Saturday, September 09, 2006

As It Fell Upon a Day

So, I am really feeling serious that I am going to give up being a musician within the next few years. What will likely be my "farewell" recital is set to take place on October 1st, and will be an all-Copland program. The program will open with the clarinet concerto, paying homage to the young girl who decided that music was the center of her life and would stop at nothing to achieve what others deemed impossible. I am also playing the Appalachian Spring original version for 13 instruments (and practically going broke for it), fulfilling a dream I've had since the summer of 1989, when I first fell in love with Copland's music after hearing the orchestral version of the same work at music camp.

Aaron Copland died in December of 1990, just days before my audition at Ithaca College, where I got my music degree. I was performing the cadenza from his concerto as the main selection of my audition program, having lived with it for the year prior. I remember feeling very connected to him because so much of the music we play is written by composers who are long dead...but my maturity on the Copland concerto spans time he was alive as well as post-mortem.

I've been nagged lately by an inexplicable urge to learn about a lesser-known work of Copland's, entitled As It Fell Upon a Day for clarinet, flute, and soprano voice. After reading the words, I understand why I feel the need to perform the piece on this recital.

None alive will pity heart is breaking in two as I decide to abandon my music career. I simply cannot continue in the environment my workplace has become. The negativity, stupidity, senselessness of it all have taken over and eclipsed my love for music.

None alive will pity me...but they've taken my very soul away.

As It Fell Upon a Day (Words from Richard Barnefield)
As it fell upon a day,
In the merry month of May,
Sitting in a pleasant shade,
Which a grove of myrtles made
Beasts did leap and birds did sing
Trees did grow and plants did spring
Ev'rything did banish moan
Save the nightingale alone
She poor bird as all forlorn
Lean'd her breast up till a thorn
And there sung the doleful'st ditty
That to hear it was great pity
Now would she cry
Tereu, Tereu, by and by
That to hear her so complain
Scarce I could from tears refrain
For her griefs so lively shown
Made me think upon mine own
Ah! thought I thou mournst in vain
None takes pity on thy pain
Senseless trees they cannot hear thee
Ruthless bears they will not cheer thee
King Pandion he is dead
All thy friends are lapp'd in lead
All thy fellow birds do sing
Careless of thy sorrowing
Even so poor bird like thee
None alive will pity me
(public domain)

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