May 24, 2017

Seven Songs (1999)

Purchase Score
(Click on title for lyrics/audio)

To Daffodils 1’15”
The Snail
2’50”
The Snowflake
1’12”
If You Were Coming In The Fall
3’19”
The Frost Pane
2’05”
I Never Saw A Moor
1’11”
Waiting
1’09”
(Recording: Erie Mills, soprano; Henry Mollicone, piano)

Song cycle for soprano and piano
Level: medium, 13’01″

Program Notes:

This group of songs is, to me, nostalgic – each song was dedicated a dear and special person. They were composed between 1986 1989, and revised in 1999 for publication.
The Seven Songs may be performed as a group, or separately (The final song, “Waiting”, seems to work well as a recital encore, and as such, was first performed by soprano Evelyn De La Rosa.).

—Henry Mollicone

To Daffodils
1’15”

Fair daffodils, we weep to see you haste away so soon:
As yet the early rising sun had not attained his noon.

Stay, stay, until the hast’ning day has run but to evensong:

We have short time to stay, as you, we have so short a spring:
As quick a growth to meet decay, as you, or anything:

We die as the hours do, and dry away, like to the summer’s rain:
Or as the pearls of morning’s dew, ne’er to be found again.

–Robert Herrick (1591–1674)

The Snail
2’50”

At sunset, when the night–dews fall,
Out of the ivy on the wall
With horns outstretched and pointed tail
Comes the grey and noiseless snail.
On ivy stems she clambers down,
Carrying her house of brown.
Safe in the dark, no greedy eye
Can her tender body spy.
While she herself, a hungry thief,
Searches out the freshest leaf.
She travels on as best she can
Like a toppling caravan.

–James Reeves (1909–1978)
Text © James Reeves, from COMPLETE POEMS FOR CHILDREN (Heinemann) by permission of the James Reeves Estate.

The Snowflake
1’12”

Before I melt,
Come, look at me!
This lovely icy filigree!
Of a great forest
In one night
I make a wilderness
Of white:
By skyey cold
Of crystals made,
All softly, on
Your finger laid,
I pause, that you
My beauty see:
Breathe; and I vanish
Instantly.

–Walter de la Mare (1873–1956)
Text used by permission of Walter de la Mare,
and the Society of Authors as their representatives.

If You Were Coming In The Fall
3’19”

If you were coming in the Fall,
I’d brush the Summer by
With half a smile, and half a spurn,
As Housewives do, a Fly.

If I could see you in a year,
I’d wind the months in balls –
And put them each in separate Drawers,
For fear the numbers fuse –

If only Centuries, delayed,
I’d count them on my Hand,
Subtracting, till my fingers dropped
Into Van Dieman’s Land.

If certain, when this life was out –
That yours and mine should be –
I’d toss it yonder, like a Rind,
And take Eternity –

But, now, uncertain of the length
Of this, that is between,
It goads me, like the Goblin Bee –
That will not state – its sting.

–Emily Dickinson (1830–1886)

The Frost Pane
2’05”

What’s the good of breathing
On the window
Pane
In summer?
You can’t make a frost
On the window pane
In summer.
You can’t write a
Nalphabet,
You can’t draw a
Nelephant;
You can’t make a smudge
With your nose
In summer.

Lots of good, breathing
On the window
Pane
In winter.
You can make a frost
On the window pane
In winter.
A white frost, a light frost,
A thick frost, a quick frost,
A write-me-out-a-picture-frost
Across the pane
In winter.

­–David McCord (1897–1997)
Text © David McCord
and used by permission of the David T. W. McCord Trust.

I Never Saw A Moor
1’11”

I never saw a moor,
I never saw the sea;
Yet know I how the heather looks,
And what a wave must be.

I never spoke with God,
Nor visited in heaven;
Yet certain am I of the spot
As if the chart were given.

­–Emily Dickinson (1830–1886)

Waiting
1’09”

Dreaming of honeycombs to share
With her small cubs, a mother bear
Sleeps in a snug and snowy lair.

Bees in their drowsy, drifted hive
Sip hoarded honey to survive
Until the flowers come alive.

Sleeping beneath the deep snow
Seeds of honeyed flowers know
When it is time to wake and grow.

­–Henry Behn (1898–1973)
Text © Henry Behn and used by permission of Marian Reiner, Literary Agent and the Estate of Alice Behn Goebel

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