...and then, in dreaming, The clouds methought would open and show riches Ready to drop upon me that,
when I waked, I cried to dream again.
William Shakespeare - The Tempest
Voicing: SATB a cappella
Text: Guillaume Apollinaire (1880 - 1918)
Published by: Cypress Choral Music CP1275, (2014)
Retail: Sheet Music Plus (you can view the score and listen here); Long and McQuade
A work commissioned by Chorale Saint-Jean, Dr. Laurier Fagnan, director, and first performed in Edmonton by the choir, and on tour in France. This work is a challenging fin de siècle setting of Apollinaire's iconic poem about lost love at the Mirabeau bridge in Paris and quite unlike other versions.
Sous le pont Mirabeau coule la Seine
Et nos amours
Faut-il qu'il m'en souvienne
La joie venait toujours après la peine
Vienne la nuit sonne l'heure
Les jours s'en vont je demeure
Les mains dans les mains restons face à face
Tandis que sous
Le pont de nos bras passe
Des éternels regards l'onde si lasse
L'amour s'en va comme cette eau courante
L'amour s'en va
Comme la vie est lente
Et comme l'Espérance est violente
Passent les jours et passent les semaines
Ni temps passé
Ni les amours reviennent
Sous le pont Mirabeau coule la Seine
Guillaume Appolinaire (1880 - 1918)
from Les Alcools, 1912
Voicing: Soprano Solo, SATB and piano; Narrator; Dancers; Mixed media
Text and Melodies by: France Levasseur-Ouimet (text in French)
Arranged by: Allan Bevan
Published by: L'Alliance des Chorales du Quebec, distributed by Editions Gam, Montreal
Enjoy a lovely montage of a recent performance of France Levasseur-Ouimet's Canadian masterpiece, Elles s'appelaient Marie. This is an extended work (duration 50') taking as its subject the trials and tribulations of the work's heroine Marie, (soprano solo) a Quebec-born woman who homesteads in the early years of the province of Alberta. The performance comes from Gatineau, QC and features their live sound track of the work's final movement Je te Salue, Marie. Elles s'appelaient Marie was commissioned by Chorale Saint-Jean, Dr. Laurier Fagnan, director, in 2006 and first performed by them in Edmonton the following year. The work was featured at Choralies 2012 (the world-wide francophone choral congress). The YouTube excerpt below is taken from an April, 2015 performance in the L'Eglise St.-Francois-de-Sales, Gatineau, QC. The Choeur classique de l'Ouataouais, Tiphanie Legrand, conductor, and the Chorale de l'Ecole secondaire publique De La Salle, Robert Filion, conductor, combine forces in this production. The complete work is available from Editions Gam in Montreal, as are four of the individual movements which are available separately.
Profitez d'une belle montage d'une performance récente du chef-d'œuvre canadienne de France Levasseur-Ouimet, Elles s'appelaient Marie. Ceci est un travail prolongé sur les épreuves et les tribulations de Marie, (soprano solo) une femme d'origine québécoise qui Propriétés dans les premières années de la province de l'Alberta. Elles s'appelaient a été commandé par la Chorale Saint-Jean, Laurier Fagnan, directeur, en 2006.
Did you know that one of my most popular Christmas works has been translated into both Dutch and German? If you are a European choir director the rights to my Gentle Mary Laid Her Child are held by the European Choral Club for the Benelux region. The Dutch translation is by Titia Lindeboom and the German translation is provided by Birgitt Paulusma.
The European Choral Club has SATB and TTBB versions of Gentle Mary Laid Her Child in English, Dutch (Zachtles Sliep Maria's Kind), and German (Eine Alte Krippe).
See and listen to Gentle Mary Laid Her Child at The European Choral Club.
Wist u dat een van mijn meest populaire kerst werken is vertaald in het Nederlands en het Duits? Als u een Europees koor directeur van de rechten op mijn Gentle Mary Laid Her Child worden gehouden door de Europese Choral Club voor de regio Benelux. De Nederlandse vertaling is door Titia Lindeboom en de Duitse vertaling wordt geleverd door Birgitt Paulusma.
De Europese Choral Club heeft SATB en TTBB versies van Gentle Mary Laid Her Child in het Nederlands, Engels (Zachtles Sliep Maria's Kind) en Duits (Eine Alte Krippe).
Zie en luister
Wussten Sie, dass eine meiner beliebtesten Weihnachts Arbeiten hat sowohl in Niederländisch und Deutsch übersetzt worden? Wenn Sie ein europäischer Chorleiter sind die Rechte an meiner Gentle Mary Laid Her Child werden von der Europäischen Chorraum für die Region Benelux statt. Der holländische Übersetzung ist von Titia Lindeboom und die deutsche Übersetzung wird von Birgitt Paulusma vorgesehen.
