American Journey

New Amsterdam Singers

Clara Longstreth, Conductor

Dennis Delaney, Assistant Conductor

Elizabeth Rodgers, Pianist

New Amsterdam Singers is grateful to Marge and Walter Scheuer and Elaine and James D. Wolfensohn for their generous support of this recording.

We thank all of our contributors who helped make our Twenty-Fifth Anniversary a year to remember.


The twentieth-century American composers chosen for this program of choral music represent diverse styles and span almost one hundred years; what they have in common is a sure sense for vocal writing, a preference for nontraditional but tonal harmony, and a delight in good poetry.


The familiar love poem Go, Lovely Rose by the Cavalier poet Edmund Waller has attracted many composers, among them Halsey Stevens. Stevens has taught at the University of California since 1948. An expert on Bartók as well as a teacher, he has composed a wealth of vocal and instrumental music. Go, Lovely Rose is a worthy example of his lush but unhackneyed style.


Charles Ives, New England's quirky, original insurance man/composer, began composing when he was twelve and held a job as church organist when he was only fourteen. Crossing the Bar may have been written as early as 1891 when Ives was sixteen or seventeen, probably for the local church choir. The poem was written only a few years before by the eighty-year-old Alfred Lord Tennyson after a trip across a sandbar to the Isle of Wight. Hastily scrawled on an envelope, the poem uses the sandbar as a metaphor for the threshold between life and death; the “evening bell” links the harbor bell with a death knell. Ives captures the poet's serenity contemplating death and his ecstasy at the thought of meeting his “Pilot” face to face. In this hymn, colorful harmonic touches enliven the simple C-major key.


Samuel Barber's gift for melody and the unabashed romanticism of some of his best-known works (Adagio for Strings) have made him one of the most popular mid-twentieth-century composers. Reincarnations was written in 1940, when Barber was a young teacher at the Curtis Institute of Music.

The text of Reincarnations has a double history. James Stephens (1882-1950) was an Irish author writing in English whose output was dominated by nostalgia and melancholy over lost traditional Ireland. Two of these texts are “after the Irish of Raftery,” i.e., they are translated and reworked from songs in the Irish language - what we call Gaelic - by the musician/poet Antoine O Reachtabhra, transliterated as Anthony Raftery. Raftery (1784-1835) was the last of the great blind Irish harpists. Irish culture had a great bardic tradition with no meaningful distinction between song and poetry, and many of the greatest bards were blind. (The traditional self-accompaniment for the bard was the harp.) Harpists wandered from court to court, performing and improvising songs, taking maximum advantage of the elaborate aristocratic code of hospitality. Among the most common genres were songs of praise, the lament, the extended poetic insult, and the vision song. In setting these words to music, Barber restores them to their original purpose, not as poems to be read from a book but as song lyrics.

Two of the songs in the Reincarnations cycle - Mary Hynes and The Coolin - fall into the traditional category of love song or praises for a beautiful woman. Note in Mary Hynes the repeated use of visual imagery by the blind artists singing of the woman's beauty, and the concluding line “no good sight is good until by great good luck you see the blossom of branches walking toward you, airily, airily.” The irony of this line would not have been lost upon Raftery's original audience. The second piece is a tribute to Anthony Daly, a martyr hanged in 1820 for leading an agrarian terrorist organization. He was also accused of shooting at another man, a charge he vehemently denied: “If I did, though I have but one eye, I would have hit him.” Nonetheless he was convicted and sent to the gallows. Raftery, who witnessed the hanging, composed a bard's curse on those responsible for the death. Thus the mood is more one of retaliation than of mourning, and legend has it that calamity did befall those whom he cursed! Barber makes expressive use of the ancient device of pedal point, with the note E sounded below or above the melody for all but four measures of the piece. The insistence of that pitch and repetition of Anthony's name heightens the power of the whole.

The word coolin, used as the title of the third piece, refers to a lock of hair or “curleen” that grew on a young girl's neck and came to be used as a term for one's sweetheart. Stephens wrote, “I sought to represent that state which is almost entirely a condition of dream wherein the passion of love has almost overreached itself and is sinking to a motionless languor.” Barber uses a gentle siciliano rhythm for this old Irish love song, filtered through Stephens's romantic poetry.


