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CD121   Echo in My Soul



Echo in My Soul

Northwest Girlchoir & Friends
Rebecca J. Rottsolk, Artistic Director

  • Complete texts
  • 72'28" total playing time


Permanently Out of Print


  The Place of the Blest
1. Carol of the Rose
2. The Pelican
3. The Place of the Blest
4. Alleluia, Amen
5. Agnus Dei from Missa Brevis in C minor
6. Vestigia
RENÉ CLAUSEN (b. 1951)
7. All That Hath Life and Breath
SIR EDWARD ELGAR (1857-1934)
8. The Snow, Opus 26, No. 1
9. Dirait-on from Chansons des Roses
10. Rise Up, My Love, My Fair One
  By George! A Medley of Love Songs by George and Ira Gershwin
11. Love Walked In
I've got a Crush on You
But Not for Me
The Man I Love
A Foggy Day (in London Town)
Our Love Is Here to Stay

Listen Listen:

“Carol of the Rose” from The Place of the Blest by Randall Thompson


The singing on this disc is impressive in every way, from technique to tone to interpretation. This is the most moving CD to come my way this year. Comparisons withthe uncannily talented Tapiola Choir do not place the Northwest Girlchoir at a disadvantage. ...a nearly flawless listening experience.
  --Raymond Tuttle, Fanfare, July/August 2000


Randall Thompson (1899-1984): The Place of the Blest
Cantata for Treble Voices and Chamber Orchestra performed by the Amore Choir in honor of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Randall Thompson.

With a long and distinguished career of more than sixty years, Randall Thompson has frequently been called the "dean of American choral composers." He is credited with developing an American school of choral music composition, characterized by direct expression, clean sonorities and sophisticated voice-leading (the individual parts "sing" extraordinarily well) and harmonic structures. His particular style is known for its simultaneous use of traditional practices, such as sixteenth-century counter point, along with twentieth century techniques evidenced by harmonic freedom and frequently complicated pitch structures.

1999 not only marks the 100th anniversary of Randall Thompson's birth, but also the 30th anniversary of the first performance of The Place of the Blest. It was commissioned by St. Thomas Church, New York City, for the 50th anniversary of the founding of St. Thomas Choir School. It's four movements use texts typical of Thompson - two poems by Robert Herrick (1591-1674), an excerpt from a 12th century bestiary, and an extended meditation for his favorite word, "Alleluia." The scope and beauty of this work make The Place of the Blest the cornerstone of the American treble choir repertoire.

--Brian Fairbanks

1. Carol of the Rose
   (To his Saviour, a child; a present, by a child)
Go pretty child, and beat this flower
Unto thy little Saviour;
And tell him, by that bud now blown,
He is the Rose of Sharon known;
When thou hast said so, stick it there
Upon his bib, or stomacher;
And tell him (for good handsel too)
That thou hast brought a whistle new,
Made of a clean, straight oaten reed,
To charm his cries (at time of need):
Tell him , for coral, thou hast none ,
But if thou hadst, he should have one;
But poor thou art, and known to be
Even as moniless as he.
Lastly, if thou canst win a kiss
From those melliflous lips of his,
Then never take a second one
To spoil the first impression.
                                               --Robert Herrick (1591-1674)

2. The Pelican
PELICANUS is the word for a certain breed of bird
    Who truly is a crane;
    Egypt is his domain.
    There are two kinds there-of;
    Near to the Nile they live;
    One of them dwells in the flood, the fishes are his food;
    The other lives in the isles on lizards, crocodiles,
    Serpents and stinking creatures, and beasts of evil nature.
In Greek his title was Onocrotalos, which is longum rostrum,
    Said in the Latin tongue instead,
    Or long break in our own.
Of this bird it is known that when he comes to his young,
    They being grown and strong,
    And does them kindly things,
    And covers them with his wings.
The little birds begin fiercely to peck at him;
    They tear at him and try to blind their father's eye.
    He falls upon them then and stays them with great pain,
    Then goes away for a spell, leaving them where they fell.
On the third day he returns, and thereupon he mourns,
    Feeling so strong a woe to see the small birds so
    That he strikes his breast with his beak until the blood shall leak.
And when the coursing blood spatters his lifelelss brood,
    Such virtue does it have
    That once again they live.
Know that this pelican signifies Mary's Son:
    The little birds are men restored to life again by that dear blood
    Shed for us by our God.
Now learn one morning more, revealed by holy lore:
    Know why the small birds try to peck thie father's eye,
    Who turns on them in wrath and puts them all to death.
Men who deny the light would blind God's blazing sight,
    But on such people all His punishment will fall.
    This is the meaning I find:
    Now bear it well in mind.
             -- from an Anglo-Norman Bestiary of 1120 by Philippe de Thaun;
                this version from Things of this World by Richard Wilbur

