Song Lab Master Class | Graham Johnson + Benjamin Britten
Acclaimed pianist Graham Johnson OBE holds a master class, focusing on selected songs by Benjamin Britten, as part of the NEC Song Lab, a brand new and unique curriculum for singers and pianists. Participants will include graduate students in Vocal Performance and Collaborative Piano.
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Selections from "Winter Words"
At day-close in November
The ten hours' light is abating,
And a late bird wings across,
Where the pines, like waltzers waiting,
Give their black heads a toss.
Beech leaves, that yellow the noon-time,
Float past like specks in the eye;
I set every tree in my June time,
And now they obscure the sky.
And the children who ramble through here
Conceive that there never has been
A time when no tall trees grew here,
That none will in time be seen.
Midnight on the Great Western
In the third-class seat sat the journeying boy,
And the roof-lamp's oily flame
Played down on his listless form and face,
Bewrapt past knowing to what he was going,
Or whence he came.
In the band of his hat the journeying boy
Had a ticket stuck; and a string
Around his neck bore the key of his box,
That twinkled gleams of the lamp's sad beams
Like a living thing.
What past can be yours, O journeying boy
Towards a world unknown,
Who calmly, as if incurious quite
On all at stake, can undertake
This plunge alone?
Knows your soul a sphere, O journeying boy,
Our rude realms far above,
Whence with spacious vision you mark and mete
This region of sin that you find you in,
But are not of?
- Sam Rosner, tenor
- Marie-Elise Boyer, piano
Batter my heart, three person'd god from "The Holy Sonnets of John Donne"
Batter my heart, three-person'd God; for you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise, and stand, o'erthrow me and bend
Your force, to break, blow, burn and make me new
I, like an usurpt town, to another due
Labour to admit you, but Oh, to no end
Reason your viceroy in me, me should defend
But is captiv'd, and proves weak or untrue
Yet dearly I love you, and would be loved fain
But am betroth'd unto your enemy:
Divorce me, untie, or break that knot again
Take me to you, imprison me, for I
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.
- Anthony León, tenor
- Kyunga Lee, piano
Fish in the Unruffled Lakes
TextFish in the unruffled lakesTheir swarming colours wear,Swans in the winter airA white perfection have,And the great lion walksThrough his innocent grove;Lion, fish and swanAct, and are goneUpon Time’s toppling wave.We, till shadowed days are done,We must weep and singDuty’s conscious wrong,The Devil in the clock,The goodness carefully wornFor atonement or for luck;We must lose our loves,On each beast and bird that moves
Turn an envious look.Sighs for folly done and saidTwist our narrow days,But I must bless, I must praiseThat you, my swan, who haveAll gifts that to the swanImpulsive Nature gave,The majesty and pride,Last night should addYour voluntary love.
W. H. AudenArtists
- Angela Yam, soprano
- Ga-Young Park, piano