MP3 Deborah Kilmer - Spring and Fall: Compositions by Deborah Kilmer
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11 MP3 Songs in this album (30:31) !
Related styles: Classical: Contemporary, Avant Garde: Classical Avant-Garde, Type: Live Recordings
People who are interested in Béla Bartók Benjamin Britten Francis Poulenc should consider this download.
· · · · Of her music, Deborah Kilmer says: "Think of Renaissance melodic structure combined with Poulencâs harmony. Add flexible meter, with prevalent use of 5/8 and 7/8. Add a touch of Appalachian folk idiom, a sense of humor, and an ear for language, and youâve got it."
_Spring and Fall_
Notes on the Texts
by Deborah Kilmer
· · · · This piece got its name from its playful rhythmic patterns, and from the spicy opening theme, which combines a variety of articulation styles: some notes are smoothly connected, some short and sharp, some stressed and lengthened, but unconnected, in the voice played by the right hand, with a left hand accompaniment that uses parallel sevenths.
The opening theme is angular: rather than using scale patterns, the lines zig-zag; the articulation is mostly non-legato, or disconnected, and the meter is irregular and asymmetric (predominantly 7/8). By contrast, the B and C sections use smooth, running sixteenth-note patterns in 6/8 and 4/4, respectively.
"A Quiet Stream"
· · · · This piece is more meditative. It begins peacefully, with a single-voice statement of the theme in the left hand. The theme is then repeated with an accompanying melody in the right hand. Note the complexity of the three rhythmically independent voices in the B section. The closing section reprises the opening theme, now heard in the top voice, with two accompanying voices in the left hand.
"Never Weather-beaten Saile" From the First Booke of Ayres, XL, Thomas Campion
· · · · I have sung two wonderful settings of this text, one of which is by Sir Hubert Parry. I chose the text because it expresses not only hope for the release from suffering we associate with death, but also confidence in the joys of Heaven. I'm sure others who suffer from chronic pain will understand the appeal. My setting emphasizes the hopeful aspects of this poem.
Never weather-beaten Saile more willing bent to shore,
Never tyred Pilgrims limbs affected slumber more,
Than my wearied spright now longs to flye out of my troubled brest:
O come quickly, sweetest Lord, and take my soul to rest.
Ever-blooming are the joys of Heav'ns high paradise,
Cold age deafes not there our eares, nor vapour dims our eyes:
Glory there the Sun outshines, whose beames the blessed onely see:
O come quickly, glorious Lord, and raise my spright to thee.
"Spring and Fall" Gerard Manley Hopkins
· · · · This is one of the first poems I learned by heart. My mother taught it to me and my classmates, I think in seventh grade, and I have always remembered her recital of it and her interpretation of it for the class. This also is a poem about death, but it is about loss in this case and does not touch on hope of an afterlife. In this setting, I use the repeated phrase "for Margaret" like a bell tolling, inspired by Samuel Barber's lament, "Anthony O'Daley," from "Reincarnations."
to a young child
Márgarét, áre you gríeving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leáves, líke the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Áh! ás the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you wíll weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sórrow's spríngs áre the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What héart héard of, ghóst guéssed:
It ís the blíght mán was bórn for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.
"One Day" John Ciardi (Text © John L. Ciardi)
· · · · I had heard some wonderful settings of children's poems by John Ciardi, set for children's choir, and wanted to try my hand. I love the excitement and drama in this text, as well as the humor. Eric Plutz does a wonderful job playing the running sixteenth note passages that accompany the phrase "I ran, oh I ran!" as the child tries to escape the downpour of a rain storm. My setting of this text reminds me of the songs of Donald Swann that I listened to as a child.
I lay in the grass and looked at the sky.
My, how the clouds were running by!
They were big as a house! They were big as a hill!
But they all ran by as still as still.
The wind blew into the biggest cloud,
The cloud grew black. The cloud grew loud.
The cloud lit up with a mile-long flash.
Then all the top of the sky went CRASH!
And then with a hiss as loud as a jet
The water came down like strings of wet.
Did I say strings? It was more like rocks!
It filled my shoes! It wet my socks!
I ran for home.
The whole cloud shook
With a crash-bang-bang, and a big bright hook
Ripped out from the sky.
And then a brook
Began to run from the end of my nose
To my chin, to my neck, right down to my toes.
I ran and I ran but I couldn't begin
To run as fast as my nose and chin.
I ran. Oh, I ran! And I forget
When I got home. But I know how wet!
"What Night Would it Be" John Ciardi (Text © John L. Ciardi)
· · · · I really had fun making this setting spooky!
