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Text & Translations

 

 

Thank you for joining us this evening; we are thrilled to be sharing tonight's program with you. It includes songs which have inspired both of us for many years, as well as some of our new favorites. The texts & translations for tonight can be found below, in program order.

Amy Petrongelli, soprano
Blair Salter, piano

February 20, 2022
5:00pm CST

Night Dances 
Juliana Hall (b. 1958)

1. THE CRICKETS SANG Emily Dickinson

The Crickets sang

And set the Sun

And Workmen finished one by one

Their Seam the Day upon.

 

The low Grass loaded with the Dew

The Twilight stood, as Strangers do

With Hat in Hand, polite and new

To stay as if, or go.

 

A Vastness, as a Neighbor, came,

A Wisdom, without Face, or Name,

A Peace, as Hemispheres at Home

And so the Night became.

2. SOME THINGS ARE DARK Edna St. Vincent Millay

Some things are dark — or think they are.

But, in comparison to me,

All things are light enough to see

n any place, at any hour.

For I am Nightmare: where I fly,

Terror and rain stand in the sky

So thick, you could not tell them from

That blackness out of which you come.

 

So much for “where I fly”: but when

I strike, and clutch in claw the brain —

Erebus, to such brain, will seem

The thin blue dusk of pleasant dream.

3. SONG Emily Brontë

This shall be thy lullaby,

Rocking on the stormy sea;

Though it roar in thunder wild,

Sleep, stilly sleep, my dark-haired child.

 

When our shuddering boat was crossing

Eldern's lake, so rudely tossing,

Then 'twas first my nursling smiled;

Sleep, softly sleep, my fair-browed child.

 

Waves above thy cradle break;

Foamy tears are on the cheek;

Yet the ocean's self grows mild

When it bears my slumbering child.

4. SLEEP, MOURNER, SLEEP! Emily Brontë

Sleep, mourner, sleep! – I cannot sleep,

My weary mind still wanders on;

Then silent weep – I cannot weep,

For eyes and tears are turned to stone.

5. A SPIDER SEWED AT NIGHT Emily Dickinson

A spider sewed at night

Without a light

Upon an arc of white.

If ruff it was of dame

Or shroud of Gnome,

imself, himself inform.

Of immortality

His strategy

Was physiognomy.

6. SONNET Elizabeth Bishop

I am in need of music that would flow

Over my fretful, feeling finger-tips,

Over my bitter-tainted, trembling lips,

With melody, deep, clear, and liquid-slow.

Oh, for the healing swaying, old and low,

Of some song sung to rest the tired dead,

A song to fall like water on my head,

And over quivering limbs, dream flushed to glow!

There is a magic made by melody:

A spell of rest, and quiet breath, and cool

Heart, that sinks through fading colors deep

To the subaqueous stillness of the sea,

And floats forever in a moon-green pool,

Held in the arms of rhythm and of sleep.

The Seal Man
Rebecca Clarke (1886-1979)

THE SEAL MAN John Masefield

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.

Penelope
Cecilia Livingston (b. 1984)

PENELOPE Cecilia Livingston

What is it to be waiting?

What is it

to be waiting for you?

Is it wanting?

Is it loving?

Is it moving through me like a fire?

Desire?

Is it loneliness in empty rooms?

Stillness...

Old-fashioned lovers kiss

did they ever miss each other?

When will you come home to me?

When will I bloom again?

Darling boy,

I breathe the same salt air,

the same sun on my hair.

When they see the boats from the headland

they’ll strike up the band!

Darling boy

will you ever again

hold my hand while we’re sleeping?

What is it to be waiting for you?

Is it loving?

Is it loneliness in empty rooms?

AFTERNOON ON A HILL 

by Ricky Ian Gordon (b. 1956)

Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950)

I will be the gladdest thing

Under the sun!

I will touch a hundred flowers

And not pick one.

I will look at cliffs and clouds

With quiet eyes,

Watch the wind bow down the grass,

And the grass rise.

And when the lights begin to show

Up from the town,

I will mark which must be mine,

And then start down!

EVEN IN THE MOMENT 

by Margaret Bonds (b. 1913-1972)

Edna St. Vincent Millay

Even in the moment of our earliest kiss,

When sighed the straitened bud into the flower,

Sat the dry seed of most unwelcome this;

And that I knew, though not the day nor hour.

Too season-wise am I, being country bred,

To tilt at autumn or defy the frost:

Snuffing the chill even as my fathers did,

I say with them, “What’s out tonight is lost.”

I only hope, with the mild hope of all

Who watch the leaf take shape upon the tree,

A fairer summer and a later fall

Than in these parts a man is apt to see,

And sunny clusters ripened for the wine:

I tell you this across the blackened vine.

FOR YOU THERE IS NO SONG 

by H. Lesley Adams (b. 1932)

Edna St. Vincent Millay

For you there is no song,

Only the shaking of the voice that meant to sing,

The sound of the strong voice breaking.

Strange in my hand appears the pen,

And yours broken

There are ink and tears on the page.

Only the tears have spoken.

Clara Schumann (1819-1896)

ER IST GEKOMMEN IN STURM UND REGEN
Friedrich Rückert (1788-1866)


Er ist gekommen
In Sturm und Regen,
Ihm schlug beklommen
mein Herz entgegen.
Wie konnt’ ich ahnen,
Dass seine Bahnen
Sich einen sollten meinen Wegen?

