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CD156   Bernard Rands: Canti Trilogy



Bernard Rands: Canti Trilogy

Douglas Ahlstedt, tenor
Lucy Shelton, soprano
Thomas Paul, bass
Boston Modern Orchestra Project
Gil Rose, conductor

  • Notes by Roger Marsh and Kathleen Cecilia Ginter
  • Complete texts and translations
  • 2 CDs: 94'12'' total time

CD156, Dual Disc Set, $15.95

Purchase from Canticle Distributing

CD1: CANTI DEL SOLE    27:27 CD1: CANTI LUNATICI     35:09
1. Mattina, Giuseppe Ungaretti 15. Ed è Subito Sera, Salvatore Quasimodo
2. The Dawn Verse, D.H. Lawrence 16. Simples, James Joyce
3. from The Masque of the Twelve
Anonymous, 12th C.
17. Welcome to the Moon,
      Anonymous, from the Gaelic
4. from Soleil et Chair, Arthur Rimbaud 18. La Luna Asoma, Frederico Garcia Lorca
5. Portami il girasole, Eugenio Montale 19. from Mondsand, Hans Arp
6. from Vision and Prayer, Dylan Thomas 20. The Moon, William Blake
7. Frutteto, Leonardo Sinisgalli 21. Romance de la Luna, Luna,
      Frederico Garcia Lorca
8. Futility, Wilfred Owen 22. from Mondsand, Hans Arp
9. September, Peter Hüchel 23. The Moon, Walt Whitman
10. November by the Sea, D.H. Lawrence 24. from The Moon and the
      Yew Tree,
Sylvia Plath
11. Fadensonnen, Paul Celan 25. from Mondsand, Hans Arp
12. Harmonie du Soir, Charles Beaudelaire 26. Amer au goût ce soir, Antoin Artaud
13. The Sunset Verse, D.H. Lawrence 27. Moonrise, Gerard Manley Hopkins
14. Ed è Subito Sera, Salvatore Quasimodo 28. The Waning Moon, Percy Blythe Shelley
  29. Finita è la Notte, Salvatore Quasimodo
1. from Cantico delle Creature, St. Francis of Assisi
2. An Eclipse, Pindar (translated from the Greek by C.M. Bowra)
3. La Révolution en Été, René Daumal
4. from Samson Agonistes, John Milton
5. from A Guglielmo Gonzaga, Torquato Tasso
6. Eclipse, Al-Ghassani (translated from the Arabic by A.J. Arberry)
7. Ed è Subito Sera, Salvatore Quasimodo
8. Eclipse, Emily Dickinson
9. A****, René Char
10. This Precipice Garden, James DePriest
11. from Arbol Adentro, Octavio Paz
12. Zeitgehoft, Paul Celan
13. The Eclipse, Henry Vaughan

Listen Listen:

"Futility" (Wilfrid Owen) & "September" (Peter Hüchel) from Canti del Sole by Bernard Rands


...This is music of sweeping ambition, brilliantly achieved, somewhat comparable to the vocal music of Sir Michael Tippitt. ...The transcendental is the most difficult state to achieve in art and here it is realised to something near perfection.
   --John Story, The Gramophone, April 2005

This is an interesting set that promises to reveal new subtleties with each hearing. It's given exemplary presentation here, with flawless singing and gorgeous sound.
  --Gimbel, American Record Guide, May/June 2005


Bernard Rands

Bernard RandsThrough more than a hundred published works and many recordings, Bernard Rands is established as a major figure in contemporary music. His work Canti del Sole, premiered by Paul Sperry, Zubin Mehta and the New York Philharmonic, won the 1984 Pulitzer Prize in Music. His large orchestral suites, Le Tambourin, won the 1986 Kennedy Center Friedheim Award.

Conductors including Barenboim, Boulez, Berio, Maderna, Marriner, Mehta, Muti, Ozawa, Rilling, Salonen, Sawallisch, Schiff, Schuller, Schwarz, Silverstein, Sinopoli, Slatkin, von Dohnanyi, and Zinman, among others, have programmed his music. Rands made a wonderful and dedicated contribution to the music of our time while he was Composer-in-Residence with the Philadelphia Orchestra for seven years, from 1989 to 1996. His first three years of residency were part of the Meet The Composer Residency Program, and four years were made possible by continued funding from the Philadelphia Orchestra. Rands's works are widely performed and frequently commercially recorded. His work, Canti d'Amor, recorded by Chanticleer, won a Grammy Award in 2000.

Born in England, Rands emigrated to the United States in 1975, becoming an American citizen in 1983. He has been honored by the American Academy and Institutes of the Arts and Letters, Broadcast Music, Inc., the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, Meet the Composer, and the Barlow, Fromm, Koussevitsky Foundation, among others.

Commissions have come from the Suntory concert hall in Tokyo, the New York Philharmonic, Carnegie Hall, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Cincinnati Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the BBC Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra,, the Internationale Bach Akademie, the Eastman Wind Ensemble, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Many chamber works have resulted from commissions by major ensembles and festivals around the world. His chamber opera, Belladonna, was commissioned by the Aspen Festival for its fiftieth anniversary in 1999.

A dedicated and passionate teacher, Rands has been a guest composer at many international festivals and Composer-in-Residence at the Aspen and Tanglewood Festivals. Rands is the Walter Bigelow Rosen Professor of Music at Harvard Univeristy where he teaches with distinction. The originality and distinctive character of his music have been variously described as "plangent lyricism" with a "dramatic intensity" and a "musicality and clarity of idea allied to a sophisticated and elegant technical mastery" - qualities developed from his studies with Dallapiccola and Berio.

