Carver
Harrison Morton-Deaville

Alma Mahler - Die stille Stadt / The Silent Town

A town lies in the valley,
a pale day is fading;
it will not be long
before neither moon nor stars
but night alone will deck the skies.
From every mountain
mists weigh on the town;
no roof, no courtyard, no house
no sound can penetrate the smoke,
scarcely towers and bridges even.
But as fear seized the traveller,
a gleam appeared in the valley;
and through the smoke and mist
came a faint song of praise
from a child’s lips.

English Translation: Richard Stokes

Alma Mahler - In meines Vaters Garten / In my father's garden

In my father’s garden –
blossom, O my heart, blossom –
In my father’s garden
grew a shady apple tree –
Sweet dream –
grew a shady apple tree.
Three blond princesses –
blossom, O my heart, blossom –
three wonderfully beautiful girls
slept beneath the apple tree –
Sweet dream –
slept beneath the apple tree.
The youngest of the three beauties –
blossom, O my heart, blossom –
the youngest of the three beauties
blinked and hardly awoke –
Sweet dream –
blinked and hardly awoke.
The second ran her hand through her hair –
blossom, O my heart, blossom –
Saw the red morning dream –
Sweet dream –
She said: ‘Don’t you hear the drums?
blossom, O my heart, blossom –
Sweet dream –
Brightly through the dawn?
My beloved is going to war
blossom, O my heart, blossom –
My beloved is going to war,
Kisses as victor the hem of my dress
Sweet dream –
Kisses the hem of my dress.
The third spoke, and spoke so quietly –
blossom, O my heart, blossom –
The third spoke and spoke so quietly:
I kiss the hem of my beloved’s coat –
Sweet dream –
I kiss the hem of my beloved’s coat.
In my father’s garden –
blossom, O my heart, blossom –
In my father’s garden
grew a shady apple tree –
Sweet dream –
grew a shady apple tree.

English Translation: Richard Stokes

Alma Mahler - Laue Sommernacht / Mild Summer Night

Mild summer night: in the sky
Not a star, in the deep forest
We sought each other in the dark
And found one another.
Found one another in the deep wood
In the night, the starless night,
And amazed, we embraced
In the dark night.
Our entire life – was it not
Such a tentative quest?
There: into its darkness,
O Love, fell your light.

English Translation: Richard Stokes

Alma Mahler - Bei dir ist es traut / I feel warm and close with you

I feel warm and close with you:
clocks strike hesitantly,
like they did in distant days.
Say something loving to me –
but not aloud.
A gate opens somewhere
out in the burgeoning.
Evening listens at the window-panes.
Let us stay quiet,
no one knows us thus.

English Translation: Richard Stokes

Alma Mahler - Ich wandle unter Blumen / I wander among flowers

I wander among flowers
And blossom with them;
I wander as in a dream
And sway with every step.
O, hold me fast, beloved!
Or drunk with love
I’ll fall at your feet –
And the garden is full of folk.

English Translation: Richard Stokes

Lili Boulanger - Elle était descendue au bas de la prairie / She had reached the low-lying meadow

She had reached the low-lying meadow,
and, since the meadow was all a-blossom
with plants that like to grow in water,
I had picked these flooded flowers.
Soon, soaking wet, she reached the top
of that blossoming meadow.
She was laughing and gasping with the gawky
grace of girls who are too tall.
Her eyes looked like lavender flowers.
English Translation: Richard Stokes

Lili Boulanger - Au pied de mon lit / At the foot of my bed

At the foot of my bed, my mother placed
a negress Virgin. And I love this Virgin
with its faintly Italian religion.
Virgo Lauretana, standing on a gold background,
you make me think of a thousand fruits de mer
sold on quaysides where no breath of air
stirs the flags which fall listlessly asleep;
Virgo Lauretana, you know that at such hours
when I feel myself unworthy of her love,
it is your scent that refreshes my heart.
English Translation: Richard Stokes

Lili Boulanger - Vous m'avez regardé avec toute votre âme / You gazed at me with all your soul

You gazed at me with you soul.
You gazed at me long like a blue sky.
I set your gaze in the shade of my eyes…
How this was passionate and calm…

English Translation: Richard Stokes

Rebecca Clarke - The Seal Man

And he came by her cabin to the west of the road, calling.
There was a strong love came up in her at that,
and she put down her sewing on the table, and “Mother,” she says,
“There’s no lock, and no key, and no bolt, and no door.
There’s no iron, nor no stone, nor anything at all
will keep me this night from the man I love.”
And she went out into the moonlight to him,
there by the bush where the flow’rs is pretty, beyond the river.
And he says to her: “You are all of the beauty of the world,
will you come where I go, over the waves of the sea?”
And she says to him: “My treasure and my strength,” she says,
“I would follow you on the frozen hills, my feet bleeding.”
Then they went down into the sea together,
and the moon made a track on the sea, and they walked down it;
it was like a flame before them. There was no fear at all on her;
only a great love like the love of the Old Ones,
that was stronger than the touch of the fool.
She had a little white throat, and little cheeks like flowers,
and she went down into the sea with her man,
who wasn’t a man at all.
She was drowned, of course.
It’s like he never thought that she wouldn’t bear the sea like himself.
She was drowned, drowned.
Text: John Masefield

Rebecca Clarke - June Twilight

The twilight comes;
the sun dips down and sets,
The boys have done
play at the nets.
In a warm golden glow
The woods are steeped.
The shadows grow;
The bat has cheeped.
Sweet smells the new-mown hay;
The mowers pass
Home, each his way,
through the grass.
Text: John Masefield
The night-wind stirs the fern,
A night-jar spins;
The windows burn
In the inns.
Dusky it grows. The moon! The dews descend.
Love, can this beauty in our hearts end?

