From Her Voice – Diana Charlop

    Wednesday, December 2 at 7 pm (Eastern)

    From Her Voice

    Diana Charlop, soprano, with Chris Fecteau, piano
    Songs of Amy Beach, Florence Price, and Clara Schumann

    PROGRAM NOTES by Diana Charlop

    My recital ‘The Nature of Her Voice’ celebrates strong women who’ve created music and art through the last 100 years. Their message speaks to me: that women are to be empowered and heard.  By being mindful of these composers and their works, I hope that we can create the space for female composers, artists, and performers to be heard. These three women helped to pave the way for other women to share their art, and we can continue to work towards equality and equal representation to allow women the space that they have always deserved.

    Three songs of Clara Schumann on poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke
     – Er ist gekommen in Sturm und Regen (Op.12 No. 2)
     – Liebst du um Schöheit (Op. 12 No. 4)
     – Warum willst du and’re fragen (Op. 12 No. 11)

    For Christmas in 1841, Clara Schumann had given her husband Robert a Christmas gift of some songs that she had written herself.  This inspired Robert to want to collaborate with her on a songbook –  : “The idea of producing together with Clara a book of songs inspired me to this work. From Monday to Monday nine songs from Rückert’s Liebesfrühling were written, in which I think again I have found a special voice.”  He urged Clara to write songs to the three texts “Warum willst du and’re fragen,” “Er ist gekommen in Sturm und Regen,” and “Liebst du um Schönheit.”  The songs were published in the fall of 1841 and show that Robert viewed Clara as an equal, encouraging her to showcase her writing and her voice in this work.  In Clara’s three Ruckert settings, she emphasizes her independent and strong perspective onto both character and storyline. 

    Three songs of Amy Beach on poetry of Robert Browning
     – The Year’s at the Spring
     – Ah, Love, But a Day
     – I Send My Heart Up To Thee

    Amy Beach (1867 – 1944) is sometimes referred to as a “modern” Clara Schumann. She writes beautifully for both singer and pianist individually, and in how they play off of one another. Her clear and evocative score markings indicate her understanding of the voice. To these texts written by Robert Browning, Amy Beach brings a complex palate juxtaposing lightness and levity with darkness and despair.

    Three songs of Florence Price
     – An April Day (text by Joseph S. Cotter, Jr.)
     – Night (text by Louise C. Wallace)
     – The Glory of the Day Was in her Face (text by James Weldon Johnson)

    Florence Price (1887 – 1953) is one of the best-known female African American composers, well-established as a composer with a multitude of symphonies, concertos and songs. She is the first female African American composer to have her symphony performed at a major American orchestra. The present trio of songs features texts by two male poets and one female poet. One of the lines that touches me most in the poetry of this program is found here, “Sufficient is it just to live.”  (Joseph Seamon Cotter, Jr.) Especially in this time,  this speaks to gratitude for the simple act of living.


    Er ist gekommen in Sturm und Regen

    Er ist gekommen
    In Sturm und Regen,
    Ihm schlug beklommen
    Mein Herz entgegen.
    Wie konnt’ ich ahnen,
    Das seine Bahnen
    sich einen sollten meinen Wegen.

    Er ist gekommen
    In Sturm und Regen,
    Er hat genommen
    Mein Herz verwegen.
    Nahm er das meine?
    Nahm ich das seine?
    Die beiden kamen sich entgegen.

    Er ist gekommen
    In Sturm und Regen,
    Nun ist gekommen
    Des Frühlings Segen.
    Der Freund zieht weiter,
    Ich seh’ es heiter,
    denn er bleibt mein auf allen Wegen.

    He came in storm and rain,

    He came
    in storm and rain,
    my anxious heart
    beat against his.
    how could I have known
    that his path
    itself should be my way?.

    He came
    in storm and rain,
    he boldly
    seized my heart.
    Did he seize mine?
    Did I seize his?
    Both drew near to each other.

    He came
    in storm and rain,
    Now spring’s blessing
    has come.
    My friend travels on,
    I watch with cheer,
    for he remains mine, on any road.

    Liebst du um Schönheit, o nicht mich liebe!

