CONCERT ARTISTS

OUR 105TH SEASON

2017-2018

TEXTS AND TRANSLATIONS

Jamie Barton, Mezzo-Soprano
Kathleen Kelly, Piano

Friday, January 26, 2018
7:30 p.m.
Memorial Hall
1225 Elm Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202

 

Heather  [Text: Marguerite Wilkinson]   ELINOR REMICK WARREN

All my life long I had longed to see heather

In the land of my kinsmen, far over the sea;

Now here is heather like a wide purple ocean

Rolling its tides toward me.

Dark, dipping waves of it, deeper than amethyst

When the gold day was begun;

Long, curving swells of it, dusky and lovely,

Here on the downs in the sun!

Now I am shaken by great storms of beauty

Wetting my eyelids with joy of my eyes;

Now is my soul like a wind-stricken seabird

Troubling the deep with her cries!

All my life long I had longed to see heather

In the land of my kinsmen, far over the sea;

Now here is heather like a wide purple ocean

Rolling its tides toward me;

Here! Here on the downs in the sun!

 

Jamie Barton, Mezzo-Soprano

Photography by Stacey Bode.

Click here for more about Jamie Barton!

Attente   [text : Maurice Maeterlinck]  LILI BOULANGER

Mon âme a joint ses mains étranges

À l’horizon de mes regards;

Exaucez mes rêves épars

Entre les lèvres de vos anges!

 

En attendant sous mes yeux las,

Et sa bouche ouverte aux prières

Éteintes entre mes paupières

Et dont les lys n’éclosent pas;

 

Elle apaise au fond de mes songes,

Ses seins effeuillés sous mes cils,

Et ses yeux clignent aux périls

Éveillés au fil des mensonges.

 

Expectation (Translation*)

My soul has joined its strange hands

To the horizon of my sight;

Make my scattered dreams come true

Between the lips of your angels!

 

For now under my weary eyes,

And its mouth open to the prayers

Unlit between my eyelids

And whose lilies do not open;

 

It appeases in the depth of my dreams,

Its breasts picked off under my eyebrows.

And its eyes blink at the perils

Born at the same time as the lies.

 

Ah, Love But a Day   [Text : Robert Browning]  AMY BEACH

Ah, Love, but a day,

And the world has changed!

The sun’s away,

And the bird estranged;

The wind has dropped,

And the sky’s deranged;

Summer has stopped.

 

Look in my eyes!

Wilt thou change too?

Should I fear surprise?

Shall I find aught new

In the old and dear,

In the good and true,

With the changing year?

 

Thou art a man,

But I am thy love.

For the lake, its swan;

For the dell, its dove;

And for thee — (oh, haste!)

Me, to bend above,

Me, to hold embraced.

 

S’il arrive jamais  [Text: Emile Verhaeren]   NADIA BOULANGER

S’il arrive jamais

Que nous soyons, sans le savoir,

Souffrance ou peine ou désespoir,

L’un pour l’autre; s’il se faisait

Que la fatigue ou le banal plaisir

Détendissent en nous l’arc d’or du haut désir ;

Si le cristal de la pure pensée

Doit en nos cœurs tomber et se briser,

Si malgré tout, je me sentais

Vaincu pour n’avoir pas été

Assez en proie à la divine immensité

De la bonté ;

Alors, oh ! serrons-nous comme deux fous sublimes

Qui sous les cieux cassés, se cramponnent aux cimes

Quand même — et d’un unique essor,

L’âme en soleil, s’exaltent dans la mort.

 

Should it ever occur  (Translation*)

Should it ever occur

That we unwittingly become

Pain, sorrow or despair

For one another; if it ever were

That fatigue or banal pleasure

Loosened up the golden bow of high desire;

If the crystal of pure thought

In our hearts should ever fall and break,

If, in spite of it all, I felt

Defeated for not having been

Sufficiently touched by the divine immensity

Of kindness;

Then, oh, let us embrace like two sublime madmen

Who under broken skies still hang on to the summit –

And in one soaring path,

Our souls bathed in sunlight, exaltedly go to our death.

 

Arianna a Naxos  [Text: Anonymous]   JOSEPH HAYDN

Teseo mio ben! ove sei? ove sei tu?

Vicino d’averti mi parea,

ma un lusinghiero sogno fallace m’ingannò.

Gia sorge in ciel la rosea Aurora

e l’erba e i fior colora Febo

uscendo dal mar col crine aurato.

Sposo adorato, dove guidasti il piè?

Forse le fere ad inseguirti chiama

il tuo nobile ardor!

