BELOVED, THOU HAST BROUGHT ME MANY FLOWERS


Movements:
I. Beloved, Thou Hast Brought Me Many Flowers II. Liebeslied III. Do you know IV. White World V. Music, when soft voices die VI. Go from me

Instrumentation:
Mezzo-soprano, cello, piano

Text: Elizabeth Barrett Browning, H.D. (Hilda Doolittle), Rainer Maria Rilke, Percy Byssh Shelley

Duration: 20 minutes

Commissioned By:
Hella Mears Hueg

Premiere:
May 22, 1994 by Glenda Maurice, mezzo-soprano; Laura Sewell, cello; and Ruth Palmer, piano; at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Minneapolis, MN

Available From:
Oxford Univeristy Press, distributed by Banks

Composer's Notes:
This group of six songs for mezzo-soprano, piano, and cello began with Rainer Maria Rilke's poem "Liebeslied" and grew into a cycle of songs about mature love, music, nature, and flowers. The piece was commissioned by Hella Mears Hueg and presented to her husband Bill Hueg for his 70th birthday in 1994.

The title song, from a poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, opens the group, and is followed by an English translation of Rilke's 'Liebeslied,' scored simply for mezzo-soprano and cello, as if in conversation. "Do you know" is another translated love poem by Rilke. "White world" is accompanied by piano alone, played entirely on white keys. Completing this cycle are Shelley's "Music, when soft voices die" and another Elizabeth Barrett Browning poem, "Go from me," both of which trace a mature, loving relationship between two people.

— Libby Larsen