wedding night

wedding night

Jarrett Ott sings excerpts from "War Wedding"

1d ago
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Excerpts from Tony Solitro's "War Wedding." Filmed during a closed recording session at the Curtis Institute of Music. Jarrett Ott, baritone Susan Nowicki, piano Jarrett's website: http://www.jarrettott.com Tony's website: http://www.tonysolitrocomposer.com Full audio from the recording session on SoundCloud: http://bit.ly/1cEm4Yy Program Note: The songs of War Wedding chronicle the sensuous wedding night of two young lovers set against the backdrop of a savage and vicious war. After they part at daybreak, the young soldier dies from his wounds, and his bride is left alone. The cycle was commissioned by, and is lovingly dedicated to, Justin Vickers. During his doctoral dissertation research on Michael Tippett's The Heart's Assurance, Justin encountered the poetry of Alun Lewis, which he describes as "saturated in war, and rich with grief." When he introduced me to the text, I knew immediately that it would translate perfectly into a song cycle. Alun Lewis (1915-1944) was one of the great British writers of the Second World War. Born in industrial South Wales he went to university and became a teacher before enlisting in the army despite pacifist misgivings about the war. Already published, becoming a soldier galvanized Lewis's writing and he published a story collection, The Last Inspection, and two poetry collections, Raiders' Dawn and Ha! Ha! Among the Trumpets. The latter was published posthumously, following his death in a shooting accident on active service in Burma. By this time his critical and popular reputation were established and Lewis's writing has continued to fascinate for almost seventy years. War Wedding is presented here with the kind permission of Mr. Lewis' estate. TEXTS (corresponding to excerpts): 1. The Marriage Bed Beloved, lie with me. My heavy boots stand sentinel Against this hired bed-room under-neath the eaves, Where Beauty slips the green leash of her Spring And flowers blossom from a ring of leaves. And in her white magnetic fields My tense prismatic fingers move In patterns of attraction and release; The parallels tend unswervingly Toward the pole of peace. 2. The Wedding Gift Whorled periwinkle, breathless wave Kissing the sighing pebble green, Deep rock-pools trembling lucency Through which the sunburnt Tyrian dives For the pearl in its dark yolk, Your sad and wistful smile is glad To know the Tyrian sleeps at last In the sea-anemone that sways Beneath the surface of the tide And feels its silken veins. 3. The Vigil But all your gentle seed they took And all your manly symmetry, The soft ways of your speech And all your laughter. All life was active in your gesture. But I refused you, threw you farther Than heart's reach, nerves' tether.... Oh! Had I only slid my nails Into your gaping cicatrice And sucked you with my lips' leech-kisses And been your pagan lover...