Composition Recital: 14 May 2010
“A New Star” Ambyr Stores, piano
This short piano movement musically depicts the appearance of a new star at the birth of Jesus Christ.
- “The Cloths of Heaven” text by William Butler Yeats
Joshua Heying, tenor
- “Sweet Sleep” text by William Blake
Joshua Heying, tenor
Timothy Francis, piano
- “The Land of Nod” text by Robert Louis Stevenson
Lucas Snyder, tenor
Jamal Gyewu, piano
“The Cloths of Heaven”
Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
-William Butler Yeats
Sweet dreams form a shade,
O'er my lovely infants head.
Sweet dreams of pleasant streams,
By happy silent moony beams
Sweet sleep with soft down.
Weave thy brows an infant crown.
Sweet sleep Angel mild,
Hover o'er my happy child.
Sweet babe in thy face,
Holy image I can trace.
. . . .
Thou his image ever see.
Heavenly face that smiles on thee,
-from Cradle Song, by William Blake
“The Land of Nod”
From breakfast on through all the day
At home among my friends I stay,
But every night I go abroad
Afar into the land of Nod.
All by myself I have to go,
With none to tell me what to do --
All alone beside the streams
And up the mountain-sides of dreams.
The strangest things are there for me,
Both things to eat and things to see,
And many frightening sights abroad
Till morning in the land of Nod.
Try as I like to find the way,
I never can get back by day,
Nor can remember plain and clear
The curious music that I hear.
-Robert Louis Stevenson
Interactions Amy Norland, flute Nathan Wilson, trumpet Carl Egbert, bass
“If I Can Stop One Heart From Breaking” text by Emily Dickinson
Tenor: Derek Larson, Webb Parker
Baritone: Jeffery Parola, Ethan Gans-Morse
Bass: Richard Carrick, Noah Brenner
In this short but poignant poem, Emily Dickinson gives voice to a yearning that I hope we all have, and which is one of my motivations as a composer: the desire to reach out to those in need, and to do some good in the life of another. One might even be so bold as to say that our love and our service to others are really what life is all about, and should be our highest aspirations.
If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.
Dancing Flute Amy Norland, flute
Conducted by Webb Parker, Accompanied by Amanda Christensen
“Spring” text by Eliza R, Snow
This piece celebrates the wonder and beauty of new life that emerges after the cold of winter has passed.
'Tis music's self—how sweet to sing
the waking loveliness of Spring,
When flowery nations, rising forth,
Perfume the air and deck the earth.
How charming is the morning ray
That ushers in the blaze of day!
How beauteous is the opening flow'r
That decorates the vernal bow'r!
-Eliza Roxcy Snow
“Every Living Thing” text from Job 12:7-10
Few people have experienced the significant hardships that Job experienced, losing not only his material possessions, but also his family and personal health. Amid his remorse, however, Job has the courage to remind us that in spite of our difficulties, we are in the hands of our Creator. This piece aims to portray the soothing, inspiring spirit behind Job's words and the subtle, gradual, yet dramatic realization of any sufferer that we are in God's hands, and the suffering will someday end.
But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee;
and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee:
Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee:
and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee.
Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the Lord hath wrought this?
In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.
Exodus Amy Norland, flute Jennifer Love, clarinet Nathan Wilson, trumpet
Timothy Francis, trombone Carl Egbert, bass Wing Lau, piano
Rather than referring to any particular occurrence (the most famous, of course, being that found in the Biblical book by the same name), this piece depicts in a more general sense what it might be like undertaking an exodus. The people might feel much trepidation while anticipating the departure, and would experience considerable difficulties while traveling, especially if the motivation for leaving was involuntary. A migratory people would also experience much uncertainty about their future, not knowing what it will be like in their new home, which would only settle when they ultimately arrive at their destination.