Die Europäische Choral Club hat SATB und TTBB Versionen von Gentle Mary Laid Her Child in Englisch, Niederländisch (Zachtles Sliep Marias Art) und Deutsch (Eine Alte Krippe).
Sehen und hören
More information and additional recordings of Gentle Mary Laid Her Child in its SATB, SSAA, SAB, and TTBB English versions may be found in the Listen section of this web-site.
The Lost Lagoon, a recent work on a poem by Canadian poet E. Pauline Johnson has been published by classica Music Publishers. The Lost Lagoon is scored for SATB and piano and was the winner of the 2011 Vancouver 125 Composition Competition sponsored by Jubilate Vocal Ensemble. Pauline Johnson, the famous Mohawk poet lived the last four years of her life in Vancouver, and she was often seen paddling her canoe in the Lost Lagoon which was located within the confines of Stanley Park. Although the lagoon is now a freshwater lake, Johnson was buried in the park, and there is a monument to her memory there.
View the score at classica Music Publishers
We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep.
My No Mortal Business was a co-commission of Chorus Niagara, The Richard Eaton Singers, and the Vancouver Bach Choir. It was first performed by Geraint Wyn-Davies, actor, Johanne Ansell, soprano, Chorus Niagara, the Toronto Orpheus Choir, and the Talisker Players, conducted by Robert Cooper in St. Catharines, ON, and Toronto in 2012.
The Richard Eaton Singers, Timothy Anderson, actor, Dr. Leonard Ratzlaff, conductor, The Winspear Centre for Music, Edmonton, AB, Sunday, March 13, 2016 (western Canadian premiere; see poster below for further details)
Orpheus Choir of Toronto, Geraint Wyn-Davies, actor; Maeve Palmer, soprano; Robert Cooper, C.M., conductor, Trinity-St. Paul's United Church, Toronto, Saturday, April 23, 2016 (this performance will take place on the day Shakespeare died in 1616)
No Mortal Business (title from a line in The Tempest) is a large-scale choral/orchestral work with text by Shakespeare, and although it wasn't originally intended as an anniversary work it strikes me as something that would be very suitable for any 2016 concert program wishing to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the death of the bard.
No Mortal Business features an important part for an actor who is known in the score as "the prologue". In Shakespeare's time the prologue gave short speeches providing necessary historical background or plot advancement. The part of "Chorus" in Shakespeare's Henry V is the bard's best example, and I admit to being influenced by Derek Jacobi's wonderful portrayal in Kenneth Branagh's film of this play. The prologue in No Mortal Business speaks only the words of the bard but his lines are extracted from many of his plays and sonnets and reassembled in a way that provides a possible vision of the actor himself in his final years. What emerged in this lengthy process of research and (respectful) re-creation was a vision of a mighty talent who was plagued by self-doubt, frustrated by the stress of life as a struggling artist and consumed by the thought of his impending death. In No Mortal Business, Shakespeare's words become haunting 'soliloquies' appearing between the choral numbers and also over and above the music that I have composed. The role of the prologue in No Mortal Business is challenging, as it requires an actor who is capable of portraying a wide range of emotion, is familiar with the Elizabethan stage, and has enough musical background to stay in sync with chorus and orchestra.
The part for the soprano soloist is dramatic in nature too - she portrays the Angel of Death who sings alternatively comforting and disquieting words that resonate deeply in the soul of the prologue and stir reaction from the actor, the chorus, and the chamber orchestra.
No Mortal Business is in five 'Acts' and is thirty-five minutes of intense, non-stop musico-dramatic action. It contains substantial choruses intended for a large mixed-voice ensemble, most of whose text comes from Shakespeare's final play, The Tempest (e.g. new settings of Full Fathom Five, The Cloud-Capp'd Towers, and Where the Bee Sucks) but there is also snippets of ancient plainchant (In Paradisum, Requiem Aeternum) and a powerful new Kyrie Eleison. The latter liturgical passages reflect the fact that Shakespeare was born into a Catholic family and that he was a noted recusant (one who refused to attend services of the protestant Church of England), as well as an author well-versed in the questions of faith.
Full score, vocal score, and parts are available thru the Canadian Music Centre. Contact the composer for further details.
The Canadian Chamber Choir, Julia Davids conductor, is requesting your assistance in raising funds for their new CD, a compilation of sacred choral works by a number of Canadian composers. I'm delighted to report that they are planning to include one of my works for unaccompanied mixed voices, Hide Thy Face (published by classica.ca) on a text from Psalm 51. I heard them perform a number of the pieces that will be on the recording at a concert in Calgary about four years ago. A wonderful group with a great concept that includes singers from around the country.
More information about this project can be found at: canadianchamberchoir.ca