Sara Teasdale: A Song Cycle

Sara Teasdale Song Cycle Cover.jpg
Sara Teasdale Song Cycle Program Note.jpg
Sara Teasdale Joy.jpg
Sara Teasdale Buried Love.jpg
Sara Teasdale Change.jpg
Sara Teasdale Song Cycle Cover.jpg
Sara Teasdale Song Cycle Program Note.jpg
Sara Teasdale Joy.jpg
Sara Teasdale Buried Love.jpg
Sara Teasdale Change.jpg

Sara Teasdale: A Song Cycle

20.00

General Information

Scored for: mezzo-soprano and piano
Text: Sara Teasdale
Language: English
Duration: 8:30

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Program Notes

This song cycle was inspired by the life of Sara Teasdale. The story starts with Teasdale falling in love with Vaschel Lindsay (Joy). Although they were in love, she ended up marrying Ernst Filsinger so she could have financial security (House of Dreams). Filsinger was often away on business, leaving Teasdale very lonely, eventually leading to her secretly getting a divorce from him and moving to New York (Buried Love). The story ends with Teasdale committing suicide (I Shall Not Care) two years after Vaschel Lindsay. Both Prologue and Change serve as reminders to the audience to remember her younger self.

 

Text

1. Prologue (Change)
Remember me as I was then;
Turn from me now, but always see
The laughing shadowy girl who stood
At midnight by the flowering tree,

Turn from me now, or you will see
What other years have done to me.

2. Joy
I am wild, I will sing to the trees,
I will sing to the stars in the sky,
I love, I am loved, he is mine,
Now at last I can die!

I am sandaled with wind and with flame,
I have heart-fire and singing to give,
I can tread on the grass or the stars,
Now at last I can live!

3. House of Dreams
You took my empty dreams
And filled them every one
With tenderness and nobleness,
April and the sun.

The old empty dreams
Where my thoughts would throng
Are far too full of happiness
To even hold a song.

Oh, the empty dreams were dim
And the empty dreams were wide,
They were sweet and shadowy houses
Where my thoughts could hide.

But you took my dreams away
And you made them all come true --
My thoughts have no place now to play,
And nothing now to do.

4. Buried Love
I have come to bury Love
Beneath a tree,
In the forest tall and black
Where none can see.

I shall put no flowers at his head,
Nor stone at his feet,
For the mouth I loved so much
Was bittersweet.

I shall go no more to his grave,
For the woods are cold.
I shall gather as much of joy
As my hands can hold.

I shall stay all day in the sun
Where the wide winds blow, --
But oh, I shall cry at night
When none will know.

5. I Shall Not Care
When I am dead and over me bright April
Shakes out her rain-drenched hair,
Though you should lean above me broken-hearted,
I shall not care.

I shall have peace, as leafy trees are peaceful
When rain bends down the bough,
And I shall be more silent and cold-hearted
Than you are now.

6. Change
Remember me as I was then;
Turn from me now, but always see
The laughing shadowy girl who stood
At midnight by the flowering tree,
With eyes that love had made as bright
As the trembling stars of the summer night.

Turn from me now, but always hear
The muted laughter in the dew
Of that one year of youth we had,
The only youth we ever knew --
Turn from me now, or you will see
What other years have done to me.

Jessie Ragsdale, soprano (4/15/2016)

Talin Nalbandian, mezzo-soprano (10/1/2016)