Alan Hovhaness is an American composer of Armenian and Scottish descent. A prolific writer in a variety of forms, he is known for mystical works with an Eastern or Oriental flavor. David Wept for Slain Absalom, written in 1971, is a six-voice lament in which modal harmony, chromaticism, and dynamic extremes lend striking color to the simple text from Samuel. Massive chordal blocks alternate with sinuous chantlike melodies.


Absalom, David's third son, was a rebel who sought to replace his father as king. In the battle between their rival factions at Ephraim, Absalom was killed by one of his father's servants, despite David's strict orders for mercy to his son. From David's point of view, “victory [was] turned into mourning.” David's lament, “would God I had died for thee,” has been a favorite text for composers since the sixteenth century.



The poet Hillaire Belloc (1870-1953), of French-English background, was a versatile and prolific writer with a great love of travel. Randall Thompson was equally prolific as a composer but is best known for a single work, Alleluia. Thompson taught at the University of California at Berkeley, Princeton, and Harvard, and was director of the Curtis Institute of Music. His biographer, Elliot Forbes (in Grove), praises the composer's “exquisite sensitivity to literary organization reflected in his musical phraseology.” Here he uses a dazzling piano accompaniment for Tarantella (a fast, whirling dance of Italian origin but popular in Spain). The poem itself incorporates percussive effects (“Hip! Hop!; Ting! Tong! Tang!”) as it evokes wild dancing at an inn in Aragon. The melancholy finale may refer to the dark side of the Spanish character or to the Spanish Civil War - the song was written in 1937.


Ronald Perera's compositions include song cycles, theater, chamber, choral and orchestral works, and several works for instruments or voices with electronic sounds. He is perhaps best known for his settings of texts by authors as diverse as Dickinson, Joyce, Grass, Sappho, Cummings, Shakespeare, Francis of Assisi, Melville and Ferlinghetti. His 1989 opera The Yellow Wallpaper received its New York premiere in December 1992 at the Manhattan School of Music.

Perera studies with Leon Kirchner, Randall Thompson, and Mario Davidovsky. He has won awards and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and ASCAP, and his music has been recorded on the CRI and Opus One labels. Perera has taught since 1971 at Smith College, where he holds the Elsie Irwin Sweeney Chair in Music. He composed Earthsongs for women's chorus and orchestra in 1983 for the Smith College Glee Club, and subsequently wrote the piano arrangement heard on this program.

Perera writes:

Earthsongs is a celebration of the renewing force of spring, the instinctual, erotic side of human nature, and the hand of God in the natural world. The six poems of E.E. Cummings which form the text are drawn from Cummings' earliest published work, Tulips and Chimneys (1923), with the exception of “i thank You God,” which is from the collection Xiape (1950). The poems are by turns satirical, ambiguous, lyrical, romantic, sensuous, ecstatic. Often deceptively simple, they are never commonplace.

The musical settings are predominantly lighthearted, with diatonic, modal melodic writing, triadic harmonies and easily perceived meters, but they contain frequent twists and ambiguities which serve to make melody and harmony as elusive as some of the poet's imagery.

In “O sweet spontaneous earth,” a wry accounting of nature's stubborn refusal to knuckle under to the dogmas of academicians, the music keeps popping into A Major even when it is “supposed to be” in the E Mixolydian mode (same key signature but different tonics). The seductive balloonman of “in Just-spring” is evoked in a high sinuous figure which is out of joint with the underlying F tonality. Later, an insistent b natural further undermines the tonal stability, already shaken by bizarre, digressive chord progressions. The to and fro of tides in the exquisite love poem “as is the sea marvelous” finds a musical metaphor in the pull of opposing tonal centers of A flat Major and d minor. There follows the strophic “All in green went my love riding,” centered on the A Mixolydian mode. “When god lets my body be” closes the circle of death and renewal with gently overlapping canonic refrains cadencing in the B flat Lydian mode. The final movement, “i thank You God,” is a hymn to the Creator. A single theme which first appears in the lowest register gradually unfolds until, at the climax of the movement, it is presented in canon at several different speeds simultaneously.

