Some goodnight music for you … because “so much majesty” …

Alone in the night
On a dark hill
With pines around me
Spicy and still,

And a heaven full of stars
Over my head,
White and topaz
And misty red;

Myriads with beating
Hearts of fire
That aeons
Cannot vex or tire;

Up the dome of heaven
Like a great hill,
I watch them marching
Stately and still,

And I know that I
Am honored to be
Of so much majesty.

—Sara Teasdale

Eriks Esenvalds: Stars (text adapted from the Sara Teasdale poem)
The Concordia Choir; D.Michael Smith, Guest Conductor

This really hit my heart; I hope you enjoy it too. (Janet Kroeker, I think especially think of you after your kind words yesterday!) Funny how I’d never thought about the lyrics and the fading of love before. I guess I’m just that slow.

The Water is Wide
The Singers; Matthew Culloton; Conductor

Matthew Culloton conducts René Clausen’s arrangement of ths American Folk song. Laura Sewell, cello; Melissa Morey, horn; Jennifer Gerth, clarinet; Steve Swanson, piano.

… well … define “modern” ;-)

This is a new one to my ears, and maybe to some of you as well. Great fun!

William Billings (1746-1800): Modern Music
Quire Cleveland

We are met for a Concert of modern Invention;
To tickle the Ear is our present Intention.
The Audience are seated expecting to be treated
With a Piece of the Best.

And since we all agree to set the Tune on E,
The Author’s darling Key he prefers to the Rest,

Let the Bass take the Lead and firmly proceed,
Till the Parts are agreed to fuge away.
Let the Tenor succeed and follow the Lead,
Till the Parts are agreed to fuge away.
Let the Counter inspire the Rest of the Choir,
Inflam’d with Desire to fuge away.
Let the Treble in the Rear no longer forbear,
But expressly declare for a Fuge away.

Then change to brisker Time
And up the Ladder climb, and down again;
Then mount the second Time and end the Strain.

Then change the Key to pensive Tones
and slow in treble Time; the Notes exceeding low
Keep down a While, then rise by slow Degrees;
The Process surely will not fail to please.

Thro’ Common and Treble we jointly have run;
We’ll give you their Essence compounded in one.
Altho’ we are strongly attach’d to the Rest,
Six-four is the Movement that pleases us best.

And now we address you as Friends to the Cause;
Performers are modest and write their own Laws.
Altho’ we are sanguine and clap at the Bars,
‘Tis the Part of the Hearers to clap their Applause.

28. April 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Choral, Listen

Because I think this is lovely, I just have to post it! (Besides, it’s from the same group who wished you a good morning!) :-)

Info from YouTube:

Track available on iTunes at
Sheet music available from
Irish/Scottish Traditional Arr. Desmond Earley
Mark Waters (solo vocal)
Desmond Earley (director)
UCD Choral Scholars 2012-2013
Sound Recording and Production: Kevin Whyms
Direction: Matthew Leigh
Production: Nodlag Houlihan
Recorded and videoed on Sunday 7th April 2013 in Memorial Hall, University College Dublin, Ireland.
This video and the arrangement ? & ? Desmond Earley 2013
Choir: Mark Waters, Glenn Murphy, Ronan Scollard, Sorcha Kinder, Rachel Dilworth, Aoife Heeney, Niall Stafford, Oisin O’Friel, Óisin O’Callaghan, Emily Doyle, Fiona Peacock, Niamh McCullough, Susie Gibbons, Ryan Hitchcock, Erik Goulding, Diarmuid Sugrue, Sarah Thursfield, Kate Lenehan, Niamh Murray.
08. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Choral, Videos

Saint Säens: Calme des nuits
The Convivium Singers

Stillness of the night, cool of the evening,
Vast shimmering of the spheres,
Great silence of black vaults
Deep thinkers delight in you.
The bright sun, merriment,
And noise amuse the more frivolous;
Only the poet is possessed
By the love of quiet things.

28. November 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Choral

So much to be thankful for …

19. October 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Choral, Listen, Videos

That’s why.

LONG ROAD. Concert in the Great Hall of Latvian University. Oct 12, 2012

T?ls ce?š / Long Road (2010)
State Choir LATVIJA, conductor M?ris Sirmais, composer ?riks Ešenvalds

Flute solo: Andis Klu?nieks

(The work isn’t as long as this video so you might want to stop it when you reach the applause.)

I love you night and day as a star in the distant sky. And I mourn for this one thing alone — that to love, our lifetime was so short. A long road leads to heaven’s shining meadow And never could I reach its end. But a longer road leads to your heart which to me seems distant as a star.

There are a number of works for oboe and choir. We seem to work well together. (At least in my little opinion.)

Here’s a sweet little piece I just landed on:

19. March 2011 · Comments Off · Categories: Choral, Symphony

We (meaning Symphony Silicon Valley) will be doing this work next Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. It’s a favorite of mine.

(Can anyone say “too many different fonts!” … at the beginning of the video? Makes my eyes ache!)

The Concert Singers performing Effinger’s Pastorales with Ryan Zwahlen, oboe. Jenni Brandon, director.

I’ve played two of these, but never all. I played one (Basket) when I was in high school, so that was sometime between 1970 and 74. I played that same one and then another (No Mark) when my daughter was in high school (she graduated in ’03). I loved knowing that I played it first when I was her age as she sang! I find these well written for oboe, and very lovely.

I see that Ryan Zwahlen has posted three of the four (Noon is absent), so I’m posting them below.

I always thought the last four notes of this one were to represent playing taps. I don’t know for sure, but considering the words I thought perhaps I was correct. Here are the words, from th Thomas Hornsby Ferril poem:

No Mark

Corn grew where the corn was spilled
In the wreck where Casey Jones was killed,
Scrub-oak grows and sassafrass
Around the shady stone you pass
To show where Stonewall Jackson fell
That Saturday at Chancellorsville,
And soapweed bayonets are steeled
Across the Custer battlefield ;
But where you die the sky is black
A little while with cracking flak,
Then ocean crosses very still
Above your skull that held our will.

O swing away, white gull, white gull,
Evening star, be beautiful.


Know me then.
The children out of the shade have brought me a basket
Very small and woven of dry grass
Smelling as sweet in December as the day I smelled it first.
Only one other ever was this to me,
Sweet birch from a far river,
You would not know, you did not smell the birch,
You would not know, you did not smell the grass,
You, you did not know me then.
Know me then.
The children out of the shade have brought me a basket.


There was a dark and awful wood
Where increments of death accrued
To ev’ry leaf and antlered head
Until it withered and was dead,
And lonely there I wandered and wandered and wandered.
But once a myth-white moon shone there
And you were kneeling by a flow’r,
And it was practical and wise
For me to kneel and you to rise,
And me to rise and turn to go,
And you to turn and whisper no,
And seven wondrous stags that I could not believe
Walked slowly by.