Triumph of Time Part II
Part 2 of 2. These two CDs contain songs and arias which embrace all aspects of love - or even the lack of it, as in Byron’s chill words ‘To the Moon’ (An den mond) and set for harp accompaniment by Schumann.
Georg Friederich Handel 1685-1759
Where e’er you walk from Semele Handel wrote the music for Semele over a one month period (June 3rd to July 4th) in 1743. Although written as an opera, Handel shrewdly presented the work ’in the manner of an oratorio’ thereby ensuring its performance in the forthcoming Theatre Royal’s Lenten concert series where it was first performed in 1744 at the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden, London, and enabled Handel to get paid! The camouflaging failed, as a more Bible- based subject matter was expected, and only four performances took place. It had its first staged performance in Cambridge in 1924 and its London stage première in 1954.
Three Folk Songs for Violin and Harp arranged by David Watkins
The Clergyman’s Lamentation This was first published in 1724 by O’Neil in Dublin and attributed to the famous blind harpist Turlogh O’Carolan (1670-1738)
Moll in the Wadd (Traditional) This lively jig appeared in Neil Gow’s second collection of Irish and Scottish Melodies published in 1810.
The Foggy, Foggy Dew (Traditional) After many attempts I settled for a very simple accompaniment. In all three arrangements Michael Bochmann has embroidered the melodic lines with superb imaginative variation and devastating virtuosity.
Robert Johnson c1560-1634
As I walked forth As I walked forth one summer’s day was first printed in Playford’s Ayres and Dialogues (1652-59) and in the Treasury of Music (1669). Johnson was the son of John Johnson, the lutenist to Queen Elizabeth I. He was appointed as one of James I’s lutenists in 1604.
Have You Seen But a White Lily Grow - text by Ben Jonson.
A Welsh Landscape Tirlun Cymreig ‘A Welsh Landscape’ is dedicated to Rosalind Sharples. Painter, poet and harpist. Rosalind and her husband live in one of the most beautiful parts of Pembrokeshire which was the inspiration for this composition.
(Moonlight on the Sea)
Du bist die Ruh You are rest
rest and gentle peace,you are longing and what
Seligkeit Bliss Based on a text by Ludwig Heinrich Christoph Hölty 1748-1776
without number bloom in heaven’s hall.
Robert Schumann 1810-1856
Before 1840, Schumann had written almost exclusively for the piano, but in this one year he wrote 168 songs. Schumann’s biographers have attributed this to his love for Clara Wieck (the daughter of his piano teacher, Friedrich Wieck) whom he married in 1840.
An den Mond To the moon. Lord George Gordon Byron (1788- 1824)
Sun of the
sleepless, melancholy star
Elias Parish-Alvars 1808-1849
Romance in Ab for Harp Parish-Alvars was the most famous virtuoso harpist of the first half of the nineteenth century. Known as the ‘Liszt of the Harp’ (Berlioz) he, like many of his contemporaries, carried on the romantic tradition created by John Field in his Nocturnes.
Jules Massenet 1842-1912
The Meditation from Thaïs for violin & harp In the opera, Thaïs, a beautiful courtesan wants to redeem herself and gain salvation.The meditation is played at the moment of the longing for change.
Georges Bizet 1838-1875
Agnus Dei Lamb of God that takest away the sins of the world have mercy upon us. Although credited to George Bizet and based on the Intermezzo from the L’Arlesienne Suite No 2, it is more likely that the publisher of the departed composer commissioned Bizet’s own close friend, Ernest Guirard, to compile another suite. Guirard extracted the Intermezzo movement, added the Latin sacred text of the Agnus Dei to it and published it as yet another ‘new’ work of Bizet.
Silent Night (arr: David Watkins) An accompaniment for violin and harp inspired by the clarity and directness of Mahler’s song accompaniments.
Edmund Rubbra 1901-1986
Edmund Rubbra was a British composer born in Northampton. He studied at Reading University and the Royal College of Music. A pupil of Gustav Holst, he became a lecturer in the newly formed Faculty of Music at Oxford University. After retiring from Oxford in 1968 he took up teaching at The Guildhall School of Music and continued to compose until his death in 1986.
Hymn to the Virgin - Jesukin Rubbra takes two mediaeval texts and sets them with harp accompaniment in a modern- mediaeval way and with touching simplicity.
Still, still, still Traditional Austrian carol arr. Adrian Cleaton
Still, still, still, the baby’s lying still.
loudly singing round the manger: praises ringing
great, great, is the Father’s love,
J S Bach 1685-1750
Ave Maria Gounod composed this beautiful melody above Bach’s first prelude for Clavier in 1859.
Hail Mary, full of grace, pray for us sinners now and at our moment of Death.
Notes by Jane Leslie MacKenzie and David Watkins
With the exception of the two songs by Edmund Rubbra and Still, still, still by Adrian Cleaton, the harp accompaniments have been arranged and edited by David Watkins, who also wrote violin parts for the songs and arias.
in St. Mary's Parish Church, Chipping Norton, November
2007 & February 2008
©2008 MacKenzie, Bochmann & Watkin