    Liebst du um Schönheit,
    o nicht mich liebe!
    Liebe die Sonne,
    sie trägt ein gold’nes Haar!

    Liebst du um Jugend,
    o nicht mich liebe!
    Liebe den Frühling,
    der jung ist jedes Jahr!

    Liebst du um Schätze,
    o nicht mich liebe!
    Liebe die Meerfrau,
    sie hat viel Perlen klar!

    Liebst du um Liebe,
    o ja, mich liebe!
    liebe mich immer,
    dich lieb’ ich immerdar!

    If you love for beauty, oh, do not love me!

    If you love for beauty,
    oh, do not love me!
    Love the sun,
    she has golden hair!

    If you love for youth,
    oh, do not love me!
    Love the spring,
    which is young every year!

    If you love for treasure,
    oh, do not love me!
    Love the mermaid –
    she has many clear pearls!

    If you love for love,
    oh yes, do love me!
    Love me ever,
    I’ll love you evermore!

    Warum willst du and’re fragen

    Warum willst du and’re fragen,
    Die’s nicht meinen treu mit dir?
    Glaube nicht, als was dir sagen
    Diese beiden Augen hier!

    Glaube nicht den fremden Leuten,
    Glaube nicht dem eignen Wahn;
    Nicht mein Tun auch sollst du deuten,
    Sondern sieh die Augen an!

    Schweigt die Lippe deinen Fragen,
    Oder zeugt sie gegen mich?
    Was auch meine Lippen sagen,
    Sieh mein Aug’, ich liebe dich!

    Why will you question others?

    Why will you question others,
    who are not faithful to you?
    Believe nothing but what
    both these eyes say!

    Believe not strange people;
    believe not peculiar fancies;
    nor should you interpret my actions,
    but look in these eyes!

    Are my lips silent to your questions,
    or do they testify against me?
    Whatever my lips may say,
    look at my eyes: I love you!

     The Year’s at the Spring

    The year’s at the spring,
    And day’s at the morn;
    Morning’s at seven;
    The hill-side’s dew-pearl’d;
    The lark’s on the wing;
    The snail’s on the thorn;
    God’s in His heaven–
    All’s right with the world!

    Ah, Love, But a Day

    Ah, Love, but a day,
    And the world has changed!
    The sun’s away,
    And the bird estranged;
    The wind has dropped,
    And the sky’s deranged;
    Summer has stopped.

    Look in my eyes!
    Wilt thou change too?
    Should I fear surprise?
    Shall I find aught new
    In the old and dear,
    In the good and true,
    With the changing year?

    Thou art a man,
    But I am thy love.
    For the lake, its swan;
    For the dell, its dove;
    And for thee — (oh, haste!)
    Me, to bend above,
    Me, to hold embraced.

    I Send My Heart Up To Thee

    I send my heart up to thee, all my heart
    In this my singing,
    For the stars help me, and the sea, and the sea bears part;

    The very night is clinging
    Closer to Venice’ streets to leave on space
    Above me, whence thy face
    May light my joyous heart to thee, to thee its dwelling place.

    On such a day as this,

    On such a day as this I think,
    On such a day as this,
    When earth and sky and nature’s world
    Are clad in April’s bliss;

    And balmy zephyrs gently waft
    Upon your cheek a kiss;
    Sufficient is it just to live
    On such a day as this.


    Night comes, a Madonna clad in scented blue.
    Rose red her mouth and deep her eyes,
    She lights her stars, and turns to where,
    Beneath her silver lamp the moon,
    Upon a couch of shadow lies
    A dreamy child,
    The wearied Day.

    The glory of the day was in her face,

    The glory of the day was in her face,
    The beauty of the night was in her eyes.
    And over all her loveliness, the grace
    Of Morning blushing in the early skies.

    And in her voice, the calling of the dove;
    Like music of a sweet, melodious part.
    And in her smile, the breaking light of love;
    And all the gentle virtues in her heart.

    And now the glorious day, the beauteous night,
    The birds that signal to their mates at dawn,
    To my dull ears, to my tear-blinded sight
    Are one with all the dead, since she is gone.