Rands was inducted into the American Academy of Art and Letters in 2004.

Bernard Rands: Canti Trilogy
by Roger Marsh

The human voice, possibly the most subtle, complex, flexible, fragile, and persuasive carrier of musical ideas and meanings, has always been an inspiration for and influence upon my entire musical thinking. In the Canti Trilogy, liturgy texts (poetic virtuosity) interact with vocal and instrumental capacities (musical virtuosity) to create not a setting of words to music but a labyrinth of relationships and connections - sometimes simple, even elementary and clear; sometimes complex and mysterious.            --Bernard Rands

One of the most respected and successful composers working in the United States today, Bernard Rands has built up a catalogue of work reflecting a lifetime of engagement with modern musical and literary ideas. Symphony audiences around the world know him as a composer with an infallible ear for sonority and his prowess as an orchestral composer has been reflected in his seven-year association as Composer-in-Residence with the Philadelphia Orchestra and in the large number of commissions and performances by leading orchestras in many countries. Even more fundamental, however, to the composer's creative identity, is the part played by vocal music in his large and diverse output.

Works from the late 1960's and early 70's reflect Rands's evolving concern to convert linguistic properties into musical analogs, principally in a series of ballads: Ballad 1 exploring the vocal behavior found in a nightclub setting; Ballad 2 in a lieder recital; Ballad 3 in worship. Metalpsis 2 for solo mezzo-soprano, six amplified voices, and ensemble arranges texts from the requiem Mass, fragments from the sayings of Chairman Mao (in several languages) around a central text - "Hymn to Steel" - by the English writer John Wain.

By analyzing the linguistic elements of a text, Rands creates models for musical articulations, timbre, contour and dramatic polyphony. Crucial influences on his creative development have been the work of James Joyce and Samuel Beckett. An important early work, Wildtrack 2 for soprano and orchestra, includes passages from Finnegans Wake, and poems from Joyce's Chamber Music are the texts for the Montiverdian Canti d'Amour for chamber choir. Beckett's work is referred to or used as text in many of Rands's pieces, often flagged up by evocative titles: ...among the voices...; ...in the receding mist...; ...where the murmurs die...; ...body and shadow...; ...and the rain... Memo 2 for solo trombone, one of a series of solo pieces (now 10 in number) is almost a literal musical transcription of Beckett's late play Not I.

The real matter here, as in all of Rands's work, is the juxtaposition of small musical modules which are then constantly regrouped and recombined, so that each takes on a new meaning and function in the musical discourse as their language equivalents do in the work of Beckett. Over four decades Rands has refined and elaborated this process. The 2002 apokryphos - a 45-minute work for solo soprano, massive chorus, and orchestra on texts from several books of the Apocrypha and poems in German by exiled Jewish poets - demonstrates Rands's complete mastery of his means and methods.

Composed between 1980 and 1993, Canti Trilogy reflects Rands's wide literary concerns and a deep understanding of the 42 chosen texts in five languages (English, French, German, Italian and Spanish) which constitute the three cycles: Canti Lunatici (Moon Songs) for soprano; Canti del Sole (Sun Songs) for tenor; Canti dell'Eclisse (Songs of the Eclipse) for bass. Each of these exists in two versions - one for solo voice and orchestra, the other for solo voice and chamber ensemble - the six related works adding up to a performance time of some three hours. Acknowledgements of this massive and unique accomplishment is reflected in Canti Trilogy's many and regular performances making it part of the significant music literature of our time.

Each of the cycles follows a "narrative" progression. The "moon" cycle moves from sundown to dawn beginning with Quasimodo's poem "Ed è subito sera" (And in no time it is evening). The "sun" cycle begins with sunrise and ends with the same Quasimodo poem. The "eclipse" cycle, in contrast, comprises a more abstract progression - a journey from St. Francis's beatific acceptance of the divine order, through Milton's and Tass's eclipse-inspired despair and doubt, concluding with Henry Vaughan's weary grief and resignation. The same Quasimodo poem stands at the halfway point, the very center of the cycle and, as in the two previous cycles, it is "suddenly evening" - but in this case, evening occurs at midday! Emily Dickinson's verse follows immediately: "Sunset at Night - is natural - But Sunset on the dawn Reverses Nature ... Jehovah's watch is wrong..."

In Canti Lunatici (1980) two principal cycles - one of text and one of musical definition - revolve at fixed but different rates, thus influencing each other and affecting the larger, complex form of the whole work. First, the texts are chosen and ordered to suggest the waxing (the first seven poems), the full moon (the eighth poem), and the waning (the final seven poems) - a "narrative" that encompasses the extraordinary and unpredictable responses of the human psyche. The second cycle, that of musical parameters, elaborates the text "narrative" resulting at different times in clarity, obscurity, ambiguity, mystery, and eccentricity. Rands has written: "It was never my aim to compose a song cycle for voice and instrumental accompaniments in which each song has its own musical and formal integrity. Rather the intention was to create a labyrinth of relationships by the compositional arrangement of the resources of voice, text, instrument, and musical idea."

Canti del Sole, composed in 1983, arranges 14 poems in two groups of 7. The first group is delivered at a much faster rate than the second group, suggesting an urgency and relative brevity of the human experience of morning (until midday) compared with the experience of the period from midday until midnight. This latter, a more languorous, slower-moving, leisurely experience is captured as a succession of reflective texts and moods. Clearly, this also evokes the human experience of lifespan from the brevity of childhood through the decades of adulthood.

