Higanbana   (Kohsaku Yamada)

 

Ici-bas  (Gabriel Fauré)

 

Hочи  безумные   (Pyotr Tchaikovsky)

 

Come, Love, across the sunlit land   (Charles Griffes)

 

Cирень   (Sergei Rachmaninoff)


The pianist for all five selections is Barry Snyder,

Professor of Music/Piano at Eastman School of Music.

 

 

TEXT TRANSLATIONS

 

 

Higanbana     (Poet--Hakushu Kitahara)

Note:  'Higanbana' is a small red wildflower that blooms in early autumn.

          'Gonshan' was a term used to address daughters from well-to-do

               families of the Yanagawa area of Kyushu.

 

Gonshan, gonshan, where are you going?

Again today you came to pick

Red higanbana for a grave.

 

Gonshan, gonshan, how many will you pick?

On the ground, seven flowers the color of blood,

Exactly the same number as your years.

 

Gonshan, gonshan, be careful!

While you pick one, in the mid-day sun,

They continue to bloom, one after another.

 

Gonshan, gonshan, why do you weep?

How long will you pick higanbana?

Fearful!  Wounded!  Only seven years old!

 

  

Ici-bas / Down Here     (Poet--Sully Prudhomme)

Down here all lilacs die,

All songs of the birds are brief,

I dream of summers which last

     Forever!

 

Down here lips barely touch

Without leaving any of their velvet,

I dream of kisses which last

     Forever!


Down here all men weep

For their friendships and their loves...

I dream of couples who remain together

     Forever!

 


Hочи  безумные / Mad Nights     (Poet--Alexei Apukhtin)

Mad nights, sleepless nights,

Incoherent words, weary gazes...

Nights, illuminated by the last fire of twilight,

Late flowers of the dead autumn!

 

Time, with a merciless hand,

Has shown me that there was something false in you,

Yet I fly to you with a greedy memory,

In the past, I seek an impossible answer...

 

With an ingratiating whisper, you drown out

Daily, intolerable, clamorous sounds...

In the quiet night, you drive away my sleep,

Sleepless nights, mad nights!

 

 

Come, Love, across the sunlit land     (Poet--Clinton Scollard)


Come, Love, across the sunlit land,

As blithe as dryad dancing free,

While time slips by like silvery sand

Within the glass of memory.

 

Ere Winter, in his reckless glee,

Blights all the bloom with ruthless hand,

Come, Love, across the sunlit land,

As blithe as dryad dancing free.

 

And all the years of life shall be

Like peaceful vales that wide expand

To meet a bright, untroubled sea

By radiant azure arches spanned;

 

Come, Love across the sunlit land,

As blithe as dryad dancing free.

 

 

Cирень / Lilacs     (Poet--Ekaterina Beketova)

In the morning, at dawn,

Across the dewy grass,

I will go to breathe the fresh morning;

And in the fragrant shade,

Where lilacs throng,

I will go to search for my happiness...

 

In life, one happiness

I am destined to find,

And that happiness dwells in the lilacs,

On green branches,

In fragrant clusters

My poor happiness blooms...