Greetings, dear lovely readers.  Today I do not have a real nail post for you at all (I will tomorrow!) but instead the Recital Recap.  I ended up going with Essie Tea and Crumpets for the nails, even though the runaway winner of the poll was China Glaze Tinsel Town.

If you are interested in watching/listening to any of it, the whole recital is up here.  And, for the curious, the program and program notes (and there are a lot of program notes!) are under the jump.

Frances S-B, mezzo-soprano
with Dr. John Cozza, piano

Selections from Six Elizabethan Songs
1.      Spring
4.   Dirge
5.   Diaphenia
6.   Hymn


Dominick Argento (b. 1927)




Cantata for the Feast of Mary’s Purification (TWV 1:471)
           Erscheine, Gott, in Deinem Tempel
           Der Ort, den Du zum Heiligtum
           Aria Da Capo
           Ja, ja, erscheine doch in Gnaden
Tod und Moder, dringt herein
Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767)

Skye Bole, flute — Samantha Arrasmith, harpsichord — Carrie Miller, cello


“Notte cara” (from Floridante)
“Anima infida” (from Xerxes)


George Frederick Handel (1685-1789)



INTERMISSION


“Pur ti miro” (from L’incoronazione di Poppea)
“Vivi a nostri amore” (from La Calisto)
Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643)
Francesco Cavalli (1602-1676)
Douglas Salazar, countertenor — Samantha Arrasmith, harpsichord


Si mes vers avaient des ailes!
Trois jours de vendange
L’heure exquise  
Quand je fus pris au pavillon


Reynaldo Hahn (1874-1947)

White in the Moon
Barbr’y Allen
The Leather Winged Bat
Jake Heggie (b. 1961)

Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance
Frances S-B is a student of Dr. Fisher





Program notes, texts, and translations

I.
Argento: From Six Elizabethan Songs
            1. Spring
Spring, the sweet Spring, is the year's pleasant king;
Then blooms each thing, then maids dance in a ring,
Cold doth not sting, the pretty birds do sing,
Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo!

The palm and may make country houses gay,
Lambs frisk and play, the shepherds pipe all day,
And we hear aye birds tune this merry lay,
Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo!

The fields breathe sweet, the daisies kiss our feet,
Young lovers meet, old wives a-sunning sit,
In every street these tunes our ears do greet,
Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo!
Spring! The sweet Spring!

            4. Dirge
Come away, come away, death
  And in sad cypress let me be laid;
Fly away, fly away, breath;
  I am slain by a fair cruel maid.
My shroud of white, stuck all with yew,
  O prepare it!
My part of death, no one so true
  Did share it.
 
Not a flower, not a flower sweet,
  On my black coffin let there be strown;
Not a friend, not a friend greet
  My poor corpse, where my bones shall be thrown:
A thousand, thousand sighs to save,
  Lay me, O where
Sad true lover never find my grave,
  To weep there!

            5. Diaphenia
Diaphenia, like the daffadowndilly,
White as the sun, fair as the lily,
  Heigh ho, how I do love thee!
I do love thee as my lambs
Are belovèd of their dams:
  How blest were I if thou would'st prove me.
 
Diaphenia, like the spreading roses,
That in thy sweets all sweets encloses
  Fair sweet, how I do love thee!
I do love thee as each flower
Loves the sun's life-giving power;
  For dead, thy breath to life might move me.
 
Diaphenia, like to all things blessed,
When all thy praises are expressed,
  Dear joy, how I do love thee!
As the birds do love the spring,
Or the bees their careful king, — 
  Then in requite, sweet virgin, love me!

            6. Hymn
Queen and huntress, chaste and fair,
Now the sun is laid to sleep,
Seated in thy silver chair,
State in wonted manner keep:
  Hesperus entreats thy light,
  Goddess excellently bright.
 
Earth, let not thy envious shade
Dare itself to interpose;
Cynthia's shining orb was made
Heav'n to clear when day did close;
  Bless us then with wished sight,
  Goddess excellently bright.
 
Lay thy bow of pearl apart,
And thy crystal shining quiver;
Give unto the flying hart
Space to breathe, how short so-ever:
  Thou that mak'st a day of night,
  Goddess excellently bright.

II.
Telemann: Cantata for the Feast of Mary’s Purification
The Feast of the Purification of the Virgin Mary takes place forty days after Christmas—the day on which, according to Jewish law, she would have attended a ceremony of ritual purification.  The first reading for the service depicts the destruction and restoration of the temple in Jerusalem.  This cantata uses this imagery to create a plea for personal healing.  The Feast of the Purification is now more commonly called Candlemas, and various cultures have superstitions about the weather on Candlemas determining how much longer winter will last.  For Americans, this feast day might be more familiar as Groundhog Day.
Aria:

Appear, God, in Your temple, and search out my heart’s house!

