Monday, August 29, 2011

Intermezzo Sunday Concert, 10/9/2011 @ 2:30 p.m.

Shawn I. Puller, tenor
Read Gainsford, piano

Faculty artists from Albany State University and Florida State University team up for an afternoon of song!

Roger Quilter
     5 Shakespeare Songs (Second Set), Op. 23
Fear no more the heat o' the sun
Under the greenwood tree
It was a lover and his lass
Take, o take those lips away
Hey, Ho, the wind, and the rain

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Dalla sua pace (from Don Giovanni)

Vincenzo Bellini
Il fervido desiderio
Dolente immagine di Fille mia

Franz Liszt
Du bist wie eine Blume
Im Rhein im schönen Strome
Hohe Liebe

Sergei Rachmaninoff
Lilacs (Op. 21, No. 5)
A Dream (Op. 8, No. 5)
Here All is Just Right (Op. 21, No. 7)

Juan Bautista Plaza
     from Siete canciones venezolanas
Por estos cuatro caminos
Hilando el copo del viento
Cuando el caballo se para

John W. Work III

Richard Pearson Thomas
          I Never Saw a Moor

Undine S. Moore
          Love let the wind cry...How I adore thee!

Tenor Shawn Puller (Ph.D) is an Assistant Professor of Music at Georgia's Albany State University, and has taught in New York at SUNY Cortland and Ithaca College, as well as at Florida State University, where he is on the faculty of their Summer Music Camps. As director of both bands and choruses his teaching experience includes instruction of children as well as young adults, and as a vocal soloist, in addition to art-song literature, his repertoire includes opera, oratorio, and other large-scale choral works. Shawn has directed the music programs of several churches, and also has served as the Assistant Director of the Heifetz International Music Institute, in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. Among other professional organizations, Dr. Puller is an active member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, and serves as the head Archivist of the Georgia Chapter of NATS.

Pianist Read Gainsford (D.M.) has performed widely in the USA, Europe, Australia, South Africa, and his native New Zealand as solo recitalist, concerto soloist and chamber musician. He has made successful solo debuts at the Wigmore Hall and Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall, and has performed in many other prestigious venues, including the Kennedy Center, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Barbican Centre, Fairfield Halls, Birmingham Town Hall and St.-Martin-in-the-Fields. Dr. Gainsford has recorded for the Amoris label, BBC Radio Three, Radio New Zealand's Concert Programme, and has broadcast on national television in New Zealand, the UK, and Yugoslavia. Since moving to the United States in 1992, Read has been a guest artist for the American Music Teachers Association, has appeared at the Gilmore Keyboard Festival and the Music Festival of the Hamptons, and spent several summers as a member of the collaborative pianist faculty at the Heifetz International Music Institute. He is a member of the contemporary music group Ensemble X, the Garth Newel Chamber Players, and, in addition to providing our opener with Dr. Puller in 2010, he has performed on Music @ Main programs twice as the pianist with FSU's Trio Solis. Formerly on the faculty of Ithaca College where he received the college-wide Excellence in Teaching Award in 2004, Dr. Gainsford became Associate Professor of Piano at FSU in 2005.

PROGRAM NOTES, by Ed Lein, Music Librarian

Although some of the lighter orchestral pieces by Roger Quilter (1877-1953) are still performed, outside his native Great Britain Quilter's reputation is sustained primarily through his art songs, which number more than a hundred. Quilter began his studies at Eton College, and in the 1890s he continued his musical education in Germany. In addition to Quilter, there were several other English-speaking composers who studied at the Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt (although not all at the exact same time), including Percy Grainger and Cyril Scott, and together they became known as the "Frankfurt Group." In 1900, Quilter published his first songs, and following performances the next year he quickly became established as a composer with a special gift for creating melodies that enhanced the natural rhythm of the words, while also providing fully-realized accompaniments that nonetheless allowed the singer to make expressive use of rubato. As an interpreter of his own songs, Quilter sometimes provided the piano accompaniment for public performances, and he even recorded several of them.
In 1905, Quilter's Three Shakespeare Songs, Op. 6, provided an early success, but he waited until 1919 to return to The Bard for inspiration, composing a song (Under the Greenwood Tree) and a duet (It was a Lover and His Lass) on lighthearted texts from As You Like It. In 1921, Quilter included these as the second and third selections in his Five Shakespeare Songs, Op. 21, recasting the duet as a solo. The text for the elegiac first song, Fear No More the Heat o' the Sun, is from Cymbeline. The beautiful and concise 4th song, Take, O Take Those Lips Away, which is from Measure for Measure, was later adapted for piano quartet by the composer. The cycle ends with Hey, Ho, the Wind and the Rain, the song which likewise provides the conclusion for its source, Twelfth Night.
Hear them on YouTube
Complete Score (pdf), from
Fear No More the Heat o' the Sun
Fear no more the heat o' the sun,
     Nor the furious winter's rages;
Thou thy worldly task hast done,
     Home art done, and ta'en thy wages:
Golden lads and girls all must,
As chimney-sweepers, come to dust.