If the moon shines
On the black pines
And an owl flies
And a ghost cries
And the hairs rise
On the back,
· · · · on the back,
· · · · · · · · · · · on the back of your neck -
If you look quick
At the moon-slick
On the black air
And what goes there
Rides a broomstick
And if things pick
At the back
· · · · at the back
· · · · · · · · at the back of your neck -
Would you know then
By the small men
With the lit grins
And with no chins,
By the owl's hoo,
And the ghost's boo,
By the Tom Cat,
And the Black Bat,
On the night air,
And the thing there,
By the thing,
· · · · by the thing,
· · · · · · · · by the dark thing there.
(Yes, you do,
· · · · yes, you do
· · · · · · · · know the thing I mean)
That it's now,
· · · · that it's now,
· · · · · · · · that it's - Halloween!
"At Play: Variations"
· · · · This piece is playful in a boisterous way, not a "fairies among the daisies" way. It is one of the few pieces I have written primarily in a major mode. The two variations which are the exceptions are both in minor and are soulful in mood. The last variations return to the original playful spirit, and the piece ends with a bang.
"Piano Reflections #3"
· · · · This is one of my favorite compositions. An inner voice appears and disappears in the opening theme, as in some of the piano works of Robert Schumann. The B section of this piece is entirely homophonic, or chordal, in contrast to the more polyphonic opening and closing sections.
"Song" Christina Rossetti
· · · · This poem begins quite innocently, as a love song, but ends with an illusion to death; "And never give a thought to night." I wrote it this year as a companion to the other Rossetti poem in this group, "A Birthday." Notice the musical quote from the Passion Chorale "O Sacred Head" heard first in the soprano and then in the tenor to accompany the last line of text. (This chorale tune was composed by Hans Leo Hassler but is particularly known in its incarnation in Bach's "St. Matthew's Passion.")
Two doves upon the selfsame branch,
Two lilies on a single stem,
Two butterflies upon one flower:
O happy they who look on them!
Who look upon them hand in hand
Flushed in the rosy summer light;
Who look upon them hand in hand
And never give a thought to night.
"A Birthday" Christina Rossetti
· · · · I love the imagery in this exuberant love poem. It particularly lends itself to the madrigal style I have chosen for this setting. It makes a good foil to the texts of the other choral settings, all of which allude to death. The choir captured the dance-like quality of this setting.
My heart is like a singing bird
Whose nest is in a watered shoot:
My heart is like an apple tree
Whose boughs are bent with thick-set fruit:
My heart is like a rainbow shell
That paddles in a halcyon sea;
My heart is gladder than all these
Because my love is come to me.
Raise me a dais of silk and down
Hang it with vair and purple dyes:
Carve it with doves, and pomegranates,
And peacocks with a hundred eyes:
Work it in gold and silver grapes,
In leaves and silver fleur-de-Lys
Because the birthday of my life
Is come, my love is come to me.
"When our Listless Spirits Pine: A Round in Three Voices" Deborah Kilmer
When our listless spirits pine;
When our longing knows no bounds;
Music is food divine,
Solace sweet, and joy profound.
Here let our songs entwine
As we join to sing this round.
Music and text © 2010 Deborah Kilmer
Permission is given for up to 100 unbound copies for non-profit use. All other rights reserved.
About the Artists
· · · · Deborah Kilmer did her undergraduate studies at Oberlin College, where she studied piano with Beryl A. Ladd and choral conducting with Daniel Moe. She received her master's in choral conducting from Westminster Choir College, where she studied conducting with Janet Davis and Joseph Flummerfelt and voice with Anne Ackley Gray. After graduating, she studied composition with Laurie Altman. She is a member of the Westminster Community Choir and the Community Chamber Choir.
· · · · Deborah has had music performed by the choirs of Trinity Episcopal Church, Princeton, and by the Community Chamber Choir (Westminster). She is a proud mother and grandmother. Magdalen Kadel is one of her four children.