The texts chose for Canti dell'Eclisse (1992) are consistently of a dark mood. After the opening jubilant praise for the magnificence of the heavens, each subsequent poem reinforces the enveloping gloom toward the final eclipse - again a parallel to life's inevitable ending.

Taken as a whole, Canti Trilogy adds up to a powerful and moving musical experience. This is music that speaks directly, in a language of brilliant modernity, but a language which remains rooted in what the composer refers to as "the vernacular." The guiding force is always the poetry. From it emerges a warmth of color, rhythmic energy, and musical cross reference in a dazzling display of technical virtuosity, but all in service of the "labyrinth of relationships" contained in the sequence of poems which Rands has lovingly assembled.

© 2004 Roger Walsh

Deeper Promptings
by Kathleen Cecilia Ginther

The Canti Trilogy projects a rich, multi-layered fabric of musical and textural interrelationships that is at once very complex yet immediately communicative. To experience this work is to undergo an epic journey, an arch from first light to final darkness, with the full banquet of human emotion in between.

The astonishing range of this collection of poems in terms of language, culture, time, and place results in a sweeping document of the human experience, even before a single note has been heard.

Canti del Sole suggests various degrees of physical, but also emotional and psychological warmth ranging from burning intensity to cold obscurity; from blinding clarity to chilling ambiguity. The music of Sole has an expansive, flowing character; it radiates a golden light. The opening poem, by Giuseppe Ungaretti, reads simply "M'illuminato d'immenso" - I am illuminated by immensity. In Canti Lunatici, the emotional and psychological dimension is particularly potent. Rands exploits both meanings of the Latin root luna (lunar and lunatic) to their fullest, creating a vocal drama that swings wildly in mood - variously poetic and mysterious, hilarious, bawdy, desolate, agitated, playful, menacing, peaceful, hysterical,, utterly insane. By contrast, Canti dell'Eclisse possesses a dark essence; there are flashes of humor and moments of relative lightness, but the deep vocal timbre, the somber harmonies, the slow rhythms, the generally declamatory tone, and the orchestration which remains predominately in the lower registers, paint a nocturne of varying values of dimness, shadow, and loss.

The poems of each Canti are arranged so that the alternation of languages forms symmetrical patterns; in fact these patterns are often close to perfect palindromes, revealing a level of precompositional structure at work which is quite pervasive.

All three Canti cycles utilize a range of vocal techniques in order to project more directly specific elements of the texts. Many kinds of vocalization are used, encompassing the gamut from stage speech to singing, including rhythmically notated speech (wherein the rhythm is notated, but pitch is not); modulated speech (wherein a general pitch contour is indicated, in addition to rhythm); Sprechstimme (halfway between speaking and singing), and parlando, or quasi parlando (sung, but with pitches slightly bent). Each of the Canti cycle fully exploits timbral differences within the singer's range. Lunatici utilizes the soprano's entire voice, while both the tenor and bass voices employ falsetto singing as a means of heightening the drama and varying the timbre. However, the voices' prevalent behavior in the Trilogy is pure bel canto singing, and its governing impulse is melodic. Lunatici is more melismatic than its two counterparts; the voice seems to generate long trails of moonbeams, undulating melismas, hovering at times at the far edge of what the voice can do. Sole is direct and essentially syllabic as it projects a luxuriance in its unfolding. Eclisse possesses a formal declamatory character. The opeing of Eclisse, in fact, recalls the highly declamatory third movement of Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms.

The music throughout each section of the Trilogy is continuous and the poems are generally linked together, either by following one another in very close succession or by instrumental transitions. Rands's instrumental writing, however, is by no means of the traditional instrumental interlude variety; the voice and the instruments are so deeply intertwined and so closely enmeshed with the musical material that they do not separate into tidy categories such as song/interlude or voice/instrument. Rather, the relationships are organic; the instrumental writing grows out of the vocal line, which then colors, thickens, accents, emphasizes, enhances, anticipates or obscures that line.

The Canti Trilogy, a huge "labyrinthian" artwork of textural, musical, and thematic interconnections accomplishes unity of both macrocosmic and microcosmic level. Many of these interconnections, such as the thematic relationship of the texts (suggestive of a "narrative") are of the type traditionally associated with the song cycle, and are apparent upon first hearing. Further listening and examination of the scores reveals a multitude of more subtle relationships. There is a fusion between idea, instrumentation, and sound material -a unity that has been at the core of Rands's music from his earliest compositions.

©2004 Kathleen Cecilia Ginther (excerpted from Deeper Promptings)

Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP) is one of the few professional orchestras in the United States dedicated exclusively to performing and recording music of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Founded in 1996 by Artistic Director Gil Rose, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project's mission is to illuminate the connections that exist naturally between contemporary music and contemporary society by reuniting composers and audiences in a shared concert experience. In eight years, BMOP has produced more than forty concerts of contemporary orchestral music, presented thirty world premieres including sixteen commissioned by the orchestra, recorded over thirty works and released seven world premiere recordings, and launched Opera Unlimited, a new festival of contemporary chamber opera.

A seven-time winner of the ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming of Orchestral Music, BMOP hsa been presented by the FleetBoston Celebrity Series, The Tanglewood Music Festival, and the Boston Cyberarts Festival, and has performed at such venues as Jordan Hall, Symphony Hall, New York's Miller Theater, Winter Garden, and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. BMOP recordings are currently available from Chandos, New World, Naxos, and Oxingale.