Fear no more the frown o' the great;
     Thou art past the tyrant's stroke;
Care no more to clothe and eat;
     To thee the reed is as the oak:
The Sceptre, Learning, Physic, must
All follow this, and come to dust.

Fear no more the lightning-flash,
Nor the'all-dreaded thunder-stone;
Fear not slander, censure rash;
Thou hast finished joy and moan:
All lovers young, all lovers must
Consign to thee, and come to dust.
No exorciser harm thee!
Nor no witchcraft charm thee!
Ghost unlaid forbear thee!
Nothing ill come near thee!
Quiet consummation have,
And renownèd by thy grave!
Under the Greenwood Tree

UNDER the greenwood tree,
Who loves to lie with me,
And turn his merry note
Unto the sweet bird's throat,
Come hither, come hither, come hither:
     Here shall he see
     No enemy
But winter and rough weather.

     Who doth ambition shun,
     And loves to live i' the sun,
     Seeking the food he eats,
     And pleased with what he gets,
Come hither, come hither, come hither:
     Here shall he see
     No enemy
But winter and rough weather.
It was a Lover and his Lass

IT was a lover and his lass,
     With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
That o'er the green corn-field did pass,
     In the spring time, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing, hey ding a ding, ding;
Sweet lovers love the spring.

Between the acres of the rye,
     With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
These pretty country folks would lie,
     In the spring time, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing, hey ding a ding, ding;
Sweet lovers love the spring.

This carol they began that hour,
     With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
How that life was but a flower
     In the spring time, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing, hey ding a ding, ding;
Sweet lovers love the spring.

And, therefore, take the present time
     With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
For love is crownèd with the prime
In the spring time, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing, hey ding a ding, ding;
Sweet lovers love the spring.
Take, Oh Take Those Lips Away
Take, oh take those lips away,
     That so sweetly were forsworne,
And those eyes: the breake of day,
     Lights that doe mislead the Morne;
But my kisses bring againe, bring againe,
Seales of love, but seal’d in vaine, seal’d in vaine.
Hey, ho, the Wind and the Rain
     [NOTE: Quilter omits Shakespeare's original 4th verse, also omitted here]

When that I was and a little tiny boy,
     With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
A foolish thing was but a toy,
     For the rain it raineth every day.

But when I came to man’s estate,
     With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
‘Gainst knaves and thieves men shut the gate,
     For the rain it raineth every day.

But when I came, alas! to wive,
     With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
By swaggering could I never thrive,
     For the rain it raineth every day.

A great while ago the world begun,
     With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
But that’s all one, our play is done,
     And we’ll strive to please you every day.

Austrian-born Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791), unquestionably one of the greatest composers in history, began his career touring Europe as a 6-year-old piano prodigy, and he absorbed and mastered all the contemporary musical trends he was exposed to along the way.
Of all the different versions of the Don Juan legend, Mozart’s comic opera, Don Giovanni (1787), on a libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte (1749-1838), is among the best known and most discussed. The Don is an unrepentant rake who lives solely for his own selfish pleasures, with utter disregard for how his behavior might affect others. Mozart’s opera picks up as Giovanni’s luck finally begins to fade and his past begins to catch up with him. He is on the run after dueling with and killing the father of Donna Anna, a would-be romantic conquest. Anna asks Don Ottavio, her fiancé, to avenge her father's death, and when left alone Ottavio sings Dalla sua pace, reflecting, basically, that her wish is his command.

Hear it on YouTube
Dalla sua pace

Dalla sua pace la mia dipende;
Quel che a lei piace vita mi rende,
Quel che le incresce morte mi dà.

S'ella sospira, sospiro anch'io;
È mia quell'ira, quel pianto è mio;
E non ho bene, s'ella non l'ha.

