Mr. Yost’s Weekly Update: Let Us Garlands Bring, by English composer Gerald Finzi
March 20, 2020 -
March 20th, 2020
Mr. Yost’s Weekly Update
Keeping in touch with the Beautiful is also more important than ever, and many of us have extra time to listen to good music now anyway! So, I will be sending a “song cycle” each week. A song cycle is a group of works for piano and voice (called “lied” or “artsongs” individually); the songs are written on texts sharing a common poet/author or theme.
This week’s selection is Let Us Garlands Bring, by English composer Gerald Finzi. The songs all set Shakespearean verse. The first, “Come Away, Come Away, Death,” is my personal favorite (though the last comes close). It sings of death, using a darkly descending bass line (using a particular figure that represented death in a lot of Baroque music) and a haunting ascending motif in the voice and piano. “Who is Silvia?” (3:55), whence comes the title of the whole set near the end (4:58), is much lighter, more energetic, and love-filled. “Fear No More the Heat o’ the Sun” (5:22) has qualities of both its predecessors; overall, it is a tranquil, even, and introspective reflection, but listen for moments of intensity and of extreme fragility. “O Mistress Mine” (11:12) reclaims a lighthearted demeanor that is also echoed in “It Was a Lover and His Lass” (13:23), a celebratory and skipping crown to the whole work.
I have 11 sets of “eight great” works from previous quarters, so if you’re looking for even more listening to fill the socially-isolated hours, please send me an email, and I’d be delighted to send you more excellent music!
Please do not hesitate to reach out with any comments or questions for me! Best wishes,
Matthew Yost | Dean of Academics | 8th-Grade Music | 10th-Grade Economics | 11th– and 12th-Grade Drama | Fine Arts Master Teacher
Sponsor: Hiking Club | Co-Sponsor: Homework Club | Sponsor: Men’s Choir | Sponsor: Centurions in Service | House Head: Joan of Arc
Lesson Review. Music: M before school, W lyceum | Drama: Tu before school | Other times by appointment
Cicero Preparatory Academy | 7205 N. Pima Rd. | Scottsdale, AZ 85250 | Room 117 (Music) and Stage (Drama)