Boston Modern Orchestra Project
Laura Frautschi, violin
Joan Ellersick, viola
Emmanuel Feldman, cello
Deborah Dunham, bass
Ann K. Bobo, flute
Gary Gorczyca, clarinet
Jeffrey Work, trumpet
Hans Bohn, trombone
Craig McNutt, percussion
Robert Schulz, percussion
Nina Ferrigno, piano

Gil Rose is recognized as one of a new generation of American conductors shaping the future of American music. His orchestral and operatic perforamnces and recordings have been recognized by critics and fans alike. In 1996, Gil Rose founded the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. Since 2003, Mr. Rose has also served as Music Director of Opera Boston, an innovative opera company in residence a the historic Cutler Majestic Theatre. In June 2003, BMOP and Opera Boston together launched the much-celebrated Opera Unlimited, a ten-day contemporary opera festival featuring five opera and three world premieres.

As a guest conductor, Mr. Rose made his Tanglewood Festival debut in 2002 conducting Lukas Foss' opera Griffelkin, a work he recorded for Chandos and released in 2003 to rave reviews. Also in 2003, he made his guest debut with the Netherlands Radio Symphony conducting three world premieres as part of the Holland Festival. He has led the American Composers Orchestra, the West Bohemian Symphony Orchestra in the Czech Republic, the Warsaw Philharmonic, the National Symphony of the Ukraine, the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, and the Boston Symphony Chamber Players.

Also recognized for his recordings of American orchestral repertoire, Gil Rose's discography includes eight world premiere recordings. His recording of the complete music of Arthur Berger was chosen by the New York Times as one of the "Best CDs of 2003."

Douglas Ahlstedt has sung professionally in the world's greatest opera houses and concert halls from the renowned stages of Europe, South America, the Orient, and Africa, to the Metropolitan Opera, where he has sung 189 performances. He is the only American tenor featured in leading roles, including Fenton in Verdi's Falstaff and Pelleas in Debussy's Pelleas et Melisande, on the James Levine 25th Anniversary Collection of notable scenes from Metropolitan Opera broadcasts.

His singing career began with the American Boychoir with whom he toured the United States and Canada. During that period, he sang the role of Miles in the American premiere of Benjamin Britten's The Turn of the Screw.

In addition to performing worldwide, Mr. Ahlstedt is associate professor of voice at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He specializes in teaching vocal health and collaborates with the University of Pittsburgh Voice Center to promote proper care of the voice. He is also well known as a national presenter of arts in education.

Mr. Ahlstedt earned a Bachelor of Science degree in music education from the State University of New York at Fredonia, and completed his Master of Music degree at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York.

Thomas Paul, a celebrated basso, has been widely acknowledged as one of the most vocally resplendent and musically versatile singers of his generation. Since his Carnegie Hall debut in 1961, he has distinguished himself with enduring success in an enormous concert and operatic repertoire.

For more than four decades he has been a frequent guest soloist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic,the Philadelphia Orchestra, and every other major symphony in North America under the most eminent conductors.

Festival affiliations include Aspen, Tanglewood, Mostly Mozart, Meadowbrook, Blossom, Caramoor, Carmel, Great Park, Hollywood Bowl, Kennedy Center, Wolf Trap, and Lincoln Center's "Great Performers Series."

International engagements have included operatic and concert perormances in Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Mannheim, Zurich, Kiev, Helsinki, Shenyang, and Beijing in a wide repertoire including Bach's Passion According to St. Matthew, Bartok's Bluebeard's Castle, Handel's Jephtha, the Shostakovich Symphonies 14 and 13 ("Babi Yar"), and major works of Haydn and Beethoven.

His many recordings display a rare verstaility with works by Bach, Beach, Beethoven, Berlioz, Carter, Handel, Haydn, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Rands, Schoenberg, and Varèse. A Sony Classcial CD with the Juilliard String Quartet of a unique solo vocal chamber version of Haydn's The Seven Last Words of Christ won a Grammy nomination for Best Chamber Music Recording of 1990.

A resident basso of New York City's Bach Aria Group, he developed the Bach Aria Study and Performance Festival at SUNY Stonybrook. He now devotes full attention to singing, private teaching, guest master classes, and solo recording projects.

Lucy Shelton
, American soprano, is the winner of two Walter W. Naumburg Awards - for chamber music and solo singing - and enjoys a distinguished career with recital, chamber, opera, and orchestral performances worldwide of her vast repertoire ranging from Bach and Babbitt to Vivier and Vivaldi. As one of the foremost interpreters of today's composers, she has premiered more than 100 works, many of which have been written for her. Notable among these are Elliott Carter's song cycles Of Challenge Of Love and Tempo e Tempi, Oliver Knussen's Whitman Settings, Joseph Schwantner's Sparrows and Magabunda, Poul Ruder's The Bells, Mario Davidovsky's Romanceros, Stephen Albert's Flower of the Mountain, Charles Wuorinen's Fenton Songs II and Robert Zuidam's opera Rage d'Amours. She has premiered Gerard Grisey's L'Icone Paradoxiale with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Alexander Goehr's Sing Ariel (her Aldeburgh festival debut); sung Pierre Boulez's Le Visage Nuptial under the composer's direction in Los Angeles, Chicago, London, and Paris; toured the United States and South America in Bach's St. John Passion with Helmuth Rilling; and performed Gyorgy Kurtag's The Sayings of Peter Bornemisza in London, Vienna, and Berlin with pianist Andras Schiff.