The Norton Anthology of American Literature writes of Cummings: “He was the moralist with an almost pagan dedication to the free expressions of nature, both in the forms and the language of his art, and in human patterns of behavior.” The “goatfooted balloonman” of the second poem surely refers to Pan, the god of spring and thieves and crossroads. In the Greet satyr plays, the satyrs, followers of Pan and Dionysus, wore yard-long phalluses and hit each other with inflated bladders, the archaic equivalent of balloons. In the ballad-like “All in green,” Cummings plays with the repetition of sounds and the cumulative menace of near-repetition: the deer are first merry, then red, then fleet, then tense, then dead (for “heart,” read “hart,” or deer). Among his verbal tricks are the use of similar sounds, near-rhymes, in successive words: hounds crouched, fleeter be, they than, dappled dreams, swift sweet, red rare deer, cruel bugle, lean lithe, sheer peak, sleek slim, lucky hunter.


Matthew Harris, born in 1956, studies at Julliard, Harvard University, and New England Conservatory with Elliot Carter, Roger Sessions, Milton Babbitt, and Donald Martino. He has received grants or fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the MacDowell Colony, Tanglewood, and the Conductor's Institute. The recipient of many prizes and commissions, he is represented on record by Opus One.

Harris writes:

My Shakespeare cycle started in late 1988 with a setting of “Hark, hark! The Lark” for my wife's a cappella group to sing at our wedding. Over the next few years I wrote ten more songs and grouped them into three Books. In this performance, the first piece is from Book I, then two songs from Book II. The following four songs are the premiere of Book III.

The texts are from lyrics to the songs in Shakespeare's plays. Some of my settings are pop-oriented. Although Shakespeare and pop music may at first seem an odd pairing, the songs in Shakespeare's plays were in popular, not classical style of the day, sung by actors, not trained singers. Shakespeare's lyrics are accordingly a lot simpler than his usual poetry and full of nonsense lines like “Hey nonny, nonny” (perhaps the Elizabethan equivalent of “doo-wop”).


Irving Fine - teacher, conductor, respected and widely programmed composer of chamber, orchestral, and choral music - was educated at Harvard and later taught there and at Brandeis University. A contemporary of Leonard Bernstein and Aaron Copland, he died prematurely in 1962.

For The Choral New Yorker, written in 1944, fine chose poems that had been published in The New Yorker in the 1920s or 1930s. Hen Party is a delightful spoof in which a gossip session is likened to a coven of witches. The puritan cleric Cotton Mather, the archetypical gossip/scold Mrs. Grundy, the mythical Hecate, as well as the Pied Piper - all are invoked. Among Peggy Bacon's clever lines are those with inspired rhymes: “Old Hecate comes seldom. Each hag and Hell—beldam tells a scandal, bites a sandwich, lights a candle to the Grand Witch.” Jake Falstaff's poem to autumn, Design for October, has a different incantatory power: “Summer is gone! Summer is ended. It is done. It is gone. It is ended.” The sound of his rhymes is musical itself: “stir the fawn,” “black on the lawn,” “crying geese of the dawn.” Fine's piano writing is wonderfully effective - bristling and jazzy in Hen Party, poignant and lyrical in Design for October.


Henry Brant, an American composer of Canadian birth, is known for inventive, experimental music, and spatial works. He has written for orchestral ensembles of all sizes and for films, and has taught at Columbia, Julliard, and Bennington College. Brant wrote both the words and music for The 3-Way Canon Blues. This combination of the ancient academic form, the canon (used in every cycle on this program), with the most purely American of forms - the blues - seems a fitting end to a concert of American music. The touches of barbershop harmony found in Charles Ives's Crossing the Bar return in Brant's canon, whose prescription for himself could apply to the whole program: “There's no room for 12-tone systems,” and “an 8-bar situation with the usual syncopation.” Above all, “polyphonic combinations” are not only the canon's but also choral music's “best sensations.”

