Harry was right in his comment . . Nunc is a fabulous ending piece. However, it is the performance and transition from "Esti dal" to "Nunc dimittis" that is really going to be cool . . . we go from a children's lullabye into the historic Song of Simeon.
We'll use this translation for Esti dal:
As I lay down for the night by the edge of the woods,and then we sing the Nunc dimittis . . . translated here:
I pull my blanket up to my chin.
I put my hands together,
Thus imploring you, my good Lord
My Lord, grant me a place to stay,
For I’ve grown tired of wandering,
Of living in a foreign land
My Lord, grant me a good night
Send me your blessed angel
To give courage to the dreams in our hearts.
My Lord, grant me a good night.
Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace : according to thy word.There's more, though. I want you to get my personal story behind the "Esti dal." I "discovered" the piece while i was reading this blog, by composer Michael Kaulkin. I was reading it one evening while I was putting the girls to bed. Then - and now - we help the triplets fall asleep by staying with them in their room each night until they drift off to sleep. It is a very sweet time - one that is almost 'holy' to any parent - and I read this blog during that 'winding down' time with the girls. I was very moved by Kaulkin's story - and I still am every time I read it.
For mine eyes have seen : thy salvation,
Which thou hast prepared : before the face of all people;
To be a light to lighten the Gentiles : and to be the glory of thy people Israel.
Here's what Kaulkin has to say about Esti dal:
Esti Dal is a very short and simple piece that offers its lovely melody three times. The first and third statements are given by the sopranos, accompanied by sustained humming from the lower parts. The middle statement blossoms with majestic counterpoint, and during this part Philo moves his hands expressively, much as a conductor does, and visibly moved by the slight ritard at the end of the verse. I, of course, am thrilled.So . . . when we are performing Kodaly's incredible work . . . I'll be thinking about several things simultaneously:
1. the incredible beauty of the moment - my beautiful choir singing this beautiful lullabye.
2. the love I have for my three girls and the sweetness of our bedtime ritual
3. the wonder of technology - that I can be inspired and moved by a father's love for his son - a composer i've never met - sharing his love for music with his son
4. the tie with the Song of Simeon - the words are said to have been uttered by a man holding the infant Jesus - thanking his heavenly father that he had seen "God's salvation for the world" in the eyes of that little baby.
The translation that we'll use for Esti dal is Mr. Kaulkin's . . .
It will be his words that I meditate upon in the interpretation of Kodaly's music.