Ms. Shelton has exhibited special skill in dramatic works, including Luigi Dallapiccola's Il Prigionero (her BBC Proms debut), Luciano Berio's Sequenza III and Passaggio with the Ensemble InterContemporain, Sir Michael Tippett's The Midsummer Marriage (for Thames Television), Bernard Rands's Canti Lunatici, and staged performances of Arnold Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire (with Da Camera of Houston and eighth blackbird).

Her diverse recordings showcase works by Adolphe, Albert, Benson, Carter, Crawford Singer, Del Tredici, Goehr, Kim, Knussen, Messiaen, Rands, Schoenberg, Schwantner, and Stravinsky.

1.1 Mattina Morning
I fillwith light
of immensity
1.2 The Dawn Verse  
  The dark is dividing, the sun is coming past the wall.
Day is at hand.
Lift your hand, say Farewell! Say Welcome!
Then be silent.
Let the darkness leave you, let the light come into you.
Man in the twilight .
1.3 from The Masque of the Twelve Months  

Shine out, fair Sun, with all your heat.
Show all your thousand-coloured Light!
Black Winter freezes to his seat;
The grey wolf howls, he does so bite;
Crook't Age on three knees creeps the street;
The boneless fish close quaking lies
And eats for cold his aching feet;
The stars in icicles arise:

Shine out, and make this winter night
Our beauty's Spring, our Prince of Light!

1.4 from Soleil et Chair from Sun and Flesh

Le Soleil, le foyer de tendresse et de vie,
Verse l'mour brûlant à la terre ravie,
We, quand on est couché sur la vallée, on sent
Que la terre est nubile et déborde de sang;
Que son immense sein, soulvé par une âme,
Est d'mour comme Dieu, de chair comme la femme,
Er qu'il renferme, gros de sève et de rayons,
le grand fourmillement de tous les embryons!

Et tout crôit, et tout monte!

The Sun, hearth of tenderness and life,
Pours burning love over the delighted earth,
And, when one lies down in the valley, one smells
How the the earth is nubile and rich in blood;
How its huge breast, raised by a soul,
Is made of love, like God, and of flesh, like woman
And how it contains, big with sap and rays of light,
The vast swarming of all embryos!

And everything grows, and everything rises!

1.5 Portami il girasole Bring Me the Sunflower

Portami il grasole ch'io lo traianti
nel mio terreno bruciato dal salino,
e mostri tutto il giorno agli azzurri specchianti
del cielo l'ansietà del suo volto giallino

Tendono alla chiartà le cose oscure,
si esauriscono i corpi in un fluire di tinte:
queste in musiche.
Svanire e dunque la ventura delle venture.

Portami tu, la pianta che conduce
dove sorgono bionde trasparenze
e vapora la vita quale essenza;
portami il girasole impazzito di luce.

Bring me the sunflower so that I can transplant it
to my ground that is burnt
with the sea-salt,and show the anxiety
Of its yellowed face all day to the mirroring blues of the sky.

Obscure things tend towards clearness,
Bodies consume themselves in a flowing of shades:
these in music.
To vanish is then the chance of chances.

Bring me the plant which leads to where
the sunny depths rise and life
evaporates like spirit;
bring me the sunflower maddened with the light.

1.6 from Vision and Prayer  
  I turn the corner of prayer and burn
In a blessing of the sudden
Sun. In the name of the damned
I would turn back and run
To the hidden land
But the loud sun
Christens down
The sky.
Am found
O let him
Scald me and down
Me in his world's wound.
His lightning answers my
Cry. My voice burns in his hand.
Now I am lost in the blinding
One. The sun roars at the prayer's end.
1.7 Frutetto Orchard
  Sono tre calabroni
che saggiano la pera:
vi affondano le corna.
Scavao un buco
fino a succhiarne la polpa.
Quando il sole si sposta,
dalla parte del sole
cavano un altro occhio.
Chiama la gente queste
le piante della sorte:
come piccoli teschi
pendono le zuccone
dagli alberi funesti.
There are three hornets
Sipping the pears,
They plunge in their horns
And dig a hole
Till the flesh is sucked.
When the sun moves round,
On that sunny side
They dig another eye
The people call these
The fate-plants:
Like small skulls
The shells hang
From the dark trees.
1.8 Futility  

Move him into the sun -
Gently its touch awoke him once,
At home, whispering of fields unsown.
Always it work him, even in France,
Until this morning and this snow.
If anything might rouse him now
The kind old sun will know.

Think how it wakes the seeds -
Woke , once, the clays of a cold star.
Are limbs, so dear-achieved, are sides,
Full served - still warm - too hard to stir?
Was it for this the day grew tall?
- O what made fatuous sunbeams toil
To break earth's sleep at all?

1.9 September September

Noch nister die Sonne im Duft.
Noch schLeifen die Lerchen ihren Gesang
am Rand der weissen Luft.

Im Kielwasser alter Johre zeiht
der hungrige Pflug.
Die Störche sammeln sich am Ried.

Die Pappeln erglänzen Silberchauer.
Die Felder sind leer.
Es fiel die sicheldurchblitzte Mauer.

Still the sun nests in the scent.
Still the larks drag their song
At the edge of the white air.

In the wake of old years
the hungry plough draws.
The storks gather in the reeds.

Poplars grow in the silver shower.
The fields are void.
The sickle-lit wall fell.

1.10 November by the Sea  

Now in November nearer comes the sun
down the abandoned heaven.
As the dark closes round him, he draws nearer
as if for our company.