Clara Longstreth


New Amsterdam Singers, under Music Director Clara Longstreth, is a chorus of seventy skilled avocational singers whose concert performances in New York City and abroad have won critical acclaim. The group has long been known for the variety and interest of its repertoire, ranging from the sixteenth through the twentieth centuries. The chorus specializes in a cappella and double chorus repertoire, and regularly performs contemporary and commissioned works. Recent program themes from their regular subscription series include The Seasons of Life (musical settings of poetry on youth and age), Serious Folk (great composers inspired by traditional melody), and Landscapes and Reflections (a sense of place in song).

NAS has performed with the New York Philharmonic under Leonard Bernstein, at Alice Tully Hall as the guest of Clarion Converts, and with the American Symphony Orchestra in Carnegie Hall. During 1992-93 NAS celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary season.

Clara Longstreth has been the Music Director of the New Amsterdam Singers since its formation in 1968. She studied conducting with G. Wallace Woodworth at Harvard University and trained for her master's degree form Juilliard under Richard Westenburg. Further study included work with Amy Kaiser and Semyon Bychkov at Mannes College of Music and extensive study with Helmuth Rilling at the Oregon Bach Festival.

In 1990 Ms. Longstreth conducted the New Amsterdam Singers in Washington, D.C., at the Easter Division convention of the American Choral Directors Association. She has also led the chorus on five international tours, performing at the Irakleion Festival in Greece; the Granada Festival in Spain; the International Choral Festival at Miedzyzdroie, Poland; the Festival of the Algarve sponsored by the Gulbenkian Foundation in Portugal; and the International Musical Eisteddfod at Llangollen, Wales, Ms. Longstreth is a frequent guest conductor in the New York City area.



*Jennifer Beilin

Linda Bookheim

*Stela Maria Brandão

Darlene Chalberg

Carol Chin

Joanne Cossa

Dale Davidson

Ann Farbman

Janet Field

Madeline Gozzi

Pamela Haft

Robin Beckhard James

*Mary Kearney

Laura Klein

Julie Leff

Jane Mason

Vickie Miller

Carol O'Connor

*Judith Pott

*Kathy Schuman

*Janice Seymour

Annette Sheldon

*Mary Storandt

Jennifer Trahan

Mary Trigg

Barbara Zucker-Pinchoff


Maren Berthelson

Sarah Birnbaum

Martha Bonta

Suzanne Doob

Paula Franklin

*Nara Garber

Adrianne Hill

Frieda Holober

*Sally Hoskins

Jeanette Goya Johnson

Betty Kulleseid

Jennifer Melick

Ruth Nott

Adria Quiñones

Orlena Ruiz

Lee Ryder

*Marcia Siegel

*Ellen Stark

Lisa Tate

Elizabeth Thorne

Deanna von Gutfeld

Donna Zalichin

*Tatiana Zybin


*Eric Brose

Ian Capps

John Duncan

Jonathon Gerson

Dennis Goodenough

André Guthman

Nicholas Harding

Chris Jones

*Marc Leve

Richard Levin

Paul Parsekian

*Benjamin Perez

Frayda Pitkowsky

*Scott Wilson


*Dennis Delaney

Michael DeLeon

*Timothy DeWerff

David Frederickson Charlie Gamble

Scott Gillam

Rick Hibberd

*Stephen Holtje

*Neil Jaffee

John Leuenhagen

*Uchin Kim

**Steven Osgood

Robert Palmer

Steven Widerman

Michael Zimmerman

Matthew Zuckerbraun

*Chamber Chorus

**rehearsal accompanist


Go, Lovely Rose (1942)

Halsey Stevens

Poetry by Edmund Waller

Go, lovely rose!

Tell her that wastes her time and me

That now she knows,

When I resemble her to thee,

How sweet and fair she seems to be.

Tell her that's young,

And shuns to have her graces spied,

That hadst thou sprung

In deserts, where no men abide,

Thou must have uncommended died.