--Don Octavio's Act I aria from Don Giovanni
Libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte
On Her Mind's Peace

Along with the operas of Rossini and Donizetti, those of Italian composer Vincenzo Bellini (1801-1835) have come to epitomize the essence of the lyrical vocal style we now call bel canto (i.e., "beautiful singing"), as opposed to the more forceful and declamatory style represented by Wagner. Bellini, whose operas include Norma (1831), La sonnambula(1831), and I Puritani (1835), was born into a musical family, and he showed prodigious talent from an early age. Little Vinnie reportedly was singing arias before he was two, and before he turned three he had begun to study music theory (remember, kryptonite didn't make an appearance until the 20th Century ...). At age 18, Bellini entered the conservatory in Naples, where, for his graduation in 1825, his first opera was produced; and by the fall of 1827 Il pirata (The Pirate) premiered at La Scala in Milan. Before too long, Bellini went from being local sensation to international celebrity, and elements of his style--sensuous, long-flowing melodies and sometimes surprising harmonic shifts--are said to have had a great impact on the young Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849). Bellini's rise was cut short at the height of his popularity, when he grew ill in Paris (on an extended stopover between London and Milan), and died from acute intestinal and liver maladies.
During the first few years after he left the conservatory Bellini composed more than a dozen songs with piano. Among these, Il fervido desiderio and Dolente immagine di Fille mia were published posthumously, along with a third song, as Tre ariette; the authorship of the texts is unknown.
Score for Il fervido desiderio (pdf), from
Hear it on MySpace
Il fervido desiderio

Quando verrà quel dì
che riveder potrò
quel che l'amante cor tanto desia?

Quando verrà quel dì
che in sen t'accoglierò,
bella fiamma d'amor, anima mia?
The Fervent Desire

Score for Dolente immagine di Fille mia (pdf), from
Hear it on YouTube
Dolente immagine di Fille mia

Dolente immagine di Fille mia,
perché sì squallida mi siedi accanto?
Che più desideri? Dirotto pianto
io sul tuo cenere versai finor.

Temi che immemore de' sacri giuri
io possa accendermi ad altra face?
Ombra di Fillide, riposa in pace;
è inestinguibile l'antico ardor.
Mournful Image of Phyllis Mine

Hungarian- composer Franz Liszt (1811-1886) is widely regarded as the greatest pianist of all time, and his performances excited an hysteria that today is reserved for only the most popular of rock stars. Despite great fame following a sometimes impoverished youth, Liszt remained unspoiled and donated great sums of his concert earnings to a wide variety of charitable causes, and in later life he even took orders in the church. His generosity extended to helping increase the fortunes of struggling musicians, among them Hector Berlioz and Liszt’s future son-in-law, Richard Wagner. An innovative composer, Liszt is credited with creating the symphonic tone poem as a form, developing the technique of thematic transformation, and he even anticipated some of the harmonic devices of Impressionist composers.
Heine's poem, Du bist wie eine blume, has been set by dozens of different composers (including a Russian version by Rachmaninoff), and, along with Robert Schumann's setting, Liszt's is among the most famous. This year marks the 200th anniversary of Liszt's birth, and, fortunately for him, good penmanship is not a criterion for immortality, as the autograph manuscript of the song (1843?) attests. A solo piano version of the song was prepared by Joachim Raff (1822-1882--Raff would become Liszt's music copyist for a time ...), which Liszt performed. Liszt himself prepared a concert arrangement for solo piano of Im Rhein, im schönen Strome (1840?/1854), as well as of Hohe Liebe (1850), which became the first of Liszt's three Liebesträume (Dreams of Love).

Du bist wie eine Blume

Du bist wie eine Blume
so hold und schön und rein;
ich schau' dich an, und Wehmut
schleicht mir ins Herz hinein.

Mir ist, als ob ich die Hände
aufs Haupt dir legen sollt',
betend, daß dich Gott erhalte
so rein und schön und hold.

--Text: Heinrich Heine (1797-1856)

Thou Like a Budding Flower Art

Hear it on YouTube Score from (pdf)

Im Rhein

Im Rhein, im schönen Strome,
Da spiegelt sich in den Wellen
Mit seinem großen Dome
Das große, das heil'ge Köln.

Im Dom da steht ein Bildnis,
Auf goldnem Leder gemalt;
Ach, In meines Lebens Wildnis
Hat's freundlich hinein gestrahlt.