3. The Place of the Blest
In this world (the isle of Dreams)
    While we sit by sorrow streams,
    Tears and terrors are our themes Reciting:
    But when once from hence we fly, more and more apporaching nigh
    Unto young eternity Uniting:
In that whiter island, where things are evermore sincincere:
    Candor here and lustre there Delighting:
    There no monstrous fancies shall out of hell and horror call,
    To create (or cause at all) Affrighting.
There in calm and cooling sleep we our eyes shall never steep;
    But eternal watch shall keep Attending,
    Pleasures, such as shall pursue me immotalized, and you;
    And fresh joys, as never to Have ending.
                                                                    --Robert Herrick

4. Alleluia, Amen

Imant Raminsh (b. 1943): Agnus Dei from Missa Brevis in C Minor
Sung by the Amore Choir with soloist Clara Rottsolk and oboist Julienne Eby.

Imant Raminsh was born in 1943 in Latvia and came to Canada at age five. After completing his diploma in violin at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto (1962) and a Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Toronto (1966), he went on to post-graduate work at the Akademie Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. In 1968 Raminsh established the music department at the College of New Caledonia, and one year later founded the New Caledonia Chamber Orchestra, which later grew into the Prince George Symphony. As a composer he is the recipient of many commissions and his works have been performed worldwide. He was awarded the National Choral Award of the Association of Canadian Choral Conductors for his Magnificat in 1990, and his Veni, Sancte Spiritus in 1994.

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, grant us your peace. Amen.
                                                                        --from the Ordinary of the Mass

Sung by the Amore Choir with soloists Larisa Peters and Brandon Ortmeyer, violinist Tom Dziekonski, and cellist Virginia Dziekonski.

I took a day, I took a day to search for God and found him not.
But as I trod by rocky ledge through wooods untamed,
Just where one scarlet lily flamed,
I saw his footprint in the sod.

Then suddenly, all unaware, far off in deep shadows,
Where a solitary hermit thrush
Sung through the holy twilight hush
I heard his voice upon the air.

And even as I marvelled how God gives us heaven here and now,
In a stir of wind that hardly shook
The poplar leaves beside the brook
His hand was light upon my brow.

At last with evening as I turned homeward and through what I had learned
And all that there was still to probe
I caught the glory of his robe
Where the last fires of sunset burned.

Back to the world with quick'ning start I looked and longed for any part
In making, saving beauty be.
And from that kindling ecstacy I knew God dwelt,
I knew God dwelt within my heart.
                                                             --Bliss Carman

René Clausen (b. 1951), arr. Ronald R. Weiler II:
All That Hath Life and Breath, Praise Ye the Lord
Soloist: Elizabeth Frank

René Clausen, conductor of the Concordia Choir at Concordia college, Moorhead, Minnesota, is a graduate of St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. He holds both the Master's degree and the Doctorate in choral conducting from the University of Illinois. Although best known as a choral conductor and composer of choral music, he also has composed video soundtracks, instrumental works, and solo vocal music, and maintains a strong interest in music for the stage.

All that hath life and breath, praise ye the Lord,
Shout to the Lord, Alleluia.
Praise the Lord with joyful song,
Sing to the Lord with Thanksgiving, Alleluia!
Unto Thee, O Lord, have I made supplication,
And cried unto the rock of my salvation;
But thou hast heard my voice, and renewed my weary spirit.
Praise to the Lord,the Almighty, the king of creation.
oh my soul praise Him for he is thy health and salvation.
Praise him, Alleluia!
                            --Text adapted from portions of Psalms 61, 62, 150
                               and a portion of the hymn Lobe den Herren by Joachim Neander

Sir Edward Elgar (1857 - 1934): The Snow, Opus 26, No. 1
Sung by the Amore Choir with violinists Tom Dziekonski and Kyung Sun Tchee

O Snow, which sinks so light,
Brown earth is hid from sight,
O Soul, be thou as white as snow.

O snow, which falls so slow
Dear earth, quite warm below;
O heart, so keep thy glow,
Beneath the snow.

O snow, in thy soft grave
Sad flowers the winter brave;
O heart, so soothe and save, as does the snow.