Rebecca Ckarke - Shy One

Shy one, shy one,
Shy one of my heart,
She moves in the firelight
Pensively apart.
She carries in the dishes,
And lays them in a row.
To an isle in the water
With her would I go.
She carries in the candles,
And lights the curtained room,
Shy in the doorway
And shy in the gloom;
And shy as a rabbit,
Helpful and shy.
To an isle in the water
With her would I fly.
Text: W. B. Yeats

Rebecca Clarke - Down by the Salley Gardens

Down by the Salley Gardens my love and I did meet;
She passed the Salley Gardens with little snow-white feet.
She bid me take love easy, as the leaves grow on the tree;
But I, being young and foolish, with her did not agree.
In a field by the river my love and I did stand,
And on my leaning shoulder she laid her snow-white hand.
She bid me take life easy, as the grass grows on the weirs;
But I was young and foolish, and now am full of tears.
Text: W. B. Yeats

Rebecca Clarke - A Dream

I dreamed that one had died in a strange place
Near no accustomed hand;
And they had nailed the boards above her face,
The peasants of that land,
And, wond’ring, planted by her solitude
A cypress and a yew:
I came, and wrote upon a cross of wood,
Man had no more to do:
“She was more beautiful than thy first love
This lady by the trees.”
And gazed upon the mournful stars above,
And heard the mournful breeze.
Text: W. B. Yeats

Sarah Quartel - Songbird

I am a Songbird; I will sing anything. Give me a tune, I will spin you gold.

Closer you come to the Songbird weaving, Stronger the thread of the music’s hold,

Feel in the breeze a breath, a soaring Song to you, and hear me say:
‘I am a Songbird; I will sing anything. Follow the breeze and come my way!’

One little bird on a branch sits fanning Amber wings to the passers by.
Two little birds in flight are threading Webs of gold in an endless sky.

Three little birds with brushes painting Moonlit sighs in the heart of day.
Four little birds with voices gleaming Breathe to the wind singing ‘come my way!’

Sing little bird so sweetly. Drown my fears completely.

Five little birds with feathers fluffing Stretch and spread in the midday sun. Six little birds are cooing, humming, Drawing the eyes of ev’ryone.

Seven little birds in fountains splashing. Droplets soar, they fawn and play.
Eight little birds raise voices higher, Breathe to the wind singing, ‘come my way!’

Sing little bird so sweetly. Drown my fears completely.

Fly, little Songbirds, to the horizon.
Land meets sky and sky meets sea. Dance, little Songbirds, flick your feathers, Move the current, carry me!

Sing, little Songbirds, call to your lovers. Draw them in completely.
You, little Songbirds, you can sing anything. I follow the wind and I come your way.

Text: Sarah Quartel

Roxanna Panufnik - Celestial Bird

One of a series, all premiered and recorded by the vocal ensemble VOCES8, this a cappella work is challenging, with independent parts, and a rich and diverse harmonic vocabulary.

Caroline Shaw - and the swallow

How beloved is your dwelling place,
O Lord of hosts
my soul yearns, faints,
my heart and my flesh cry
The sparrow found a house
and the swallow, her nest,
where she may raise her young
They pass through the valley of bakka
they make it a place of springs
the autumn rains also cover it with pools.

Fanny Hensel - Gartenlieder Op 3 Nos 5 and 3

No 5:

Evening falls o’er wood and plain,
Rustling leaves declare it,
Blessed news, the gleaming stars
Soon on high will bear it.
In the valley all is stilly,
Night descends on gorges hilly,
Blessed news, the gleaming stars
Soon on high will bear it.
Close of toil to all is come,
Woods and fields are dreary;
Lonely wanderers seek a home,
Seek their rest the weary,
Here, within this woodland valley,
Weary hearts will find their home.

No 3:

Welcome, as if Spring were nearing,
Golden sun, in heaven appearing,
Still from out the garden bowers
Music comes from fragrant flowers

Spring as yet my soul entrances,
Songs of birds, and sunny glances,
See, around the leaves are falling!
Yet our dreams are Spring recalling.

Heather Masse - Bird Song

I hear a bird chirping, up in the sky,
I’d like to be free like that spread my wings so high.

I see the river flowing water running by,
I’d like to be that river see what I might find.

I feel the wind a’blowing slowly changing time,
I’d like to be that wind I’d swirl and shape the sky.

I smell the flowers blooming opening for spring,
I’d like to be those flowers open to everything.

I feel the season change the leaves, the snow, and sun,
I’d like to be those seasons made up and undone.

I taste the living earth the seeds that grow within,
I’d like to be that earth a home where life begins.

I see the moon a’rising reaching into night,
I’d like to be that moon a knowing, glowing light.

I know the silence as the world begins to wake,
I’d like to be that silence as the morning breaks.