Es schweben Blumen und Englein
Um unsre liebe Frau;
Die Augen, die Lippen, die Wängelein,
Die gleichen der Liebsten genau.

--Text: Heinrich Heine (1797-1856), altered slightly

In the Rhine

Hear it on YouTube Score (2nd version) from (pdf)
Score (1st version) from (pdf)

Hohe Liebe

In Liebesarmen ruht ihr trunken,
Des Lebens Früchte winken euch;
Ein Blick nur ist auf mich gesunken,
Doch bin ich vor euch allen reich.

Das Glück der Erde miss' ich gerne
Und blick, ein Märtyrer, hinan,
Denn über mir in goldner Ferne
Hat sich der Himmel aufgetan.

--Text: Johann Ludwig Uhland (1787-1862)

Exalted Love

Hear it on YouTube Score from (pdf)

Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943) was a  Russian composer and conductor, and one of the greatest pianists of all time. Although of the 20th Century, Rachmaninoff's music remained firmly rooted in 19th-Century Russian Romanticism. For a time some post-World War II critics foolishly dismissed him as old-fashioned, but the lush harmonies and sweeping melodies that characterize his music assure it a continuing place in the world’s concert halls. Astonishingly, Rachmaninoff had what might be called a "phonographic" memory in that upon hearing virtually any piece he could play it back at the piano, even years later—and if he liked the piece it would sound like a polished performance!

Rachmaninoff composed songs throughout his career, and his choral music has a devoted following among aficionados.  His melodic talent was perfectly suited to vocal music so it is surprising that his songs are not better known. Rachmaninoff completed his six Romances, Op. 8, in 1893, and the 12 Romances, Op. 21, in 1902, and he adapted both Lilacs and Here All is Just Right (often translated as "How fair this spot") as pieces for piano solo.

Сирень (Op. 21, No. 5)

По утру, на заре,
По росистой траве,
Я пойду свежим утром дышать;
И в душистую тень,
Где теснится сирень,
Я пойду свое счастье искать...

В жизни счастье одно
Мне найти суждено,
И то счастье в сирени живёт;
На зелёных ветвях,
На душистых кистях
Моё бедное счастье цветёт...

--Text: Ekaterina Andreyena Beketova (1855-1892)
Hear it on YouTube


Complete score (pdf), from


Сон (Op. 8, No. 5)

И у меня был край родной;
    Прекрасен он!
Там ель качалась надо мной...
    Но то был сон!

Семья друзей жива была.
    Со всех сторон
Звучали мне любви слова...
    Но то был сон!

--Text: Aleksey Nikolayevich Pleshcheyev
(1825-1893, after Heine)


A Dream

Complete score (pdf), from

Здесь хорошо (Op. 21, No. 7)

Здесь хорошо...
Взгляни, вдали
Огнём горит река;
Цветным ковром луга легли,
Белеют облака.

Здесь нет людей...
Здесь тишина...
Здесь только Бог да я.
Цветы, да старая сосна,
Да ты, мечта моя!

--Text: Glafira Adol'fovna Galina (1873-1942)

Hear it on YouTube
Hear it again on YouTube


Here All is Just Right

Complete score (pdf), from

At the tender age of 16 years, Venezuelan composer, educator and ethnomusicologist Juan Bautista Plaza (1898-1965) was appointed choirmaster at his school in Caracas, and he continued in that post even after he entered University, ostensibly to study law and medicine. But music won out, and in 1920 he was sent on scholarship to Rome, Italy, becoming a Master of Sacred Composition (1923). He returned to Caracas as the choirmaster of the cathedral (1923-1947), and was also a professor at the Escuela Nacional de Musica (1924-28/1936-62). In 1936, Plaza began studying and cataloging a large collection of Venezuelan colonial music, eventually published in 12 volumes in 1943, making him a central figure in the growth of Venezuelan Nationalism. He was a prolific writer and lecturer, and produced daily newspaper articles and hundreds of radio talks for the general public.

Plaza's Siete canciones venezolanas (Seven Venezuelan Songs) (1932) are on Spanish texts by Venezuelan poet Luís Barrios Cruz (1898-1968). The songs are an example of Plaza's brand of música criolla, drawing on popular Venezuelan songs and dances of partially European origin, and they may well have been inspired by Siete canciones populares españolas (1914), by Spanish composer Manuel de Falla (1876-1946).

