For the Beauty of the Earth

Texts and Translations

Three Songs for Spring                            Felix Mendelssohn


Lob des Frühlings (In Praise of Spring)  Op. 100, No. 2
 
The first green of the sown wheat, 
the scent of violets,
The whirling of larks, the singing of blackbirds,
Showers of sunlight, balmy air!
If I sing words such as these,
Are great things still necessary
To praise you, springtime day?

–From the German by 
    Johann Ludwig Uhland 


Im Wald (In the Forest) Op. 100, No. 4

 
Oh forest, you cooling well,
How you revive the thirsting breast!
From the parching burning of the sun
You invite [us] to refreshing joy.

And when we rest, shadowed by branches,
The eye turned toward the ether,
Then heaven appears to incline itself 
toward us, A cool breeze comes as if from the heavenly land.
Oh forest, you temple of sounds,
Your green canopy rises loftily.
Brightly, in twofold beauty,
Song still echoes in the treetops.

And if as we hear the sound of the songs
We are touched by God's almighty hand,
Then from the branches a murmuring 
drifts down to us, Like dreams from the heavenly land.
 
 
–From the German by 
Henrich Weismann

Lerchengesang (Song of the Lark) Op. 48, No. 4

 
What a sweet song!
O lark! Your song,
It lifts, it swings in delight.
You take me from here,
I sing with you,
We climb through clouds to the sun.


–From the German by 
Johann Ludwig Uhland


The Pasture (from Frostiana)                            
Randall Thompson
 

I'm going out to clean the pasture spring;
I'll only stop to rake the leaves away
(And wait to watch the water clear, I may):
I sha'n't be gone long.—You come too.

I'm going out to fetch the little calf
That's standing by the mother. It's so young,
It totters when she licks it with her tongue.
I sha'n't be gone long.—You come too.
 

–Robert Frost


Two Choruses in a Time of War                                 
Steven Sametz


To an Unknown Soldier
 
The rain’s wet kiss is on your lips where lay 
once the pulses of a woman’s soul;
Your eyes give back unto the quiet sky
Only sheen of stars, the glare of day,
Or darkness when the kindly shadows roll
Up from the sea to hide you where you lie
No woman’s whisper holds your strong heart spent and breathless
All the silver horns that blew
While legions cheered, are still, are gone.
But these you have: a death for monuments and peace you died to buy
And after you the laughing play of children in the sun.

–Kendall Harrison
 
Soldiers’ Chorus

Princes play with our lives today;
When our lives they have stol’n away
Neither power nor care will they have to restore
Unhappy are we to live under these stars
Surrounded by evils, afflicted by war, 
Theirs is the guilt, but the sorrow is ours. 

–From the French by Olivier de Magny


Sakura (Cherry Blossom Song)                        
Japanese Folksong
arr. Matthews


Cherry Blossoms.
On mountains, in villages.
As far as you can see.
They look like fog or clouds.
They are fragrant in the morning sun.
Cherry Blossoms.
In full bloom.


Hotaru Koi                                
Japanese Children’s Song
arr. Rō Ogura

 
Ho, firefly, come, there's some water that's bitter to taste, 
come, here's some water that's sweet to your taste;
ho, firefly, ho, up this mountain path.
Firefly's daddy struck it rich, so he's got lots of dough,
no wonder that his rear end sparkles in the dark.
Ho, firefly, up this mountain path.
In the daytime hiding 'mongst the dewy blades of grass, 
but when it's night, his lantern burns bright.

E'en though we've flown all the way from India, zoom! 
and those sparrows swarm to swallow us.
Ho, firefly, come, 
there's some water that's bitter to taste,
come, here's some water that's 
sweet to the taste;
Ho, firefly, up this mountain path,
look! see a thousand lanterns sparkling in the dark, 
ho, up this mountain path.


Earthsong                                        
Frank Ticheli


Sing, be, live, see
This dark stormy hour
The wind, it stirs
The scorched Earth cries out in vain

Oh war and power, you blind and blur
The torn heart cries out in pain

But music and singing have been my refuge
And music and singing shall be my light

A light of song, shining strong
Hallelujah 

Through darkness and pain and strife
I'll sing, I'll be, live, see.


For the Beauty of the Earth                            
Conrad Kocher
arr. Rudoi


For the beauty of the earth,
For the beauty of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies,
Refrain: Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.
For the beauty of each hour
Of the day and of the night,
Hill and vale, and tree and flow’r,
Sun and moon, and stars of light,
Refrain
For the joy of human love,
Brother, sister, parent, child,
Friends on earth, and friends above,
For all gentle thoughts and mild.
Refrain
 
–Folliott S. Pierpoint 


For the Earth                                    
Steven Sametz
 
I. Lamenter’s Chorus of Spoken and Whispering Voices 

II.  Chorus
The earth dries up and withers, 
The world languishes and withers, 
The heavens languish with the earth. 
The earth is defiled
–Book of Isaiah 24: 4-5

III.  Children’s Chorus: Children’s voices in the shelter are heard asking 
questions of the Elder about “The Before Time”     

IV.  Children’s Chorus
Grandfather,
Look at our brokenness.
Teach us that we may heal the earth.
–Objibway people of Canada

