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Knoxville: Summer of 1915 Op 24 by Samuel Barber
Greer Lyle, Soprano JJ Penna, Piano Recital at Yale University, Sprague Morse Recital Hall, April 20th, 2022 Music by Samuel Barber Text by James Agee: We are talking now of summer evenings in Knoxville Tennessee in the time that I lived there so successfully disguised to myself as a child. ...It has become that time of evening when people sit on their porches, rocking gently and talking gently and watching the street and the standing up into their sphere of possession of the trees, of birds’ hung havens, hangars. People go by; things go by. A horse, drawing a buggy, breaking his hollow iron music on the asphalt: a loud auto: a quiet auto: people in pairs, not in a hurry, scuffling, switching their weight of aestival body, talking casually, the taste hovering over them of vanilla, strawberry, pasteboard, and starched milk, the image upon them of lovers and horsemen, squaring with clowns in hueless amber. A streetcar raising its iron moan; stopping; belling and starting, stertorous; rousing and raising again its iron increasing moan and swimming its gold windows and straw seats on past and past and past, the bleak spark crackling and cursing above it like a small malignant spirit set to dog its tracks; the iron whine rises on rising speed; still risen, faints; halts; the faint stinging bell; rises again, still fainter; fainting, lifting, lifts, faints foregone: forgotten. Now is the night one blue dew. Now is the night one blue dew, my father has drained, he has coiled the hose. Low in the length of lawns, a frailing of fire who breathes... Parents on porches: rock and rock. From damp strings morning glories hang their ancient faces. The dry and exalted noise of the locusts from all the air at once enchants my eardrums. On the rough wet grass of the back yard my father and mother have spread quilts. We all lie there, my mother, my father, my uncle, my aunt, and I too am lying there.…They are not talking much, and the talk is quiet, of nothing in particular, of nothing at all in particular, of nothing at all. The stars are wide and alive, they seem each like a smile of great sweetness, and they seem very near. All my people are larger bodies than mine,...with voices gentle and meaningless like the voices of sleeping birds. One is an artist, he is living at home. One is a musician, she is living at home. One is my mother who is good to me. One is my father who is good to me. By some chance, here they are, all on this earth; and who shall ever tell the sorrow of being on this earth, lying, on quilts, on the grass, in a summer evening, among the sounds of the night. May God bless my people, my uncle, my aunt, my mother, my good father, oh, remember them kindly in their time of trouble; and in the hour of their taking away. After a little I am taken in and put to bed. Sleep, soft smiling, draws me unto her: and those receive me, who quietly treat me, as one familiar and well-beloved in that home: but will not, oh, will not, not now, not ever; but will not ever tell me who I am. *I do not own the rights to this music*
Korngold: Drei Lieder, Op. 22, I. Was du mir bist?
Greer Lyle, Soprano JJ Penna, Piano Recital at Yale University in Sprague Morse Recital Hall, April 22nd, 2022 Music by Erich Wolfgang Korngold Text by Eleonore van der Straaten: Was du mir bist? Der Ausblick in ein schönes Land, Wo fruchtbelad’ne Bäume ragen, Blumen blühn’ am Quellenrand. Was du mir bist? Der Stern’ Funkeln, das Gewölk durchbricht, Der ferne Lichtstrahl, der im Dunkeln spricht: O Wand’rer, verzage nicht! Und war mein Leben auch Entsagen, glänzte mir kein froh Geschick, was dur mir bist? Kannst du noch fragen? Was du mir bist: mein Glaube an das Glück. Translation by Uri Liebrecht: What you are to me? The sight of land, A stand of fruit-laden trees, Flowers in bloom at the water’s edge. What you are to me? The sparkle of stars that breaks through the cloud, The distant ray of light that through the darkness says: Traveller, don’t lose heart! And even if my life was one of resignation, Where no good fortune came my way, What you are to me? Need you ask? What you are to me: my faith in happiness. *I do not own the rights to this music*
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