Garden Seasons (Geoff Allan)
- Editor: Geoff Allan (submitted 2020-05-28). Score information: A4, 46 pages, 967 kB Copyright: Personal
- Noteworthy Composer files of individual movements and links to mp3s sung by sampled choir "Voices of Prague".
- The composer suggests that the listener reads the score of the piece while listening to the mp3
- Or use this YouTube video which shows the score pages as they are sung along with pretty photos and birdsongs appropriate to the season.
- Edition notes: Noteworthy composer files available. Copyright (c) J G Allan 2020. This edition can be fully distributed, duplicated, performed and recorded.
First published: 2020
Description: Written during Covid19 lockdown, this is a lyrical choral cycle of short songs linked by the subject of seasons and gardens. The songs are in pairs, the first of each pair is the appropriate seasonal months from a poem by Christina Rossetti. These songs use a common theme treated in different ways in each. The second of each pair is the main song for the season to texts by Hardy, Davies, Clare, Tennyson and Stevenson. The last using two texts one each for the men and women in the choir.
Original text and translations
Christina Giorgina Rossetti, The Months
January cold and desolate;
February dripping wet;
March wind ranges;
Birds sing in tune
To flowers of May,
And sunny June
Brings longest day;
In scorched July
The storm-clouds fly,
August bears corn,
In rough October
Earth must disrobe her;
Stars fall and shoot
In keen November;
And night is long
And cold is strong
In bleak December.
Thomas Hardy, Birds At Winter Nightfall (Triolet)
Around the house the flakes fly faster,
And all the berries now are gone
From holly and cotoneaster
Around the house. The flakes fly!–faster
Shutting indoors that crumb-outcaster
We used to see upon the lawn
Around the house. The flakes fly faster,
And all the berries now are gone!
William Henry Davies, April's Charms
When April scatters charms of primrose gold
Among the copper leaves in thickets old,
And singing skylarks from the meadows rise,
To twinkle like black stars in sunny skies;
When I can hear the small woodpecker ring
Time on a tree for all the birds that sing;
And hear the pleasant cuckoo, loud and long
The simple bird that thinks two notes a song.
John Clare, June
Now summer is in flower and natures hum
Is never silent round her sultry bloom
Insects as small as dust are never done
Wi' glittering dance and reeling in the sun
And green wood fly and blossom haunting bee
Are never weary of their melody
Round field hedge now flowers in full glory twine
Large bindweed bells wild hop and streakd woodbine
That lift athirst their slender throated flowers
Agape for dew falls and for honey showers
These round each bush in sweet disorder run
And spread their wild hues to the sultry sun.
Alfred Lord Tennyson, The Lotus-Eaters
Lo! sweeten’d with the summer light,
The full-juiced apple, waxing over-mellow,
Drops in a silent autumn night.
All its allotted length of days
The flower ripens in its place,
Ripens and fades, and falls, and hath no toil,
Fast-rooted in the fruitful soil.
Robert Louis Stevenson, Autumn Fires
In the other gardens
And all up the vale,
From the autumn bonfires
See the smoke trail!
Pleasant summer over
And all the summer flowers,
The red fire blazes,
the grey smoke towers.
Sing a song of seasons!
Something bright in all,
Flowers in the summer
Fires in the fall!