Small is the worth

Of beauty from the light retired;

Bid her come forth,

Suffer herself to be desired,

And not blush so to be admired.

Then die! That she

The common fate of all things rare

May read in thee;

How small a part of time they share

That are so wondrous sweet and fair!

Crossing the Bar (CA. 1891)

Charles Ives

Poetry by Alfred Lord Tennyson

Sunset and ev'ning star

And one clear call for me!

And may there be no moaning of the bar,

When I put out to sea.

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,

Too full for sound and foam,

When that which drew from out the boundless deep,

Turns again home.

Twilight and ev'ning bell,

After that the dark!

May there be no sadness of farewell,

When I embark.

For though from out our bourne of Time and Place

The flood may bear me far.

I hope to see my Pilot face to face

When I have crost the bar.


Reincarnations (1940)

Samuel Barber

Poetry by James Stephens

Mary Hynes

She is the sky of the sun!

She is the dart of love!

She is the love of my heart!

She is a rune,

She is above the women

Of the race of Eve,

As the sun is above the moon!

Lovely and airy

The view from the hill

That looks down on Ballylea!

But no good sight

Is good, until

By great good luck

You see

The Blossom of Branches

Walking towards you,


Anthony O Daly

Since your limbs were laid out

The stars do not shine!

The fish leap not out

In the waves!

On our meadows the dew

Does not fall in the morn,

For O Daly is dead!

Not a flow'r can be born!

Not a word can be said!

Not a tree have a leaf!

For O Daly is dead!

After you

There is nothing to do!

After you

There is nothing but grief!

The Coolin

Come with me, under my coat

And we will drink our fill

Of the milk of the white goat,

Or wine if it be thy will.

And we will talk until

Talk is a trouble too,

Out on the side of the hill;

And nothing is left to do,

But an eye to look into an eye;

And a hand in a hand to slip;

And a sigh to answer a sigh;

And a lip to find out a lip!

What if the night be black!

And the air on the mountain chill!

Where the goat lies down in her track

and all but the fern is still!

Stay with me, under my coat!

And we will drink our fill

Of the milk of the white goat

Out on the side of the hill!

David Wept for Slain Absalom (1971)

Alan Hovhaness

Text: II Samuel 18:33

David wept for slain Absalom.

O my son, victory is turned into mourning.

O my son, David wept.

Absalom, O, Absalom my son,

would God I had died for thee.

O my son, Absalom my son.

Tarantella (1937)

Randall Thompson

Poetry by Hillaire Belloc

Do you remember an Inn, Miranda?

Do you remember an Inn?

And the tedding and the spreading

Of the straw for a bedding,

And the fleas that tease

in the High Pyrenees,

And the wine that tasted of the tar?

And the cheers and the jeers

of the young muleteers

(Under the dark of the vine verandah)?

Do you remember an Inn, Miranda?

Do you remember an Inn?

And the cheers and the jeers

of the young muleteers

Who hadn't got a penny,


And who weren't paying any,

nd the hammer at the doors


and the Din?

And the Hip! Hop! Hap!

Of the clap

Of the hands to the twirl and the swirl

Of the girl gone chancing,



Backing and advancing,

Snapping of the clapper to the spin

Out and in—

And the Ting, Tong, Tang of the guitar!

Do you remember an Inn, Miranda?

Do you remember an Inn?

Never more, Miranda,

Never more.

Only the high peaks hoar:

And Aragon a torrent at the door.

No sound

In the walls of the Halls where falls

The tread

Of the feet of the dead

to the ground.

No sound: Only the boom

Of the far Waterfall like Doom.