Er ist gekommen
In Sturm und Regen,
Er hat genommen
Mein Herz verwegen.
Nahm er das meine?
Nahm ich das seine?

Die beiden kamen sich entgegen.

Er ist gekommen
In Sturm und Regen,
Nun ist gekommen
Des Frühlings Segen.
Der Freund zieht weiter,
Ich seh’ es heiter,
Denn er bleibt mein auf allen Wegen.
 

THE VIOLET 

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

 

Ein Veilchen auf der Wiese stand,

Gebückt in sich und unbekannt;

Es war ein herzigs Veilchen.

Da kam ein’ junge Schäferin

Mit leichtem Schritt und muntrem Sinn

Daher, daher,

Die Wiese her, und sang.

 

Ach! denkt das Veilchen, wär ich nur

Die schönste Blume der Natur,

Ach, nur ein kleines Weilchen,

Bis mich das Liebchen abgepflückt

Und an dem Busen matt gedrückt!

Ach nur, ach nur

Ein Viertelstündchen lang!

Ach! aber ach! das Mädchen kam

Und nicht in Acht das Veilchen nahm,

Ertrat das arme Veilchen.

Es sank und starb und freut’ sich noch:

Und sterb’ ich denn, so sterb’ ich doch

Durch sie, durch sie,

Zu ihren Füßen doch.

Das arme Veilchen

Es war ein herzigs Veilchen!

IHR BILDNIS Heinrich Heine (1797-1856)

Ich stand in dunklen Träumen

Und starrte ihr Bildnis an,

Und das geliebte Antlitz

Heimlich zu leben begann.

 

Um ihre Lippen zog sich

Ein Lächeln wunderbar,

Und wie von Wehmutstränen

Erglänzte ihr Augenpaar.

 

Auch meine Tränen flossen

Mir von den Wangen herab –

Und ach, ich kann’s nicht glauben,

Dass ich dich verloren hab!

LORELEI Heinrich Heine

Ich weiß nicht, was soll es bedeuten,

Daß ich so traurig bin;

Ein Märchen aus alten Zeiten,

Das kommt mir nicht aus dem Sinn.

 

Die Luft ist kühl und es dunkelt,

Und ruhig fließt der Rhein;

Der Gipfel des Berges funkelt

Im Abendsonnenschein.

 

Die schönste Jungfrau sitzet

Dort oben wunderbar,

Ihr goldnes Geschmeide blitzet,

Sie kämmt ihr goldenes Haar.

Sie kämmt es mit goldenem Kamme

Und singt ein Lied dabei,

Das hat eine wundersame,

Gewalt’ge Melodei.

Den Schiffer im kleinen Schiffe

Ergreift es mit wildem Weh;

Er schaut nicht die Felsenriffe,

Er schaut nur hinauf in die Höh’.

 

Ich glaube, die Wellen verschlingen

Am Ende Schiffer und Kahn;

Und das hat mit ihrem Singen

Die Lorelei getan.

HE CAME IN STORM AND RAIN

Friedrich Rückert (1788-1866)

 

He came

In storm and rain;

My anxious heart

Beat against his.

How could I have known

That his path

Should unite itself with mine?

 

He came

In storm and rain;

Audaciously

He took my heart.

Did he take mine?

Did I take his?

Both drew near to each other.

 

He came

In storm and rain.

Now spring’s blessing

Has come.

My friend journeys on,

I watch with good cheer,

For he shall be mine wherever he goes.

THE VIOLET 

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

A violet was growing in the meadow,

Unnoticed and with bowed head;

It was a dear sweet violet.

Along came a young shepherdess,

Light of step and happy of heart,

Along, along

Through the meadow, and sang.

 

Ah! thinks the violet, if I were only

The loveliest flower in all Nature,

Ah! for only a little while,

Till my darling had picked me

And crushed me against her bosom!

Ah only, ah only

For a single quarter hour!

But alas, alas, the girl drew near

And took no heed of the violet,

Trampled the poor violet.

It sank and died, yet still rejoiced:

And if I die, at least I die

Through her, through her

And at her feet.

The poor violet!

It was a dear sweet violet!

IHR BILDNIS Heinrich Heine (1797-1856)

I stood darkly dreaming

And stared at her picture,

And that beloved face

Sprang mysteriously to life.

 

About her lips

A wondrous smile played,

And as with sad tears,

Her eyes gleamed.

 

And my tears flowed

Down my cheeks,

And ah, I cannot believe

That I have lost you!

LORELEI Heinrich Heine

I do not know what it means

That I should feel so sad;

There is a tale from olden times

I cannot get out of my mind.

 

The air is cool, and twilight falls,

And the Rhine flows quietly by;

The summit of the mountains glitters

In the evening sun.

 

The fairest maiden is sitting

In wondrous beauty up there,

Her golden jewels are sparkling,

She combs her golden hair.

She combs it with a golden comb

And sings a song the while;

It has an awe-inspiring,

Powerful melody.

It seizes the boatman in his skiff

With wildly aching pain;

He does not see the rocky reefs,

He only looks up to the heights.

 

I think at last the waves swallow

The boatman and his boat;

And that, with her singing,

The Loreley has done.