Your dwelling-place has become a den of murderers; oh come and drive from my soul the nastiness that fills it completely.
Recit:
The place which You have chosen for its holiness is already often desecrated, and where Your seat was before they now allow the sin of idol-worship, bringing to You shame and to me disgrace.  Yet the trouble is even worse in me than it was in Jerusalem.
Recit:
Yes, yes, appear yet in mercy!  You see my sins; through Your goodness alone can I become Your temple again.   Enlighten, cleanse, and strengthen me anew, and I will henceforth dedicate myself to You alone.  Give my soul power to fight the devil, world and blood, from which no one finds rest, by this imperfectness your House not again to their duty ready, until, when you, my love, at the time of the resurrection remake me from the dust, the resulting temple’s glory will be more perfect than when it was first created.
Recit:
Death and decay penetrate herein, break this temple down!  Jesus will renew it, nothing then will desecrate it; the divinely pure glow fills and sanctifies my limbs.

III.
Handel: “Notte cara” (from Floridante)
The hero Floridante has returned from his successful conquest in Tyre to claim his bride, princess Elmira.  No sooner have the celebrations begun when a messenger arrives to inform Floridante that the king has banished him.  Floridante plans to disguise himself and come back for Elmira.  She is detained by the king, who explains that she is not really his daughter and he intends to marry her himself.  He leaves, and Elmira sings this aria as she awaits Floridante’s arrival.
Aria:  Dear night, ah! Bring my love back to me.

Recit:  I seem to hear a light movement… ah, no!  It’s late enough, but the hour has not yet sounded, though much has already happened tonight…  But perhaps from the secret room—now leaving, now descending that secret staircase… at the foot of it now he stops, he carefully sets out from the threshold, he watches alone, he sees that he is alone…  here he advances, now he comes to the vestibule of my first room, the door is slightly ajar…  I hear a noise…  Open, enter, come, —ah, no!  Love deceives me; oh, how much more waiting will calm my pain!


Handel: “Anima infida” (from Xerxes)
Xerxes, the king of Persia, is betrothed to the princess Amastris.  Lately, he has become infatuated with Romilda, who is in love with Xerxes’ brother Arsamenes.  Xerxes banishes his brother and begins focusing his attentions upon Romilda.  Amastris, disguised as a soldier, has returned from a trip abroad—just in time to witness Xerxes’ wooing of Romilda, who rejects his advances.  Amastris resolves to confront the volatile king in order to preserve the honor of both herself and Romilda.    
Recit: Now then, before dying, let me hasten to say to the cruel soul:

Aria: Unfaithful soul, I am betrayed, come you may kill me, I forgive you.


INTERMISSION

IV.
Monteverdi: “Pur ti miro” (from L’incoronazione di Poppea)
Monteverdi’s final opera combines several historical accounts of the purported misdeeds of the Roman Emperor Nero and his mistress Poppea. The prologue frames the opera as a depiction of the triumph of love over virtue.  In order to secure Poppea for himself, Nero orders the death of his mentor, Seneca, and pronounces the banishment of the empress Ottavia; Poppea’s former lover, Ottone; and Ottone’s betrothed, Drusilla.  Poppea herself manipulates the emperor into committing several of these actions—clearly, her attraction to Nero is built upon both desire and ambition.  In this duet, which ends the final coronation sequence, Nero and Poppea celebrate the purity of their love.   

While I look at you, while I desire you, while I hold you, while I captivate you, there will be no more suffering and no more death; oh my life, oh my treasure.


I am yours, you are my hope, tell me so, you remain my heart’s idol, yes my love, my life, yes.


Cavalli: “Vivi a nostri amore” (from La Calisto)
Cavalli’s comic opera updated Greek and Roman mythology to suit the tastes of 17th-century audiences.  The main plot centers on Giove’s relentless pursuit of one of Diana’s followers, the nymph Calisto.  While Diana (goddess of the moon, the hunt, and chastity) condemns Calisto’s actions, she finds herself falling in love with the shepherd Endimione.  Just prior to this scene, Endimione falls asleep while watching the moonrise.  Diana descends from the heavens and approaches the unconscious shepherd, admiring his beauty. She is intrigued when she discovers that he is dreaming about her.

Due to the nature of this scene, we have deviated from standard recital formatting through the addition of movement.