The three mp3s from /

Por estos cuatro caminos (Over These Four Roads)
CLICK HERE for the original Spanish text (still under copyright) and an excerpt from the score.
No 5. Por estos cuatro caminos (MP3)

Hilando el copo del viento (Spinning the Puff of Wind)
No 4. Hilando el copo del viento (Excerpt--MP3)
Cuando el caballo se para (When the Horse Stops)
No 3. Cuando el caballo se para (Excerpt--MP3)

Both John Wesley Work III (1901-1967) and his brother, Julian, became the third generation of professional musicians in their family: their grandfather, the first John Wesley Work, was a Tennessee church musician and choral arranger; their father, John Wesley Work II, was a singer, ethnomusicologist and professor at Fisk University, in Nashville; and their mother, Agnes Haynes Work, was a singer and choral director at Fisk. In addition to composing, John W. Work III followed extremely closely in both his parent's footsteps, becoming an important ethnomusicologist, as well as both choral director and professor of music theory and composition at Fisk, eventually becoming chair of the music department there in 1950. He began composing as a high school student, and throughout his career wrote over 100 works in a variety of genres, with songs and choral music dominating his output. In 1946 he won first prize from the Federation of American Composers' competition for a cantata, The Singers, and the following year he received an award from the National Association of Negro Musicians. Also dating from 1946, Soliloquy is a setting of a text by Myrtle Vorst Sheppard--still under copyright, so it cannot be reprinted in its entirety, but the beginning and ending lines aptly convey the sentiment of the whole song:
If death be only half as sweet as life, I will not fear, I'll shed no tear,
Nor will I ask my friends to weep;
If death be only half as sweet as life, I will not fear to go.
I love life so! I love life so!
Hear it on YouTube

The versatile New York pianist and composer Richard Pearson Thomas (b. 1957) is at home in both the musical theater and the concert hall. In addition to accompanying recitals with singers at major U.S. and international venues, he composes for films and the stage, including the Off-Off-Broadway shows Parallel Lines (2005) and Ladies in a Maze (1996). The Montana native is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music and the University of Southern California, was on faculty at Yale and the University of Central Florida, and currently is on the faculty at Teachers College/Columbia University. He has composed more than 80 operas with students in New York City public schools as composer-in-residence of the Gold Opera Project, Young Audiences/New York.
I Never Saw a Moor (1991) is a setting of a poem by Emily Dickenson (1830-1886).

Hear it on the Composer's website
I never saw a moor,
I never saw the sea;
Yet know I how the heather looks,
And what a wave must be.

I never spoke with God,
Nor visited in heaven;
Yet certain am I of the spot
As if the chart were given.

Sometimes called "Dean of Black Women Composers," Undine Smith Moore (1904-1989) was graduated cum laude from Juilliard in 1926, became supervisor of music for the Goldsboro, North Carolina public school system in 1926, and joined the faculty of Virginia State College (now Virginia State University) in 1927 until her retirement in 1972. She earned an MA degree from Columbia University (1931), and was awarded honorary Doctor of Music degrees from both Virginia State College (1972) and Indiana University (1976). In 1977 she was named Music Laureate of Virginia, and other honors include the National Association of Negro Musicians Distinguished Achievement Award (1975), the National Black Caucus Award (1980), and the Virginia Governor’s Award in the Arts (1985). Moore, who modestly referred to herself as a teacher who composed, was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in 1982 for her cantata, Scenes from the Life of a Martyr (1980), based on the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., following the work's premiere in Carnegie Hall. Moore's song, Love Let the Wind Cry, How I Adore Thee, sets five (of six) verses from an untitled poem adapted by Bliss Carman (1861-1929), published as No. 31 in Sappho: One Hundred Lyrics.
Hear it on YouTube

Love let the wind cry
On the dark mountain,
Bending the ash trees
And the tall hemlocks
With the great voice of
Thunderous legions,
How I adore thee.

Let the hoarse torrent
In the blue canyon,
Murmuring mightily
Out of the gray mist
Of primal chaos
Cease not proclaiming
How I adore thee.

Let the long rhythm
Of crunching rollers,
Breaking and bursting
On the white seaboard
Titan and tireless,
Tell, while the world stands,
How I adore thee.

Love, let the clear call
Of the tree cricket,
Frailest of creatures,
Green as the young grass,
Mark with his trilling
Resonant bell-note,
How I adore thee.

But, more than all sounds,
Surer, serener,
Fuller of passion
And exultation,
Let the hushed whisper
In thine own heart say,
How I adore thee.