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Text & Translations

Amy Petrongelli, soprano
Blair Salter, piano


Thank you for joining us this evening; we are thrilled to be sharing tonight's program with you!

Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel & Clara Schumann 

By Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel (1805-1847)

Joseph von Eichendorff (1788-1857)

Über'm Garten durch die Lüfte
Hört’ ich Wandervögel zieh’n,
Das bedeutet Frühlingsdüfte,
Unten fängt’s schon an zu blühn.

Jauchzen möcht’ ich, möchte weinen,
Ist mir’s doch, als könnt’s nicht sein!
Alte Wunder wieder scheinen
Mit dem Mondesglanz herein.

Und der Mond, die Sterne sagen’s,
Und im Traume rauscht’s der Hain
Und die Nachtigallen schlagen’s:
Sie ist Deine, sie ist Dein!


by Clara Schumann (1819-1896)

Friedrich Rückert (1788-1866)


Liebst du um Schönheit,

O nicht mich liebe!

Liebe die Sonne,

Sie trägt ein goldnes Haar.

Liebst du um Jugend,

O nicht mich liebe!

Liebe den Frühling,

Der jung ist jedes Jahr.

Liebst du um Schätze,

O nicht mich liebe!

Liebe die Meerfrau,

Sie hat viel Perlen klar.

Liebst du um Liebe,

O ja, mich liebe!

Liebe mich immer,

Dich lieb’ ich immerdar.


by Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel

Atrrib. to Johann Gustav Droysen (1808 - 1884)

Fern und ferner schallt der Reigen.
Wohl mir, um mich her ist Schweigen auf der Flur.
Zu dem vollen Herzen nur
Will nicht Ruh' sich neigen.

Horch! die Nacht schwebt durch die Räume,
Ihr Gewand durchrauscht die Bäume lispelnd leis'.
Ach! so schweifen liebeheiß
Meine Wünsch' und Träume.


by Clara Schumann

Heinrich Heine (1797 - 1856)

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.


Trans. Richard Stokes


Over the garden, through the air
I heard birds of passage fly,
A sign that spring is in the air,
Flowers already bloom below.

I could shout for joy, could weep,
For it seems to me it cannot be!
All the old wonders come flooding back,
Gleaming in the moonlight.

And the moon and stars say it,
And the dreaming forest whispers it,
And the nightingales sing it:
‘She is yours, is yours!’


Trans. Richard Stokes

If you love for beauty,
O love not me!
Love the sun,
She has golden hair.
If you love for youth,
O love not me!
Love the spring
Which is young each year.
If you love for riches,
O love not me!
Love the mermaid
Who has many shining pearls.
If you love for love,
Ah yes, love me!
Love me always,
I shall love you ever more.


Trans. Amy Petrongelli

Further and further away fade the sounds of the dance
Contented am I, all around me is silence in the field.
Only to my full heart 
peace does not want to come.

Listen!  Night floats through the spaces. 
Its cloak rustles through the trees, whispering softly. 
Ah, so too wander forlornly 
My wishes and dreams.


Trans. Richard Stokes

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.

Wagner, Debussy, & Schwantner

by Richard Wagner (1813-1883)

Jean Reboul (1796-1864)

Tout n'est qu'images fugitives;
coupe d'amertume ou de miel,
chansons joyeuses ou plaintives
abusent des lèvres fictives;
il n'est rien de vrai,

que le ciel!

Tout soleil nait, s'élève et tombe;
tout trône est artificiel,
la plus haute gloire succombe,
tout s'épanouit pour la tombe,
et rien n'est brillant

que le ciel!

Navigateur d'un jour d'orage,
jouet des vagues, le mortel,
repoussé de chaque rivage,
ne voit qu'écueils sur son passage,
et rien n'est calme

que le ciel!


by Claude Debussy (1862-1918)

Paul Verlaine (1844-1896)

Voici des fruits, des fleurs, des feuilles et des branches

Et puis voici mon cœur qui ne bat que pour vous.

Ne le déchirez pas avec vos deux mains blanches

Et qu’à vos yeux si beaux l’humble présent soit doux.