At the base of the lower brain
the sun in me declines to his winter solstice
and darts a few golden rays
back to the old year's sun across the sea.
A few gold rays thickening down to red
as the sun of my soul is setting
setting fierce and undaunted, wintry
but setting, setting behind the sounding sea
between my ribs.

The wide sea winds, and the dark
winter, and the great day-sun, and the sun in my soul
sinks, sinks to setting and the winter solstice
downward, they race in decline
my sun, and the great gold sun.

1.11 Fadensonmen Thread Suns
  über der grauschwarzen Ödnis.
ein baum -
hoher Gedanke
greift sich den Lichtton: es sind
noch Lieder zu singen jenseits
der Menschen.
above the grey-black wilderness
a tree -
high thought
tunes in to light's pitch: there are
still songs to be sung on the other side
of mankind.
1.12 Harmonie du Soir Evening Harmony

Voici venir les temps oû vibrant sur sa tige
Chaque fleur sévapore ainsi qu'un encensoir;
Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir;
Valse mélancholique et langoureaux vertige!

Chaque fleur sévapore ainsi qu'un encensoir;
Le violon frémit comme un coeur qúon afflige;
Valse mélancholique et langoureaux vertige!
Le ciel est triste et beau comme un grand reposoir.

Le violon frémit comme un coeur qúon afflige;
Un coeur tendre, qui hait le néant vaste et noir!
Le ciel est triste et beau comme un grand reposir;
Le soleil noyé dans son sang qui se fige...

Un coeur tendre, qui hait le néant vaste et noir,
Su passé lumineaux recueille tout vestige!
Le soleil noyé dans son sang qui se fige.
Tom souvenr en moi luit comme un ostensoir!

This is the time where each vibrating flower,
like a censer, is breathing forth its scent;
perfumes and sounds in the evening air are lent;
melancholy waltz and dizzy languor!

Each flower, like a censer, breathes its scent;
the violin quivers, like a heart that suffers;
melancholy waltz and dizzy languor!
The sky, like an altar, is sad and magnificent.

The violin quivers, like a heart that suffers;
hating the Nothing's vast and black extent!
The sky, like an altar, is sad and magnificent;
drowning in curdled blood, the sun sinks lower...

A heart that hates the Nothing's black extent,
each vestige of past radiance must gather!
Drowning in curdled blood, the sun sinks lower.
Your memory shines in me like the Sacrament!

1.13 The Sunset Verse  

Leave off! Leave off! Leave off!
Lift your hand, say Farewell! say Welcome!
Man in the twilight.
The sun is in the outer porch, cry to him:
Thanks! Oh, Thanks!
Then be silent
You belong to the night.

1.14 Ed è Subito Sera And in no Time it's Evening

Ognunuo sta solo sul cuor della terra
trafitto da un raggio de sole:
ed è subito sera.

Each one stands alone on the heart of the
earth pierced thr0ugh by a ray of sunlight:
and in no time it's evening.
1.15 Ed è Subito Sera And in no Time it's Evening
  Ognunuo sta solo sul cuor della terra
trafitto da un raggio de sole:
ed è subito sera.
Each one stands alone on the heart of the
earth pierced thr0ugh by a ray of sunlight:
and in no time it's evening.
1.16 Simples  

O bella bionda. Sei come l'onda!

Of cool sweet dew and radiance mild
The moon a web of silence weaves
In the still garden where a child
Gathers the simple salad leaves.

A moondew stars her hanging hair
And moonlight kisses her young brow
And, gathering, she sings an air:
"Fair as the wave is, fair art thou!"

Be mine, I pray, a waxen ear
To shield me from her childish croon
And mine a shielded heart for her
Who gathers simples of the moon.

1.17 Welcome to the Moon  
  Welcome, precious stone of the night,
Delight of the skies, precious stone of the night,
Mother of stars, precious stone of the night ,
Child reared by the sun, precious stone of the night,
Excellency of stars, precious stone of the night.
1.18 La Luna Asoma The Moon Appears

Cuando sale la luna
se pierden las campanas
y aparecen las sendas

Cuando sale la luna,
el mar cubre la tierra
y el corazón se siente
isla en el infinito.

Nadje come naranjas
bajo la luna llena.
Es preciso comer,
fruta verde y helada.

Cuando sale la luna
de cién rostros iguales,
la moneda de plata
solloza en el bolsillo.

When the moon comes out,
the bells fade away,
and the impenetrable
paths appear.

When the moon comes out,
the sea covers the earth,
and the heart feels like
an island in the infinite.

No one eats oranges
under the full moon.
One must eat
green and icy fruit.

When the moon of one hundred
identical faces comes out,
the silver coins
in the pockets sob.