The snow must melt, must go,
Fast, fast as water flow.
Not thus, my soul, o sow
Thy gifts to fade like snow.

O snow, thou'rt white no more,
Thy sparkling, too, is o'er;
O soul, be as before was bright the snow.

Then as the snow all pure,
O heart be, but endure;
Thro' all the years full sure,
Not as the snow, not as the snow.
                                               --C. Alice Elgar

Morten Lauridsen (b. 1943): Dirait-on from les Chansons des Roses
Sung by the Ensemble and Alumnae in English



Abandon entouré d'abandon,
tendresse touchant aux tendresses...
C'est ton intérieur ui sans cesses
se caresse, dirait-on;

se caresse ensoi-même,
par son prope reflet éclaire.
Ainsi tu inventes le thême
du Narcisse exauce.
                          --Rainer Marie Rilke

Abandon surrounding abandon,
tenderness touching tenderness,,,
your oneness endlessly
caresses itself, so they say;

through its own clear reflection.
Thus you invent the theme
of Narcissus fulfilled.
                      --trans. Barbara and Erica Muhl

Imant Raminsh: Rise Up, My Love, My Fair One
Sung by the Ensemble and Alumnae

Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.
For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone.
Flowers appear on the earth.
The time of the singing of birds has come,
And the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.

O my love, who are in the clefts of the rock,
In the secret places of the shores.
Let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice.
For sweet is thy voice and thy countenance is lovely.
Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.
                                            --from The Song of Solomon

George (1898-1937) and Ira (1896-1983) Gershwin:
By George! A Medley of Love Songs
Arranged for the Northwest Girlchoir by Daniel Barry in celebration of the 100th anniversary of George Gershwin's birth.

1. Love Walked In
2. I've Got a Crush on You
3. Soon (Soloist: Larisa Peters)
4. But Not for Me (Sung by 1999 Seniors: Liz West, Mari Scanlon, Julia Buchans, Teresa Cartwright, Sarah Morris, Jane Bush.)
5. The Man I Love (Soloist: Kristen Bergsagel)
6. A Foggy Day (in London Town) (Soloist: Claire Wilmoth)
7. Our Love is Here to Stay

Daniel Barry arranged By George! A Medley of Love Songs by George and Ira Gershwin especially for the Northwest Girlchoir. It is a continuing exploration of the many moods of love, from the first exhileration of infatuation, through the inevitable despair of heartbreak and betrayal, to the final rediscovery of a true and lasting love. Moods are suggested and underlined by the orchestration, the shape of the vocal parts, even the density of the harmonic material. The universality of Gershwin's music is demonstrated by the many styles Barry employs. From ballad to swing to rhumba, even the inimitable Andrews Sisters get a nod.

Mr. Barry holds the MA and PhD degrees in music composition from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He currently works as a composer, arranger, performer, educator and publisher. His compositions include orchestral, choral, electoronic and chamber works, and he operates two companies that are very active in jazz ensemble repertoire. He is a faculty member of Music Works Northwest. He directs the Latin jazz ensemble "Red fish blue fish," and gigs as a free-lance trumpet player, adjudicator and clinician.

Rebecca J. Rottsolk
Northwest Girlchoir's national and international prominence is due in large part to Artisiic Director Rebecca Rottsolk, an accomplished soprano and respected music educator and conductor. Since 1982 Ms. Rottsolk and her colleagues have built a national model for performance-based music education - a choir where young women learn great music by singing and then sharing it in high-caliber performances. Ms. Rottsolk received the Bachelor of Music degree in vocal perforamance from St. Olaf College, continued vocal study at the University of Washington and received her master's degree from Pacific Lutheran University. She is the 1997 recipeint of the Washington State American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) Award for Choral leadership, and she is the national chair for children's choirs for the ACDA. Ms. Rottsolk also is director of choirs at Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church in suburban Seattle.

Dwight Beckmeyer
Dwight Beckmeyer, accompanist for the Choir, is a doctoral candidate in piano performance at the University of Washington and is in demand as a soloist and a chamber musician in concerts throughout the Pacific Northwest. Also comfortable in popular styles of music, Mr. Beckmeyer is founder and keyboardist of the atonal rock group, "minus(minus)." He is also a respected teacher of piano. His remarkable talents allow the choir to perform repertoire ranging from classical to jazz.

Northwest Girlchoir
From Figi to Finland, Benaroya Hall to Brazil, Northwest Girlchoir has been providing heartfelt, professional-quality choral music performances to local, national, and international audiences for over 26 years. It sets its sights high.