J’arrive tout couvert encore de rosée

Que le vent du matin vient glacer à mon front.

Souffrez que ma fatigue à vos pieds reposée

Rêve des chers instants qui la délasseront.

Sur votre jeune sein laissez rouler ma tête

Toute sonore encore de vos derniers baisers;

Laissez-la s’apaiser de la bonne tempête,

Et que je dorme un peu puisque vous reposez.


Trans. Carla Maria Verdino-Süllwold

All is nought but a fleeting dream,
draught of bitterness or honey,
songs of joy or sorrow
issuing from deceitful lips;
there is no truth but in the heavens,
but in the heavens!

Every day the sun is born, rises, and sets;
every throne is artificial
every glory fades,
everything vanishes into the grave.
Nothing is more radiant than the sky,
than the sky!

Sailor on a stormy day,
mortal plaything of the waves,
repelled from every shore,
nothing but obstacles ahead,
nothing calm
but the skies!


Trans. Richard Stokes


Here are flowers, branches, fruit, and fronds,
And here too is my heart that beats just for you.
Do not tear it with your two white hands
And may the humble gift please your lovely eyes.

I come all covered still with the dew
Frozen to my brow by the morning breeze.
Let my fatigue, finding rest at your feet,
Dream of dear moments that will soothe it.

On your young breast let me cradle my head
Still ringing with your recent kisses;
After love’s sweet tumult grant it peace,
And let me sleep a while, since you rest.


by Joseph Schwantner (b.1943)

Agueda Pizarro (b. 1941)

Mother, you watch me sleep
and your life
is a large tapestry
of all the colors
of all the most ancient
knot after twin knot,
root after root of story.
You don’t know how fearful
your beauty is while I sleep.
Your hair is the moon
of a sea sung in silence.
You walk with silver lions
and wait to estrange me
deep in the rug
covered with sorrow
embroidered by you
in a fierce symmetry
binding with thread
of Persian silk
the pinetrees and the griffins.
You call me blind,
you touch my eyes
with Black Anemones.
I am a spider that keeps spinning
from the spool in my womb
weaving through eyes
the dew of flames
on the web.

Ginastera, Clarke & Staniland


Alberto Ginastera (1916-1983)


Arrorró mi nene,

Arrorró mi sol,

Arrorró pedazo

De mi corazón.

Este nene lindo

Se quiere dormir

Y el pícaro sueño

No quiere venir.



Trans. Richard Stokes

Lullaby my baby;

lullaby my sunshine;

lullaby part

of my heart.

This pretty baby

wants to sleep

and that fickle sleep

won’t come.



by Rebecca Clarke (1886-1979)

William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

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 would 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.


by Andrew Staniland (b. 1977)

Walt Whitman (1819-1892)

By blue Ontario's shore,

As I mused of these warlike days and of peace return'd, and the
dead that return no more,

A Phantom gigantic superb, with stern visage accosted me,

Chant me the poem, it said, that comes from the soul of America,
chant me the carol of victory,

And strike up the marches of Libertad, marches more powerful yet,

And sing me before you go the song of the throes of Democracy.


(Democracy, the destin'd conqueror, yet treacherous lip-smiles

And death and infidelity at every step.)

Cecilia Livingston (b. 1984)


Text by 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?


Is it loneliness in empty rooms?


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?

Settings of Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950)


by Shelia Silver (b. 1946)

I, being born a woman and distressed
By all the needs and notions of my kind,
Am urged by your propinquity to find
Your person fair, and feel a certain zest
To bear your body’s weight upon my breast:
So subtly is the fume of life designed,
To clarify the pulse and cloud the mind,
And leave me once again undone, possessed.
Think not for this, however, the poor treason
Of my stout blood against my staggering brain,
I shall remember you with love, or season
My scorn with pity,—let me make it plain:
I find this frenzy insufficient reason
For conversation when we meet again.


by Margaret Bonds (b. 1913-1972)

Even in the moment of our earliest kiss,

When sighed the straightened 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.


by H. Lesley Adams (b. 1932)

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.


by Ricky Ian Gordon (b. 1956)

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!

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