Endimione: …Beautiful as you are cruel, you will no longer escape from your faithful…
Diana: Dreaming, he clasps me to his chest.
Endimione: Eternal vision, I kiss you, and enjoy, and I feel…
Diana: It’s impossible to get him to let go of me, I’m afraid that he will awake!
Endimione: In your kisses, my Goddess, sweet torment…  What miracles are these?
Diana: Alas, he has awakened!
Endimione: Oh god! Do I dream again?
Diana: Release me from these knots, my comfort.
Endimione: My what?
Diana: Love, my flame!
Endimione: Alas, the sweetness will kill me.
Diana: Never leave me, my love, I confess to you I am wounded
Endimione: Ah, Goddess, I am dying of your wound.
Both: Live for our love, heal your pain, re-double our newborn love.
Diana: I must depart.
Endimione: You’re leaving me?
Diana: Decorum demands it.
Endimione: When will I see you again?
Diana: Soon, my love; remain happy; I go.
Endimione: And my soul goes with you.
Both: My heart, my sun, goodbye.

V.
Hahn: Si mes vers avaient des ailes!
My verses would fly, soft and frail, to your beautiful garden,
If my verses had wings like a bird.
They would fly, spark-like, to your laughing hearth,
If my verses had wings, like the spirit.
Near to you, pure and faithful, they would rush night and day,
If my verses had wings, like love.

Hahn: Trois jours de vendange
I met her one day of the grape-harvest:
With trussed-up skirt and cute little feet,
A yellow blouse and hair in a chignon,
The air of a Bacchanite and the eyes of an angel,
Suspended in the arms of a sweet companion.
I met her in the fields of Avignon on a day of the grape harvest.

I met her one day of the grape harvest,
The plain was bleak and the sky was burning,
She walked alone and with a trembling step,
Her look bright like a strange flame…
I shivered again and was reminded
Of how you looked before, dear white phantom, on a day of the grape harvest.

I met her one day of the grape harvest,
And now I dream again almost every day:
The casket was covered in velvet,
The black sheet had a double fringe.
The sisters of Avignon cried all together!
The vine was too heavy with grapes… love has taken the harvest.

Hahn: L’heure exquise
The white moon shines in the woods,
From each branch comes a voice under the boughs
Oh well-loved one!
The silhouette of the black willow where the wind weeps,
Let us dream, it is the hour…
A vast and tender appeasement
Seems to descend from the sky that the stars make iridescent
This is the exquisite hour!

Hahn: Quand je fus pris au pavillon
When I was caught in the pavilion
Of my most noble and beautiful lady,
I burnt myself on the candle like the butterfly does
I blushed like vermillion in the brightness of the spark
If I had been a merlin, or if I had wings as strong
I should have guarded myself from her
Who stung me with the dart
When I was caught in her pavilion.

VI.
Heggie: White in the Moon
White in the moon the long road lies,
The moon stands blank above;
White in the moon the long road lies
That leads me from my love.

Still hangs the hedge without a gust,
Still, still the shadows stay;
My feet upon the moonlit dust
Pursue the ceaseless way.

The world is round, so trav’lers tell,
And straight through reach the track,
Trudge on, trudge on, ‘twill all be well,
The way will guide one back.

But ere the circle homeward hies,
Far, far, it must remove:
White in the moon the long road lies
That leads me from my love.

Heggie: Barbr’y Allen
‘Twas in the merry month of May
when all the flowers were blooming,
Sweet William on his death-bed lay
for love of Barb’ry Allen.

As she was walking through the field
she heard the death bells knelling
and with every toll they seemed to say,
“Hard-hearted Barb’ry Allen.”

“O Mother, Mother, make my bed.
And make it long and narrow;
Sweet William died for me today,
I’ll die for him tomorrow.”

They buried William in the old church-yard,
and Barb’ra there a-nigh him.
And out of his grave grew a red, red rose,
and out of hers a briar.
They lapped and tied in a true-love’s knot.
The rose ran ‘round the briar.

Heggie: The Leather-Winged Bat
“Hi,” said the little ol’ leather-winged bat,
“I will tell you the reason that I fly in the night:
I’ve lost my heart’s delight.”
Hi-o day-o etc.
“Hi,” said the woodpecker sittin’ on a fence,
“Once I courted a handsome wench,
She got sassy and from me fled,
And ever since then my head’s been red.”
Hi-o day-o etc.
“Hi,” said the bluebird as he flew,
“Once I courted a young gal, too.
She got sassy and wanted to go,
So I tied a new string to my bow.”
Hi-o day-o etc.
“Hi,” said the Robin as he flew,
“When I was a young man I’d court two.
If one didn’t love me the other one would.
Now don’t you think my notion’s good?”
Hi-o day-o etc.