Nightingale

for soprano, descant recorder, oboe, violin, cello and harpsichord

 

Composition Date: 2009

Duration: 4'

 

Text: Hafez trans. Jila Peacock

Information:

 

This version of Nightingale was commissioned by Lake District Summer Music.

 

 

Programme Note:

 

NIGHTINGALE

version for soprano, descant recorder, oboe, violin, cello and harpsichord (2009)

 

from ‘Four Songs from Hafez’ for tenor and piano 2007

texts: Divan-e-Hafez, translated by Jila Peacock

 

 

 

The four songs, of which Nightingale is the first, are settings of the 14th century Persian Sufi poet, each using a bird or animal to describe separation from, and longing for, the Beloved.

 

I chose these texts after seeing Jila Peacock’s extraordinary book, Ten Poems from Hafez,  in which the whole Persian text of each poem has been designed in the shape of the animal mentioned by Hafez in the text, and set alongside a new English translation by the artist.

 

Several more pieces arose from these texts, including an oratorio, The Lion and the Deer, and a concertante work for viola, harp and string quartet with amateur string orchestra, entitled Rhapsody on Themes from Hafez.

 

In this new version, Nightingale is set against an ostinato accompaniment on the harpsichord, with the recorder creating the bird’s song. The other instruments interject with lyrical phrases and echoes of the accompaniment.

 

The four songs were originally commissioned by Leeds Lieder+ with funds partly provided by the RVW Trust, and first performed by Mark Padmore and Roger Vignoles at Leeds College of Music, on 12th October 2007.

 

This version of Nightingale was commissioned by Lake District Summer Music.

 

 

Nightingale

 

Roaming the dawn garden

I heard the call of a nightingale

 

Forlorn like me he loved the rose

And in that cry surged all his warbling grief

 

I drifted in that garden’s timeless moment

Balancing the plight of rose and bird

 

For endless roses flower each day

Yet no man plucks a single bloom

Without the risk of thorn

 

O Hafez, seek no gain from the orbit of this wheel

It has a thousand failings and no concern for you

 

Divan-e-Hafez, translated by Jila Peacock

 

Buy/Hire from Norsk Musikforlag

 

Available Recordings:

 

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