Ah, vieni, ah, vieni o caro ed offrirò

più grata preda a tuoi lacci.

Il cor d’Arianna amante

che t’adora costante,

stringi con nodo più tenace

e più bella la face

splenda del nostro amor.

Soffrir non posso d’esser

da te divisa un sol momento.

Ah, di vederti, o caro,

gia mi stringe il desio.

Ti sospira il mio cor

Vieni, vieni, idol mio.

 

Dove sei, mio bel tesoro?

chi t’invola a questo cor?

se non vieni, io già mi moro,

nè resisto al mio dolor.

Se pietade avete, oh Dei,

secondate i voti miei,

a me torni il caro ben.

Dove sei? Teseo, dove sei?

 

Ma, a chi parlo?

Gli accenti Eco ripete sol.

Teseo non m’ode, Teseo non mi risponde,

e portano le voci e l’aure e l’onde.

Poco da me lontano esser egli dovria.

Salgasi quello che più d’ogni altro

s’alza alpestre scoglio,

ivi lo scoprirò.

Che miro? oh stelle! misera me!

Quest’è l’Argivo legno! Greci son quelli!

Teseo! ei sulla prora!

Ah, m’inganasse almen…

no, no, non m’inganno.

Ei fugge, ei qui mi lascia in abbandono.

Più speranza non v’è, tradita io sono.

Teseo! Teseo! m’ascolta! Teseo!

ma ohimè, vaneggio!

i flutti e il vento lo involano

per sempre agli occhi miei.

Ah, siete ingiusti o Dei se l’empio

non punite! Ingrato!

perchè ti trassi dalla morte?

Dunque tu dovevi tradirmi?

e le promesse? e i giuramenti tuoi?

Spergiuro! Infido!

hai cor di lasciarmi?

A chi mi volgo?

da chi pietà sperar?

Gia più non reggo, il piè vacilla

e in così amaro istante

sento mancarmi in sen

l’alma tremante.

Ah, che morir vorrei

in sì fatal momento,

ma al mio crudel tormento

mi serba ingiusto il ciel.

Misera abbandonata,

non ho chi mi consola

chi tanto amai s’invola,

barbaro ed infedel.

 

Arianna in Naxos (Translation*)

Theseus my love, where are you?

I thought that you were near,

but a false, alluring dream tricked me.

Already pink Aurora springs forth skywards

and plants and flowers are colored by Phoebus

emerging from the sea with golden hair.

Adored husband, where do your steps take?

Perhaps to hunt wild beasts

your noble ardour calls you!

Ah! come! ah! come my dearest and I shall

offer myself a more welcome prey to your nets.

The heart of Ariadne who loves you,

who, constant, adores you,

bind with a more tenacious knot

and let the torch of our love

shine more brightly.

I cannot bear to be separated

from you a single moment.

Ah! the desire to see you, my love,

already takes hold of my heart.

My heart sighs for you.

Come, come, my idol.

 

Where are you, my beautiful treasure?

Who steals you from this heart of mine?

If you do not come back, I am already dying,

nor shall I be able to endure my grief.

if you have pity, oh Gods,

favour my prayers,

let my dear one return to me.

Where are you, Theseus, where are you?

 

But to whom am I speaking?

Only Echo repeats my cries.

Theseus does not hear me, does not reply,

and the winds and the waves bear away my words.

He cannot be far away from me.

Let me climb the steepest

and highest cliff,

there I will sight him.

What do I see? Oh heavens! Unhappy me!

That is the Argive ship! Those are Greeks!

And Theseus! in the prow of the ship!

Ah! if only I were mistaken…

no, no, I am not wrong.

He is escaping and leaving me here, abandoned.

I have no hope left, I am betrayed.

Theseus! Theseus! Hear me! Theseus!

But alas, I am talking wildly,

the wind and the waves are stealing him

forever from my sight.

Ah! you are unjust, Gods, if you do not

punish this wicked man. Ungrateful wretch!

Why did I save you from death?

Therefore you had to betray me?

What of your promises? The vows you swore to me?

Liar! Unfaithful man!

Have you the heart to leave me?

To whom can I turn?

From whom can I hope for pity?

I can no longer stand, my foot gives way,

and in such a bitter moment

I feel my breast is abandoned

by my trembling soul.

 

Ah! how I long to die

at such a fateful moment,

but for my cruel torment

the unjust heavens preserve me alove.

Unhappy and abandoned,

I have no one to console me,

the man I loved so much flees from me,

cruel and faithless.