Northwest Girlchoir teaches and encourages young women ages 8-18 to use their voices to their best ability and to perform with award-winning style and skill. It nurtures a love of music in a fun and stimulating choral atmosphere. Most importantly, it builds each girl's self-esteem and confidence individually within a caring, dedicated, professional choral community. It is that community formed around the unique talents of each child, that is the heart of the Northwest Girlchoir. The choir has performed around the world, bringing home numerous presitigious awards and mountains of praise. "These young women possess a great depth of understanding and complexity rare in children's choirs," says Seattle Symphony conductor Gerard Schwartz.

Performing on this recording are 60 singers form the 1998-99 Amore Choir. On two selections, the 18-voice Ensemble from Amore choir is joined by five alumnae.

Orchestra (* denotes solo woodwinds in
                            The Place of the Blest
Violin I Tom Dziekonski
Kyung Sun Tchee
Violin II Aaron Radner
Jennifer Sokol
Viola Andrea Schuller
Heather Bentley
Cello Virginia Dziekonski
Rajan Krishnaswami
Bass Ben Musa
Flute Zart Dombourian-Eby*
Clara Rottsolk
Oboe John DeJarnett*
Juianne Eby
Clarinet Denise Lum*
Kim Fay
Bassoon Paul Rafanelli*
Genevieve King
Harp Alison Austin
Horn Roger Burnett
Scott Wislon
Peter Moore
Jacob Hoffman
Trumpet Rick Pressley
Jesse Lewis
Steve Mostrovoy
Trombone Peter Ellefson
Stan Jeffs
Wade Demmert
Richard Reed
Alto Sax Dewey Marler
Percussion Ron Johnson
Chris Monroe
Nanda Trimis
Guitar Greg Fulton
Bass Dave Pascal
Amore Choir (* denotes Ensemble)
Andrea Arntsen-Harris
Diana Austin
Clara Berg
Kristin Bergsagel
Sheryl Bolin
Maggee Bond
Chioke Borgelt-Mose
Kathryn Brooks*
Julia Buchans*
Emily Bucy
Elizabeth Bukey
Kim Burgess
Rivka Burstein-Stern
Alex Bush
Jane Bush*
Teresa Cartwright*
megan Casey
Samantha Casne
Claire Chirot
Kate daniels
Emmy Davison
Alicia Drucker
Katie Duncan
Elektra Durkee
Renee Easter
Julienne Eby
Rachel Engirssei
Esther Faris
Liz Frank
Jon Gibson
Ali Giesbers
Sarah Goldenkranz
Amanda Goll
Christina Good
Lauren Graf*
Melissa Guthrie
Carrie Hankerson
Lauren Hoffman
Keren Holt
Megan Houglum
Brittney Irby
Courtney Jensen
Mary Ellen Johnson
Mona Johnston*
Laura Keane
Kristin Kinder
Jessica Klein
Christal Lee
Margaux LeSound
Monica Lewis
Catherine Li
Jocelyn Lippert
Carlyn Lofgreen
Claire Lukens*
Elizabeth Main*
Ashley McBride
Maria McLaughlin
Sarah McNair
Eerica Meurk
Elizabeth Morbeck
Sarah Morris*
Megan Mount
Brandon Ortmeyer*
Megan Peabody
Stephanie pederson
Larisa peters*
Abby Porter
Stephanie Preston
Katie Raschko*
Lily Rehrmann*
Jane Repass
Elizabeth Robinson
Xoria Rordame
Shama Samant
Julia Sarewitz
Mari Scanlon*
Kristin Seymour
Sally Showman
Emily Skadan
Ginna Smith-Bronstein
Rachel Storkel
Emma Summer
Ann Sweeney
Elise Tanimoto
Katie Thorpe
April Tomlinson
Ava Trenga-Schein
Katherine Tucker
lauren Vane
Marcy Waldman
Lindy West*
Liz West*
Frannie Wheeler
Claire Wilmoth*
Gemma Wilson*
Angela Wood
Alumnae (tracks 9 & 10)
Clara Rottsolk
Ari Stevens
Gina Aramburu
Anna Rooning
Leah Counts

Northwest Girlchoir
6208 - 60th Avenue NE, Seattle Washington 98115-7944

Administrative Staff
Anne S. Blair, Managing Director
Leona Troese, Bookkeeper
Barbara Vane, Tour/Concert Manager
Townley Simons, Uniform/Box Office Manager
Shirley Weisgerber, Family & Volunteer Coordinator