Earthsongs (1983)

Ronald Perera

Poetry by E.E. Cummings

O sweet spontaneous earth

O sweet spontaneous

earth how often have

the doting

fingers of

prurient philosophers pinched


poked thee

has the naughty thumb

of science prodded


beauty how

often have religions taken

thee upon their scraggy knees

squeezing and

buffeting thee that thou mightest



(but true

to the incomparable

couch of death thy

rhythmic lover

thou answerest


in Just-spring

in Just-

spring when the world is mud-

luscious the little

lame balloonman

whistles far and wee

and eddieandbill come

running from marbles and

piracies and it's


when the world is puddle-


the queer

old balloonman whistles

far and wee

and bettyand isbel come dancing

from hop-scotch and jump-rope








whistles far and wee

as is the sea marvelous

as is the sea marvelous

from god's

hands which sent her forth

to sleep upon the world

and the earth withers

the moon crumbles

one by one

stars flutter into dust

but the sea

does not change

and she goes forth out of hands


she returns into hands

and is with sleep….


the breaking

of your



my lips

All in green went my love riding

All in green went my love riding

on a great horse of gold

into the silver dawn.

four lean hounds crouched low and


the merry deer ran before.

Fleeter be they than dappled dreams

the swift sweet deer

the red rare deer.

Four red roebuck at a white water

the cruel bugle sang before.

Horn at hip went my love riding

riding the echo down

into the silver dawn.

four lean hounds crouched

low and smiling

the level meadows ran before.

Softer be they than slippered sleep

the lean lithe deer

the fleet flown deer

Four fleet does at a gold valley

the famished arrow sang before.

Bow at belt went my love riding

riding the mountain down

into the silver dawn.

four lean hounds crouched low and


the sheer peaks ran before.

Paler be they than daunting death

the sleek slim deer

the tall tense deer.

Four tall stags at a green mountain

the lucky hunter sang before.

All in green went my love riding

on a great horse of gold

into the silver dawn.

four lean hounds crouched

low and smiling

my heart fell dead before.

when god lets my body be

when god lets my body be

From each brave eye

shall sprout a tree

fruit that dangles therefrom

the purpled world will dance upon

Between my lips which did sing

a rose shall beget the spring

that maidens whom passion wastes

will lay between their little breasts

My strong fingers beneath the snow

Into strenuous birds shall go

my love walking in the grass

their wings will touch with her face

and all the while shall my heart be

With the bulge and

nuzzle of the sea

i thank You God

i thank You God for most this

amazing day;


for the leaping greenly spirits of trees

nd a blue true dream of sky; and


for everything

which is natural which is infinite

which is yes

(I who have died am alive

again today,

and this is the sun's birthday;

this is the birth

day of life and of love and

wings: and of the gay

great happening illimitably earth)

how shall tasting touching

hearing seeing

breathing any—lifted from the no

of all nothing—human merely being

doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake


now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

Shakespeare Songs (1988)

Matthew Harris

Poetry by William Shakespeare

Who Is Silvia?

Two Gentlemen of Verona

Who is Silvia? What is she,

That all our swains commend her?

Holy, fair and wise is she;

The heavens such grace did lend her,

That she might admired be.

Is she kind as she is fair?

For beauty lives with kindness:

Love doth to her eyes repair,

To help him of his blindness:

And, being helped, inhabits there.

Then to Silvia let us sing,

That Silvia is excelling;

She excels each mortal thing

Upon the dull earth dwelling.

To her let us garlands bring.

Take, O Take Those Lips Away

Measure for Measure

Take, O, take those lips away

That so sweetly were forsworn.

And those eyes, the break of day,

Lights that do mislead the morn.

But my kisses bring again, bring again,

Seals of love, but sealed in vain,

sealed in vain.

Tell Me Where Is Fancy Bred?

The Merchant of Venice

Tell me where is fancy bred,

Or in the heart or in the head?

How begot, how nourished?

Reply, reply.

It is engendered in the eyes,

With gazing fed; and fancy dies

In the cradle where it lies.

Let us all ring fancy's knell:

I'll begin it—Ding, dong, bell.

[All] Ding, dong, bell.

It Was a Lover and His Lass

As You Like It

It was a lover and his lass,

With a hey and a ho, and a hey nonino,

That o'er the green corn field did pass

In spring time, the only pretty ring time,

When birds do sing, hey ding a ding, ding:

Sweet lovers love the spring.

Between the acres of the rye,

With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,

These pretty country folks would like

In spring time, &c.