 

Of You  (World Premiere)   [Text: e e cummings]   IAIN BELL

in the rain

in the rain-

darkness,     the sunset

being sheathed i sit and

think of you

 

the holy

city which is your face

your little cheeks the streets

of smiles

 

your eyes half-

thrush

half-angel and your drowsy

lips where float flowers of kiss

 

and

there is the sweet shy pirouette

your hair

and then

 

your dancesong

soul.     rarely-beloved

a single star is

uttered,and i

 

think

of you

 

your little voice

your little voice

Over the wires came leaping

and i felt suddenly

dizzy

With the jostling and shouting of merry flowers

wee skipping high-heeled flames

courtesied before my eyes

or twinkling over to my side

Looked up

with impertinently exquisite faces

floating hands were laid upon me

I was whirled and tossed into delicious dancing

up

Up

with the pale important

stars and the Humorous

moon

dear girl

How i was crazy how i cried when i heard

over time

and tide and death

leaping

Sweetly

your voice

 

Lady, i will touch you with my mind

Lady, i will touch you with my mind.

touch you and touch and touch

until you give

me suddenly a smile, shyly obscene

 

(lady i will

touch you with my mind.) Touch

you,that is all,

 

lightly and you utterly will become

with infinite care

 

the poem which i do not write.

 

my naked lady framed

my naked lady framed

in twilight is an accident

 

whose niceness betters easily the intent

of genius—

painting wholly feels ashamed

before this music,and poetry cannot

go near because perfectly fearful.

 

meanwhile these speak her wonderful

But i(having in my arms caught

 

the picture) hurry it slowly

 

to my mouth,taste the accurate demure

ferocious

rhythm of

precise

laziness. Eat the price

 

of an imaginable gesture

 

exact warm unholy

 

i like my body when it is with your

i like my body when it is with your

body. It is so quite new a thing.

Muscles better and nerves more.

i like your body. i like what it does,

i like its hows. i like to feel the spine

of your body and its bones,and the trembling

-firm-smooth ness and which i will

again and again and again

kiss, i like kissing this and that of you,

i like, slowly stroking the,shocking fuzz

of your electric furr,and what-is-it comes

over parting flesh….And eyes big love-crumbs,

 

and possibly i like the thrill

 

of under me you so quite new

 

consider O

consider O

woman this

my body.

for it has

 

lain

with empty arms

upon the giddy hills

to dream of you,

 

approve these

firm unsated

eyes

which have beheld

 

night’s speechless carnival

the painting

of the dark

with meteors

 

streaming from playful

immortal hands

the bursting

of the wafted stars

 

(in time to come you shall

remember of this night amazing

ecstasies     slowly,

in the glutted

 

heart fleet

flowerterrible

memories

shall

 

rise,slowly

return upon the

red elected lips

scaleless visions)

 

Three Songs from “Love After 1950”  [Text: Rita Dove]  LIBBY LARSEN

Boy’s lips (a blues)

In the water-heavy nights behind grandmother’s porch

we knelt in the tickling grasses and whispered:

Linda’s face hung before us pale as a pecan

and it grew wise as she said:

“A boy’s lips are soft as baby’s skin,”

Mmm, soft as baby’s skin…

 

The air closed over her words.

A firefly whirred near my ear,

And in the distance I could hear the

streetlamps ping into miniature suns

against a feath’ry sky.

 

Big sister says, 1967 (a honky-tonk).  [Text: Kathryn Daniels]

Beauty hurts, big sister says, beauty hurts.

Yanking a hank of my lanky hair around black wire-mesh rollers

whose inside bristles prick my scalp like so many pins.

Beauty hurts! Big sister says, beauty hurts.

She says I better sleep with them in.

She plucks, tweezes, glides razor blades over tender armpit skin,

slathers downy legs with stinking depilatory cream,

presses straight lashes bolt upright with a medieval-looking padded clamp…

looking good hurts.

Looking good hurts, Beryl warns, it’s hard work.

She plucks, tweezes, glides razor blades over tender armpit skin,

She plucks, tweezes, presses straight lashes bolt upright.

Beauty hurts! Looking good hurts!

Rollers, tweezers, razor blades, oh, beauty hurts.

 

The empty song (a tango).  [Text: Liz Lochead]

Today saw the last of my Spanish shampoo.

Lasted an age now that sharing with you,

such a thing of the past is.

Giant Size. The brand was always a compromise.

My new one’s tailored exactly to my needs.

Non-spill. Protein-rich. Feeds Body,

Promises to solve my problem hair.