1.19 from Moonland from Moon Sand
  Ein in sich gekehrter Mond.
Ein gepuderter Mond.
Ein Mond der den Schein widerhallen
und den Widerhall scheinen lässt.
Ein Mond der hingegossen
auf einem Wolkendivan ruht
einer Wahndiva nicht unähnlich.
ein Mond mit Gliedern
auf kristallenen Liedern.
Ein immiger unsinniger Mond.
A moon turned in on itself.
A powdered moon.
A moon the echoes the shine
And lets the echo shine.
A moon that lies stretched out
On a divan of clouds
Like a cloud-cuckoo-diva.
A moon with limbs
Of crystal hymns.
An intimate insane moon.
1.20 The Moon  
  The moon like a flower
In heaven's high bower,
With silent delight
Sits and smiles on the night.
1.21 Roamnce de la Luna, Luna Ballad of the Moon, Moon
  La luna vino a la fragua
con su polisón de nardos.
El niño la mira, mira.
El niño la está mirando.
En el aire commovido
mueve la luna sus brazos
y enseña, lúbrica y pura,
sus seños de duro estado.
The moon comes to the smithy
in her tuberose crinoline.
The child looks and looks at her.
The child is looking at her.
In the agitated air
the moon moves her arms
and discloses, voluptuous, pure,
her breasts of hard tin.
1.22 from Moonsand from Moon Sand
  Ein grosses Mondtreffen ist anberaumt worden.
Monde und alles was mit dem Mond zu tun har,
werden sich da einstellen.
befiederte Monde,
weisse Monde mit diamentenem Nabel,
Monde mit Handgriffen aus elfenbein,
winzige Mondlakaien, die über alles gerne
Polstermöbel mit kochened heissen wasser begiessen,
grössenwahnsinnige Rosen,
die sich für einem Mond halten.
Weisse Monde, die schwarze Trä nen weinen,
Mondangramme, die beinahe ausschliessich
aus Anna bestehen
und denen nur einige Gramme
Mond beigefügt wurden.
Ein Monkonglomerat von silbernen Zweigen,
das sich silbern weiterverzweigt
und an dem Mondfrü chte reifen,
Ein nackter Mond, wie alle Monde nackt,
jodoch mit einem hut, an dem ein Feigenblatt
befestigt ist.
A great moon-meeting has been arranged.
Moons and everyting to do with the moon will be present.
feathered moons,
White moons with diamond navels,
moons with ivory handles,
tiny moon-flunkeys who love more than anything
To pour boiling hot water over upholstered furniture,
Megalomaniac roses
that think they are moons.
White moons weeping black tears,
moonanagrams consisting almost entirely
of Anna
and which have had added to them
only a couple of grams of moon.
A moon-conglomoration of silver branches
branching out all silver
on which moon fruits ripen
A naked moon, naked like all moons,
but with a hat, on which a fig leaf
is fastened.
1.23 The Moon  
  Look down fair moon and bathe this scene,
Pour softly down the night's nimbus floods on faces ghastly, swollen, purple,
On the dead on their backs with arms toss'd wide,
Pour down your unstinted nimbus sacred moon.
1.24 from The Moon and the Yew Tree  
  The moon is no door. It is a face in its own right,
White as a knuckle and terribly upset.
It drags the sea after it like a dark crime; it is quiet
With the O-gape of complete despair. I live here.
Twice on Sunday, the bells startle the sky -
Eight great tongues affirming the Resurrection.
At the end, they soberly bong out their names.
1.25 from Moonland from Moon Sand
  Ein Mond aus Blur.
Ein Mond aus Schnee.
Ein Mond der so tut
als sei er unbeweglich
aber unerwartet und im handumdrehen
sich vor den Augen eines Mondträ umers
in die bodenlose Tiefe fallen lässt
um im gleichen Augenbick
aus der bedenslower Tiefe
hinter dem Mondträumer
wider aufzutauchen
strmm wildsiobern lächeldn.
A moon of blood.
A moon of snow.
A moon that acts
as if motionless
but suddenly and in a flash
falls into the bottomless abyss,
before the eyes of a moon-dreamer
to rise up again
in the same instant
from the bottomless abyss
silent wild silver smiling.
1.26 Amer au goût ce soir, jaloux Bitter tasting tonight

De quelle obscire poufiasse
Caverneux,, noix, chargé de crasses
Flottant entre la lune et nous

Fielleuse lune sur la mer
Elle était la lune maussade
Comme la pensée d'un malade
Sur l'essence de l'univers

Dans l'obsurité fauleuse
Où cette lune était montée
La placidité de l'été
Tendait ses ramures fumeuses

Jealous of some obscure tart,
Dark, cavernous, dirty with clouds,
Floating betweent he moon and us.

Rancorous moon on the sea.
It was a cheerless moon,
Like a sickman's thought
On the nature of the universe.

In the fabled dark
Where the moon had risen
Summer's calm
Stretched out its hazy foliage.

1.27 Moonrise  
  I awoke in the Midsummer not-to-call night, in the white and the walk of the morning:
The moon, dwindles and thinned to the fringe of a fingernail held to the candle.
Or paring of paradisical fruit, lovely in waning but lusterless,
Stepped from the stool, drew back from the barrow, of dark Maenefa the mountain;
A cusp still clasped him, a fluke yet fanged him, entangled him, not quite utterly.
This was the prized, the desirable sight, unsought, presented so easily,
Parted me leaf and leaf, divided me eyelid and eyelid of slumber.
1.28 The Waning Moon  
  And, like a dying lady leanand pale,
Who totters forth, wrapped in gauzy veil,
Out of her chamber, led by the insane
And feeble wanderings of her fading brain,
The moon arose up in the murky East,
A white and shapeless mass.
1.29 Finita è la Notte The Night is Done

Finita è notte e la luna
si scioglie lenta nel serreno,
tramoneta nei canali.
È cosi vivo sttembre in questa terra
di pianura, i prati sono verdi
come nelle valli del sud a primavera.
Ho lascato i compagni,
ho nascosto il quore dentro le vecchie mura,
per restare solo a ricordarti.

Come sei più lontana della luna,
ora che sale il giorno
e sulle pietre batte i piede dei cavalli!

The night is done, the moon
slowly melts in the serene,
sets in the canals.
September lives so in this land
of plains, the meadows are as green
as in the valleys of the south in spring.
I have left my comrades,
have his my heart within the old walls,
To rest alone remembering you.

