Thursday, February 26, 2009
Waller was a 17th-century English country gentleman, a rentier and Member of Parliament, who lived through all the momentous events of the middle of that century, of which the most memorable were the Civil War between king and parliament through the 1640s, climaxing with the trial and execution of King Charles I in 1649. Waller seems to have been a royalist by inclination, but got along well enough with the parliamentarians until 1643, when he was involved in a plot against them. He escaped with his life by ratting on all his friends, but had to leave the country for several years. He was allowed back at last by Oliver Cromwell, to whom he was related through his mother's family. Waller repaid Cromwell with a gushing panegyric poem. Then, after the monarchy was restored in 1660, Waller wrote equally gushing verses in praise of Charles II.
Waller's attachments to women are described drily in Samuel Johnson's Lives of the Poets:
Rich as he was by inheritance, he took care early to grow richer, by marrying Mrs. Banks, a great heiress in the city... Having brought him a son, who died young, and a daughter, who was afterwards married to Mr. Dormer, of Oxfordshire, she died in childbed, and left him a widower of about five-and-twenty, gay and wealthy, to please himself with another marriage.
Being too young to resist beauty, and probably too vain to think himself resistible, he fixed his heart, perhaps half fondly and half ambitiously, upon the lady Dorothea Sidney, eldest daughter of the Earl of Leicester... His acquaintance with this high-born dame gave wit no opportunity of boasting its influence; she was not to be subdued by the powers of verse, but rejected his addresses, it is said, with disdain... She married in 1639 the Earl of Sunderland, who died at Newbury in the king's cause; and, in her old age, meeting somewhere with Waller, asked him, when he would again write such verses upon her. "When you are as young, Madam," said he, "and as handsome as you were then."
When he had lost all hope of [her], he looked round him for an easier conquest, and gained a lady of the family of Bresse, or Breaux. ... It has not been discovered that his wife was won by his poetry; nor is anything told of her, but that she brought him many children. He doubtless praised some whom he would have been afraid to marry, and perhaps married one whom he would have been ashamed to praise. Many qualities contribute to domestic happiness, upon which poetry has no colours to bestow; and many airs and sallies may delight imagination, which he who flatters them never can approve. There are charms made only for distant admiration. No spectacle is nobler than a blaze.
"Go, Lovely Rose" was written in the poet's youth, probably in the late 1620s. It was published in his first collection of poems in 1645. It is a perfect little lyric poem, which stands out the more for having been written when English poetry was going through something of a dry spell, when it seems that little could grow in the tremendous shadow of John Milton.
GO, lovely Rose—
Tell her that wastes her time and me,
That now she knows,
When I resemble her to thee,
How sweet and fair she seems to be.
Tell her that 's young,
And shuns to have her graces spied,
That hadst thou sprung
In deserts where no men abide,
Thou must have uncommended died.
Small is the worth
Of beauty from the light retired:
Bid her come forth,
Suffer herself to be desired,
And not blush so to be admired.
Then die—that she
The common fate of all things rare
May read in thee;
How small a part of time they share
That are so wondrous sweet and fair!
A nice interpretation found here:
The love lyric "Go Lovely Rose " by Edmund Waller (1606-87) is a fervent plea by the speaker to his extremely shy and withdrawn lover who "shuns to have her graces espied," to come out into the open so that he can praise her beauty.
The second and third stanzas do not contain any similes which compare the lover and the rose. However, the speaker personifies the rose as his messenger to advocate and plead his cause to his bashful lover. He instructs the rose to tell his lover that if he (the rose) had bloomed in a desert where there are no people, then it would have withered and died without anyone praising its beauty. So, he asks the rose to tell her to come out into the open so that he can admire and praise her beauty, because beauty which is hidden from the eyes of men has very little or no value at all, "Small is the worth/Of beauty from the light retired."
The poet exploits two characteristics of the rose to drive home his argument: the rose is a beautiful flower, but at the same time its beauty will last only for a short period of time ("How small a part of time") before it withers and dies. Similarly, the beauty of his lover, like that of the rose's is only temporary and there is no point in keeping it hidden. She must come out into the open so that her beauty can be admired and enjoyed.
Monday, February 23, 2009
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Jessica Johnson, 2nd Place, Freshmen Women
Charles Daniel, 3rd Place, Freshmen Men
I hope more of our students get involved in the NATS competition next year. We've got tons of talent here at UAB and it's time everyone else knew about it.