Ah, Sweetheart, these days it’s hard to care,

but oh, oh, insomniac moonlight,

how unhoneyed is my middle of the night.

I could see you far enough,

Beyond me how we’ll get back together.

Campsites in Spain, moonlight, heavy weather.

Today saw the end of my Spanish shampoo,

the end of my third month without you.

 

Chanson à boire, from Don Quichotte à Dulcinée (1932–33)   [Text: Paul Morand]   MAURICE RAVEL

Foin du bâtard, illustre Dame,

Qui pour me perdre à vos doux yeux,

Dit que l’amour et le vin vieux

Mettent en deuil mon coeur, mon âme!

 

Je bois à la joie!

La joie est le seul but

Où je vais droit . . .

Lorsque j’ai bu!

 

Foin du jaloux, brune maîtresse,

Qui geint, qui pleure et fait serment

D’être toujours ce pâle amant

Qui met de l’eau dans son ivresse!

 

Je bois à la joie!

La joie est le seul but

Où je vais droit . . .

Lorsque j’ai bu!

 

Drinking song (Translation*)

A fig for the bastard, illustrious Lady,

Who, to shame me in your sweet eyes,

Says that love and old wine

Will bring misery to my heart, my soul!

 

I drink to joy!

Joy is the one aim

To which I go straight . . .

When I am drunk!

 

A fig for the jealous fool, dark-haired mistress,

Who whines, who weeps and vows

Ever to be this pallid lover

Who waters the wine of his intoxication!

 

I drink to joy!

Joy is the one aim

To which I go straight . . .

When I am drunk!

 

Phidylé   [Text: Leconte de Lisle]   HENRI DUPARC

L’herbe est molle au sommeil sous les frais peupliers,

Aux pentes des sources moussues,

Qui, dans les prés en fleurs germant par mille issues,

Se perdent sous les noirs halliers.

 

Repose, ô Phidylé! Midi sur les feuillages

Rayonne, et t’invite au sommeil!

Par le trèfle et le thym, seules, en plain soleil

Chantent les abeilles volages;

 

Un chaud parfum circule aux détours des sentiers,

La rouge fleur des blés s’incline,

Et les oiseaux, rasant de l’aile la colline,

Cherchent l’ombre des églantiers.

 

Mais quand l’Astre, incliné sur sa courbe éclatante,

Verra ses ardeurs s’apaiser,

Que ton plus beau sourire et ton meilleur baiser

Me récompensent de l’attente!

 

Phidylé  (Translation*)

The grass is soft for sleeping under the fresh poplars,

On the slopes by the mossy springs,

Which in the flowery meadows arise in a thousand rills,

To be lost under dark thickets.

 

Rest, O Phidylé! the midday sun on the leaves

Is shining and invites you to sleep!

In the clover and the thyme, alone,

In full sunlight the hovering bees are humming;

 

A warm fragrance haunts the winding paths,

The red poppy of the cornfield droops,

And the birds, skimming the hill on the wing,

Seek the shade of the sweet briar.

 

But when the sun, sinking lower on its resplendent orbit,

Finds its fire abated,

Let your loveliest smile and your most ardent kiss

Eeward me for my waiting!

 

Cäcilie, Op. 27, No. 2   [Text: Heinrich Hart]  RICHARD STRAUSS

Wenn du es wüßtest,

Was träumen heißt von brennenden Küssen,

Von Wandern und Ruhen mit der Geliebten,

Aug in Auge,

Und kosend und plaudernd,

Wenn du es wüßtest,

Du neigtest dein Herz!

 

Wenn du es wüßtest,

Was bangen heißt in einsamen Nächten,

Umschauert vom Sturm, da niemand tröstet

Milden Mundes die kampfmüde Seele,

Wenn du es wüßtest,

Du kämest zu mir.

 

Wenn du es wüßtest,

Was leben heißt, umhaucht von der Gottheit

Weltschaffendem Atem,

Zu schweben empor, lichtgetragen,

Zu seligen Höhen,

Wenn du es wüßtest,

Du lebtest mit mir!

 

Cecily  (Translation*)

If you knew

What it is to dream of burning kisses,

Of wandering and resting with one’s love,

Gazing at each other,

And caressing and talking,

If you knew,

You would incline your heart!

 

If you knew

What fear is on lonely nights,

As the storm rages, when no one comforts

With soft voice the struggle-weary soul,

If you knew,

You would come to me.

 

If you knew

What it is to live enveloped in God’s

World-creating breath,

To float upwards, borne on light,

To blissful heights,

If you knew,

You would live with me!

  *Translations 1976 George Bird and Richard Stokes