How you are more distant than the moon,
Now day breaks
and on the stones the hooves of horses beat!

2.1 from Cantico delle Creature from Song of the Creatures

Laudato sie, mi Signore, cun tutte le tue creature
spetialmente messor lo frate sole
lo qual jorna et allumini noi per loi.
Et ellu è bellu e radiante cun grande splendore
de te, altissimo, porta significatione.

Laudatosi, mi Signore, per sora luna e le stelle,
in celu l'ai formate clarite et pretiose et belle.

Be praised, my Lord, with all your creatures,
especially master brother sun,
who brings day, and you give us light my him.
And he is fair and radiant with a great shining
he draws his meaning, most high, from you.

Be praised, my Lord, for sister moon and the stars,
in heaven you have made them clear and precious and lovely.

2.2 An Eclipse  
  When God reveals his plan to men,
Straight is the way to glory then
And good the end for all;
And God can from the murky night
Create inviolable light
Or hide the stainless day from sight
Beneath a black cloud's pall.
2.3 La Révolution en Êté The Summer Revolution
  La lumiètre est excessive,
les hommes courent âcheter des foulards,
et ce nést pas pour se moucher.
Derniet recours: l'éclipse, acrobtie céleste.
Dans le carnaval cosmique,
cet homme qui prend au serieux
son rôle de planète.
On brûle le soleil en effigie
ironie du sort, plaisanterie d'esclaves.
Too much light.
Men run around buying scarves,
and it's not to blow their noses in.
Last recourse: eclipse, celestial acrobatics.
In the cosmic carnival
this man who takes his role
as planet seriously.
They're burning the sun in effigy,
irony of fate, a slave's joke.
2.4 from Samson Agonistes  

O dark, dark, dark amid the blaze of noon
Irrecoverably dark, total eclipse
Without all hope of day!

The sun to me is dark
And silent at the moon,
When she deserts the night
Hid in her interlunar cave.

2.5 from A Guglielmo Gonzaga, Duca Di Mantova from To Guglielmo Gonzaga, Duke of Mantova
  Ben veggio il sol, ma qual talora il cinse
oscuro velo in tenebroso eclissi;
e veggio in cielo i lumi erranti e fissi:
ma chi d'atro pallor cosi li tinse?
Indeed I see the sun, but as he is
when a dark veil wraps him in shadowy eclipse;
and I see the fixed and wandering stars in heaven:
but who has stained them like that with gloomy pallor?
2.6 Eclipse  
  When the moon's immortal glow
Is eclipsed (and there is no
Other star in all the skies
Such catastrophes befall)
'Tis as if some lovely lass
Spies her image in a glass
And, in envious surprise,
Turns the mirror to the wall.
2.7 Ed è Subito Sera And in no Time it's Evening
  Ognuno sta solo sul cuor della terra
trafitto da un raggio di sole:
ed è subito sera.
Each one stands alone on the heart of the earth
pierce through by a ray of sunlight:
and in no time it's evening.
2.8 Eclipse  

Sunset at Night - is natural -
But Sunset on the Dawn
Reverses Nature - Master -
So midnight's - due - at Noon.

Eclipses be - predicted -
And Science bows them in -
But do one face us suddenly -
Jehovah's Watch - is wrong.

2.9 A*** A***
  Tu es mon amour depuis tant d'années,
Mon vertige devant tant d'attente,
Que rien ne peut viellir froider;
Méme ce qui attendait notre mort,
Ou lentement sur nous combattre,
Méme ce qui nous est étrander,
Er mes éclipses et mes retoures.
You have been my love for many years,
my giddiness before so much waiting
Which nothing can age or cool;
Even that which awaited our death,
Or slowly learned how to fight us.
Even that which is strange to us,
Both my eclipses and my returns.
2.10 This Precipice Garden  
revealed to me,
for you I'll find
a tranquil universe
starred with time
2.11 from Arbol Adentro: Cuattro Chopos from The Tree Inside: Four Poplars
  Entre ser y no ser la yerbatitubea,
los elementos se aligeran,
los contornos se esfuman,
visos reflejos, reverberaciones,
centellear de formas y presencias,
niebla de imágenes, eclipses,
esto que veo somos espejeos.
Between being and non-being the grass wavers,
the elements become lighter,
outlines shade over,
glimmers, reflections, reverberations
flashes of forms and presences,
image mist, eclipses:
what I see, we are: mirages.
2.12 Zeitgehoft Zeitgehoft

ICH ALBERE mit meiner Nacht,
wir kapern
was sich hierlosriss

lad du mir auch deine
Finsternia auf
Die halben, fahrenden

auch die soll es hören,
von überallher,
das unwiderlegbare Echo
jeder Verschattung.

I FOOL ABOUT with my night,
we capture
that tore loose here.

your darkness too
load on to
my halved, voyaging

it too is to hear it
from every direction,
the incontrovertible echo
of every eclipse.

2.13 The Eclipse  
  Whither, O whitHer didst Thou fly?
When did I grieve Thine holy eye?
When Thou didst mourn to see me lost,
And all Thy care and counsels crossed.
O do not grieve, whe'er Thou art!
Thy grief is an undoing smart,
Which doth not only pain, but break
My heart, and makes me blush to speak.
Thy anger I could kiss, and will;
But O Thy grief, Thy grief, doth kill!

Recorded March 20-22, 2000
Sonic Temple Studio, Roslindale, Massachusetts
Jeff Gordon, recording engineer, mastering, editing
Matthew Packwood, editing
Robert Schuneman, executive producer
Gil Rose, producer