Voicing: SATB a cappella; or SATB Double Chorus Text: 1) Philip Sidney (1554 - 1586) 2) Thomas Campion (1567 -1620) Published by: Canadian Music Centre
Notes: Then, Farewell World was composed on a commission from Pro Coro Canada in 2003, and sung by the choir in Edmonton, Toronto, and Ottawa the following year. The work sets two texts by English Renaissance poets on the subjects of love and faith, departure, and heaven. This is a challenging piece, a big sing, requiring an outstanding choir capable of maintaining intonation over the eleven or twelve minutes it takes to sing the work. Other choirs besides Pro Coro that have sung the work include Calgary's Spiritus Chamber Choir (please enjoy their outstanding recording to the right) and the Vancouver Chamber Choir who rehearsed the work in my presence (to my great delight) at one of their wonderful Interplay offerings for choral composers. In 2006, I rescored it for double chorus, so performance in either form is possible. The two works that comprise Then Farewell, World are inter-connected as material from the first number (Leave Me, OLove) returns at the end of the second (Never Weather-Beaten Saile). However, it is still possible to sing the two numbers separately, as they can stand on their own. The title is taken from the penultimate line in Philip Sidney's sonnet.
Leave me, O Love, which reachest but to dust, And thou, my mind, aspire to higher things; Grow rich in that which never taketh rust; Whatever fades but fading pleasure brings. Draw in thy beams, and humble all thy might To that sweet yoke where lasting freedoms be; Which breaks the clouds and opens forth the light, That doth both shine and give us sight to see. O take fast hold; let that light be thy guide In this small course which birth draws out to death, And think how evil becometh him to slide, Who seeketh heaven, and comes of heavenly breath. Then farewell, world; thy uttermost I see; Eternal Love, maintain thy life in me. Sir Philip Sidney from Certaine Sonnets, 1582
Never weather-beaten saile more willing bent to shore, Never tyred pilgrim’s limbs affected slumber more, Than my wearied spright now longs to flye, out of my troubled breast: O come quickly, sweetest Lord, and take my soul to rest. E’er-blooming are the joys of Heaven’s high Paradice, Cold age deafes not there our ears, nor vapour dims our eyes: Glory there the sun outshines, whose beams the blessed only see: O come quickly, glorious Lord, and raise my spright to thee. Thomas Campion
Performed by: Spiritus Chamber Choir, Terry Edwards, conductor (2006).