This carol they began that hour,

With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,

How that life was but a flower

In spring time, &c.

And therefore take the present time,

With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,

For love is crowned with the prime

In spring time, &c.

You Spotted Snakes

A Midsummer Night's Dream

You spotted snakes with double tongue,

Thorny hedgehogs, be not seen;

Newts and blindworms, do no wrong,

Come not near our Fairy Queen.

Philomel, with melody

Sing in our sweet lullaby;

Lulla, lulla, lullaby, lulla, lulla, lullaby:

Never harm,

Nor spell nor charm,

Come our lovely lady nigh;

So good night, with lullaby.

Weaving spiders, come not here;

Hence, you long-legg'd

Spinners, hence!

Beetles black, approach not near;

Worm nor snail, do no offence,.

Philomel, with melody, &c.

Sigh No More, Ladies

Much Ado About Nothing

Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more,

Men were deceivers ever,

One foot in sea and one on shore,

To one thing constant never.

Then sigh not so, but let them go,

And be you blithe and bonny,

Converting all your sounds of woe

Into Hey nonny, nonny.

Sing no more ditties, sing no more

Of dumps so dull and heavy.

The fraud of men was ever so,

Since summer first was leavy.

Then sigh not so, but let them go,

And be you blithe and bonny,

Converting all your sounds of woe

Into Hey nonny, nonny.

O Mistress Mine

Twelfth Night

O mistress mine, where are you roaming?

O, stay and hear, your true love's coming.

That can sing both high and low.

Trip no further, pretty sweeting,

Journeys end in lovers meeting,

Every wise man's son doth know.

What is love? `Tis not hereafter,

Present mirth hath present laughter,

What's to come is still unsure.

In delay there lies no plenty,

Then come and kiss me, sweet and twenty,

Youth's a stuff will not endure.

The Choral New Yorker (1944)

Irving Fine

Hen Party

Poetry by Peggy Bacon

The pack gathers

on the black Sunday

Mrs. Lathers

and Mrs. Grundy

give a party

for all the witches;

the food is hearty,

there are no hitches;

one stitches,

another chatters,

all blather

of small matters.

A-sudden enter

In aged ermine,

The Queen viper,

The Ace of vermin;

(the Pied Piper

overlooked her,

Cotton Mather

Should have cooked her);

a clacking racket,

a great stir,

in the center,

the dowager.

Old Hecate comes seldom,

each hag and hell-beldam

tells a scandal, bites a sandwich,

lights a candle

to the Grand Witch.

After the curses

and incantations,

fetch the hearses

for the reputations!

Design for October

Poetry by Jake Falstaff

Then I heard a voice saying:

Summer is gone!

Summer is ended.

It is done. It is gone. It is ended.

No more at morning

Will you stir the fawn

Or see the blackbirds

Black on the lawn

Or hear the crying Geese of the dawn.

Then in my window

Grave was I.

Gravely I watched

The summer die.

And the last of the crying

Geese go by.

The 3-way Canon Blues (1946)

Henry Brant

Poetry by Henry Brant

Here's an 8-bar situation

With the usual syncopation, and

Scored for voices, unaccomp'nied,

On the 3-way Canon Blues

In this canon tone relations

Are not abstract formulations;

There's no room for 12-tone systems

On the 3-way Canon Blues.

Polyphonic combinations

Are the canon's best sensations,

Mixed with barbershop progressions

On the 3-way Canon Blues.

A New Amsterdam Singers Twenty-Fifth Anniversary project. Produced by Clara Longstreth; Recorded in March 1993 by Malcolm Addey at the Church of Saint Jean Baptiste; Assoc. Engineer and Digital editing by William Tzouris; Design and cover photo by Rick Hibberd; Printed in USA. © 1993 New Amsterdam Singers, New York, NY, all rights reserved. Albany Records US, PO Box 5011, Albany, New York 12205, Tel. 518 453 2205. Albany Records UK, Box 12, Warton, Carnforth, Lancashire LA5 9PD, Tel 0524 736448