Tijdens het Concert Engelse Koormuziek op 2-12-2018 zong Karola Pavone in het intermezzo zes liederen (4 van Barber en twee van Britten).
Van de 4 liederen van Samual Barber komen er drie uit de bundel ‘Hermits Songs’, waarvan de teksten hun oorsprong vinden in middeleeuwse manuscripten van Ierse monniken.
Hermit Songs is een cyclus van tien liederen voor zangstem en piano van Samuel Barber.
Karola Pavona zong :
03. St. Ita’s vision
05. The Crucifixion
10. The Desire for Hermitage
Het derde lied dat Karola zong was een wiegelied van Barber ‘A Slumber Song of the Madonna’.
Bij de Barber-liederen werd ze begeleid door de piano met Ainoa Padrón aan de toetsen.
Bij de Britten-liederen werd ze begeleid door Josephine van Son aan de harp.
Van Benjamin Britten zong ze :
- There's none to soothe en
- The Ash Grove .
De zes teksten staan hieronder in de volgorde van het uitgevoerde programma.
St. Ita’s Vision
“St. Ita’s Vision” is the third song of Samuel Barber’s song cycle Hermit Songs.
St. Ita (or Ida, Íte, or Ides) was an Irish nun who lived sometime during the 5th-6th century. She is also known as “Brigid of Munster.”
The poem is a translation of a text possibly by St. Ita, but attributed to an anonymous Irish monk who lived sometime between the 8th and 13th centuries.
“I will take nothing from my Lord,” said she,
“unless He gives me His Son from Heaven
In the form of a Baby that I may nurse Him”.
So that Christ came down to her
in the form of a Baby and then she said:
“Infant Jesus, at my breast,
Nothing in this world is true
Save, O tiny nursling, You.
Infant Jesus at my breast,
By my heart every night,
You I nurse are not a churl
But were begot on Mary the Jewess
By Heaven’s light.
Infant Jesus at my breast,
What King is there but You who could
Give everlasting good?
Wherefore I give my food.
Sing to Him, maidens, sing your best!
There is none that has such right
To your song as Heaven’s King
Who every night
Is Infant Jesus at my breast.”
“The Crucifixion” is the fifth song of Samuel Barber’s song cycle Hermit Songs. The cycle was composed in 1953 and published in 1954.
The poem is a translation of a text by an anonymous Irish monk who lived sometime between the 8th and 13th centuries. The English translation used by Barber is by Howard Mumford Jones.
At the cry of the first bird
They began to crucify Thee, O Swan!
Never shall lament cease because of that.
It was like the parting of day from night.
Ah, sore was the suffering borne
By the body of Mary’s Son,
But sorer still to Him was the griefWhich for His sake
Came upon His Mother.
A Slumber Song of the Madonna
The text is by Alfred Noyes. It is a song that expresses the mother’s love for her child. The text is set syllabically, while the accompaniment is in soft chords and delicate harmonies. It was not published until 1994.
Sleep, little baby. I love thee;
Sleep, little king, I am bending above thee!
How should I know what to sing
Here in my arms as I sing thee to sleep ?
Kings may have wunderful jewels to bring
Mother has only a kiss for her king!
Why should my singing so make me to weep?
Only to know that I love thee, I love thee,
Love thee, my little one, sleep.
The Desire for Hermitage
“The Desire for Hermitage” is the tenth and final song of Samuel Barber’s song cycle Hermit Songs. The cycle was composed in 1953 and published in 1954. The premiere was sung by soprano Leontyne Price.
The poem is a translation of a text by an anonymous Irish monk who lived sometime between the 8th and 13th centuries. The English translation used by Barber is by Irish writer Seán Ó Faoláin.
Ah! To be all alone in a little cell
with nobody near me;
beloved that pilgrimage before the last pilgrimage to death.
Singing the passing hours to cloudy Heaven;
Feeding upon dry bread and water from the cold spring.
That will be an end to evil when I am alone
in a lovely little corner among tombs
far from the houses of the great.
Ah! To be all alone in a little cell, to be alone, all alone:
Alone I came into the world
alone I shall go from it.
There's none to soothe - Britten
There's none to soothe my soul to rest,
There's none my load of grief to share,
Or wake to joy this lonely breast,
Or light the gloom of dark despair.
The voice of joy no more can cheer,
The look of love no more can warm
Since mute for aye's that voice so dear,
And closed that eye alone could charm.
The Ash Grove
The Ash Grove (Welsh: Llwyn Onn) is a traditional Welsh folk song whose melody has been set to numerous sets of lyrics
Down yonder green valley, where streamlets meander,
When twilight is fading I pensively rove
Or at the bright noontide in solitude wander,
Amid the dark shades of the lonely ash grove;
‘T was there, while the blackbird was cheerfully singing,
I first met my dear one, the joy of my heart!
Around us for gladness the bluebells were ringing,
Ah! then little thought I how soon we should part.
Still glows the bright sunshine o'er valley and mountain,
Still warbles the blackbird its note from the tree;
Still trembles the moonbeam on streamlet and fountain,
But what are the beauties of nature to me?
With sorrow, deep sorrow, my bosom is laden,
All day I go mourning in search of my love;
Ye echoes, oh, tell me, where is the sweet maiden?
"She sleeps, 'neath the green turf down by the ash grove."