Friday, February 20, 2009
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
To music and Cecilia.
Let no rough winds approach, nor dare
Invade the hallowed bounds,
Nor rudely shake the tuneful air,
Nor spoil the fleeting sounds.
Nor mournful sigh nor groan be heard,
But gladness dwell on every tongue ;
Whilst all, with voice and strings prepared,
Keep up the loud harmonious song,
And imitate the blest above,
In joy, and harmony, and love.
--Joseph Addison (1672-1719)
UAB Concert Choir:
Consecrate the place and day
(Lloyd Pfautsch) (1921-2003)
NOTE: We'll probably start this one tomorrow.
Glory be to God
Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943)
József Karai (b. 1927)
Kiyoshi Scissum, tenor
O sacrum convivium
Vytautas Miskinis (b. 1954)
William Hawley (b. 1950)
Little David Play
Four recordings of Os Justi are on Blackboard to assist you in memorization. Different choirs, different tempos.
Link to blackboard here. Sign in with your Blazer ID and look for the class.
Look here for "Three Choral Ballads". I think we'll be doing all three this semester but here they are all together. Will get "Roses" by itself soon.
UPDATE: Roses nod
UPDATE2: If I Had
Monday, February 09, 2009
Saturday, February 07, 2009
Just wanted you to know that my morning aerobics are being re-instituted! And y'all helped....
This morning I took your recording of 'Little David, Play!' to the stereo with good speakers to played the find out which of the tracks to pick. I am still not sure, but think that Track 1 is a touch 'crisper' especially in the transition to the brassy section. Any input is welcome from either or both of you.
But my email is also about that nobody born by woman can sit still and listen to this track! It rocks and swings and had me going for 4 x 2'25" - a good 9 minute warm up. So from now on you both have contributed substantially to my well-being and JOY! (Don't forget your are dealing with an old big band jazz fan here...- the whole thing reminds me of the annual touring concerts in Stockholm in the 50's with Basie, Ellington, Kenton, MJQ, Dizzie, Miles Ella, Sarah and more. I heard them all, year after year!)
Actually, I can not be the only one to react like this, there must be a new generation for big band swing - which poses two questions:
Ken, do you have any interest in finding other public domain songs and give them the 'big band twist'? I would certainly be interested.
Philip, this would be the given follow up for recordings, since you have now definitely warmed up your choir to this great sound. The bending of the notes is just sweet... good job.
I look forward to seeing you both soon in OKC, but perhaps you two would want to talk for a minute about this before then, to see if you think there is any life in this proposal?
Whatever happens, you have made me a happy girl and, as I said, my morning aerobics are now in full swing. Have a nice weekend and let me know what you think, separately of together!
Thursday, February 05, 2009
So . . . here it is . . . the good, the great, and the occasional oops.
Nunc dimittis No. 2 (Miskinis)
Nunc dimittis (Holst) (December 2007)
Ave Maria (Busto)
When I Bring-1 (Miskinis)
When I Sing (Miskinis)
When I Bring-2 (Miskinis)
Mate Saule (Vasks)
Water Night (Eric Whitacre)
Little David - Take 1
Little David - Take 2
Es ist ein Ros' entsprungen 1
Es ist ein Ros' entsprungen 2
Glory be to God 1
Glory be to God 2
Tooma Laulukoor 1
Tooma Laulukoor 2
O sacrum convivium (Miskinis)
O sacrum convivium (Miskinis) take 2
Garota de Ipanema (Pereira)
Lobet den Herrn
Lobet den Herrn take 2
Ave Maris Stella - Trond Kverno
Flower of Beauty - John Clements
Si ch’io vorrei morire - Claudio Monteverdi
Rise Up My Love - Healy Willan
Beautiful River - William Hawley
Song of Triumph (Grotenhuis)
Justorum Animae (Stanford)
Regina Coeli (Twardowski)
Silence of Time (Meador)
O Sacrum (Miskinis)
The Three Kings
Ave Maria (Busto)
(not sure what the popping is from this year)
He's Got the Whole World
I Thank You Jesus
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
Little David - Take 1
Little David - Take 2
Soloist: Anthony Concepcion
Diva quartet: Meredith Foster, Jackie Roche, Madison Holler, Erin Fledderman
Note to visitors of this blog . . . this is a recording done for Walton Music of a piece by Ken Berg that will appear on their upcoming 2009-2010 CD, catalog, and website.