· · · · Eric Plutz is University Organist at Princeton University, where his responsibilities include playing for weekly services at the chapel, official university services, and solo concerts and accompanying the Chapel Choirin services and concerts. In addition, Eric is rehearsal accompanist for the Westminster Symphonic Choir at Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton, NJ. Acclaimed as "an impressive organist" by Donald Metz, writing for American Record Guide, Eric has two CD recordings to his credit, both on the Pro Organo label: Music Héroïque and Carnival. As an organ concert soloist, Eric has concertized across the United States and abroad, including Salzburg, Austria ( Franziskanerkirche), Philadelphia (Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center, the Wanamaker Organ at Macy's, Center City), New York City (Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, Cathedral of St. John the Divine), Washington, DC (Washington National Cathedral), San Francisco (Grace Cathedral), and West Point, NY (Cadet Chapel at the United States Military Academy). He was a featured artist at the 2007 Regional Convention for the American Guild of Organists in Baltimore, MD, and was a featured performer for the 2007 American Handel Society Conference. At the 2010 National AGO Convention in Washington, DC, Eric performed twice, in collaboration with two local groups.
· · · · Recent performances include a Verizon Hall appearance under the baton of Helmuth Rilling, and both a tape-delay solo concert and a live broadcast of an all-Bach concert on WWFM, the Classical Network. In addition, his playing has been broadcast on NPR's Pipedreams and Philadelphia-based public radio station WRTI's Wanamaker Organ Hour.
· · · · G.G. Armstrong (alto), a graduate of Berklee College of Music with a degree in film scoring, has scored many industrial films and student films and was honored with a "Best Music Score by a Guest Composer" in the NYUfilm festival, 1991. Cable network Arts & Entertainment has given many television airings of another NYU award-winning film, Rest Stop, scored by Ms. Armstrong. Recently, she has taught music to children ages five to eight, and currently, G.G. plays conga drums and piano with the Dance Improv group,which has been performing in Princeton monthly for the past 25 years. Residing in Hopewell, NJ, with her husband and daughter, she has been a member of the Westminster Community Choir for the past 6 years.
· · · · Mary J. Ferguson has been singing in church choirs almost all of her life, as well as taking part in various local theater productions. She began formal voice training under the instruction of James McKeever at Westminster Choir College. Recently, she has studied with Devin Mariman, also of the Choir College. She has been a soloist at the Westminster Presbyterian Church, Upper St. Clair, PA, and the choir of the Presbyterian Church of Lawrenceville, where she performed solos in Britten's Ceremony of Carols, Respighi' s Laud to the Nativity, and Gabriel Fauré's Requiem. She has been a participant in the Westminster Community Choir and the Community Chamber Choir for eight years, performing solos at several concerts.
· · · · Christopher Hodson holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Vocal Music from Western Michigan University and is finishing a graduate degree in vocal performance/pedagogy at Westminster Choir College. His operatic roles include Chevalier de la Force in Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmelites, Azael in Debussy's L'enfant Prodigue, the title role in Bizet's Le Docteur Miracle, Frederick in Gilbert and Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance, and Fenton in Verdi's Falstaff. In addition to his opera experience Chris has appeared as a soloist in Mozart's Requiem, Arvo Pärt's Passio with the Michigan Bach Collegium, and Howells' Requiem.
· · · · Christopher's voice teachers have included Dr. David Little, Dr. Joe Miller, and Dr. Carl Ratner. He is studying with Dr. Christopher Arneson.
· · · · Magdalen Kadel sang for many years in the Girls' Choir and in the Choir of Men and Boys at Trinity Episcopal Church, Princeton, where she served as head girl under the direction of John Bertalot. She received her bachelor's degree from Indiana University, where she was enrolled in the Institute for Early Music, studying voice with Paul Elliott. She has had singing engagements with the New York-based contemporary music group Alarm Will Sound. She is studying voice with Barbara Honn. She enjoys living in New York City, where she is soprano section leader at Holy Apostles' Episcopal Church, directed by David Hurd.
· · · · Jenny Sakano sang in the Concert Choir and Musical Union under Daniel Moe while at Oberlin College; with Alan Harler in Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia; and with Choral Arts Society of Washington, DC, under Norman Scribner. For the past year, Jenny has sung with Devin Mariman and the Westminster Community Choir.
Composer's Chamber Choir
Soprano: Lucy Fleming, Mary Ferguson, Magdalen Kadel
Alto: G.G. Armstrong, Elizabeth Brocka, Jenny Sakano
Tenor: Christopher Hodson
Bass: David Dunlap, Luc Peterson, Christian Punckt
Music © 2010 Deborah Kilmer
Texts of "One Day" and "What Night Would it Be" © John L. Ciardi
Text of "When our Listless Spirits Pine: A Round in Three Voices" © 2010 Deborah Kilmer
Photographs and Graphics © 2010 Miriam A. Kilmer
Recorded by Dave Pettit
Published by Rising Dove Fine Arts
4503 Hazeltine CT APT J, Alexandria, VA, 22312-3203
in partnership with CDbaby
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