V. Introduction of the Elder 
The Elder (choral recitative)
Heaven is my father, Earth is my mother
                                                          –Chang-Tsai (1020-1077)

VI. The Elder (Chorus)
The beauty of the trees, the softness of the air, the fragrance of the grass, speaks to me.
The summit of the mountain, the thunder of the sky, the rhythm of the sea, speaks to me.
The strength of the fire, the trail of the sun, the life that never goes away, they speak to me.
And my heart soars.
                               –Chief Dan George TsleilWaututh (1899-1981)

VII. Choral response of Children to the Elder   
You are singing, my little dove, 
All the songbirds of our Lord, 
The redbirds, the turtledove, 
If there is such happiness 
Why do our hearts not rejoice?
                                –Song of Dzitbalche (Ancient Mayan text, 1440)

VIII. Denier’s Chorus

IX. Aria:  mezzo-soprano
They’ve lost it, 
And their children
Will never even wish for it–
And I am afraid …
Because the sun keeps rising
And these days, 
Nobody sings. 
–Aaron Kramer 

X. The Elder (Bass solo and chorus)
Chorus: We have forgotten who we are 
Elder: “I speak, yet if you hear me not of what avail am I to you? 
I swear the earth shall surely be complete to those who shall be complete,
The earth remains jagged and broken to those who are jagged and broken.
No politics, or song, religion, behavior is of account,
unless it compare with the amplitude of the earth.

–Walt Whitman (1819-1892)
         (“A Song of the Rolling Earth”, from Leaves of Grass, 1856)

XI. Final Chorus: We Have Forgotten                                
We have forgotten 
   The earth’s beauty
   The azure of the sky
   The greenness of the valleys
   The beauty of the lily
   The greenness of the world
   The greenness of the fields
   The horizon at sunset
   The glory of the garden
   We have forgotten
      The majesty of forests
      The clarity of water
      The azure of the heavens
      The sanctity of heaven
   We have forgotten
      The beauty of the trees, 
   The fragrance of the grass,
   The air –
      Speak to us, 
      They cry to us
      And we turn away.

The earth we once thought beautiful
   The earth we once thought bountiful
           
This our earth, 
   This is our inheritance
   This the world that we leave to our children
   And their children
   This their world 
That we leave

    We pray and weep
   But will not learn

    The earth cries out to us.  (The earth cries out and withers)
   The earth cries to us.        (The heavens languish with the earth)
   The earth cries.                     
– Steven Sametz


Our Organization
 

Board of Directors
 

Christopher Coucill, Chair

Janice Roddenbery

Heather Kayan*, Secretary - Singer Representative
Brian Ramsey* - Singer Representative
Nadine Sine, Treasurer


Administration

Steven Sametz, Artistic Director
John Cloys, Executive Director
Heather Kayan, Librarian
Heidi Dreyfuss, Accountant



Our Donors

As a not-for-profit organization, every dollar helps us to continue in our tradition of
performing high quality, diverse music to audiences around the region. The Princeton
Singers are deeply grateful to the following individuals and businesses who have made
a contribution over the past year. Report errors/omissions to execdir@princetonsingers.org.

Angels Circle (2500+)    
The Edward T. Cone Foundation
Christopher Coucil
David Johnson
John McGoldrick
John Rassweiler
Thomas and Janice Roddenbery
Nadine Sine
   
Directors Circle ($1000-$2499)    
Peter and Helena Bienstock
Ruth Bronzan
P.J. and Diane Calello
Gabrielle Michel and Thomas Leperlier
Steven P. Sametz
Susan Wilson
   
Artists Circle ($500-$999)    
Julia D. Clark
Catherine Mineo
Romeu G. Charitable Fund
The Robins Family Fund of the Princeton Area Community Foundation
Brooke Roulette
   
Advocates Circle ($250-$499)    
Toni Besselaar
John and Melanie Clarke
John Cloys
John and Jill Guthrie
Colin and Margaret Hill
   
Friends Circle ($1-$249)   
John Baker
Elisabeth Bish
Dulcie Bull and Clive Muncaster
Joan Canfield
Laurence Capo
Galina Chernaya
Elizabeth Crofts
Patricia Demers
Miguel Fernandez
Karlfried and Ricarda Froehlich
Karen Graves
Janet Haring
Nathaniel and Valerie Hartshorne
James and Elizabeth Healy
Stephanie Heidere
Elizabeth Holt
Fred Howard
Heather Kayan
Marsha Levin-Rojer
Mary Lutton
John and Patricia Magovern
Val and Martha Mathews
Cecilia Matthews
Katherine McGavern
Michelle McKenna
J. Muntz
John Neale
Katherine O'Connor
George Point
Robert Puffer
Anne Reeves
John Ricklefs and Nancy Greenspan
Llewellyn Ross
Rita Saltz
Mark and Amy Schaefer
Anne and Michael Seltzer
Susan and Alan Tarr
Marietta and Joseph Taylor
Millicent Thomas
Barbara Thomson
Daphne Townsend
Ann B. Vehslage
Judy and Torry Watkins
Linda Weaver
Bruce Woodger