St Bride's: Music - Annabel Price – mezzo-soprano<br />Matthew Morley – piano

St Bride's: Music - Lunchtime Recitals

Annabel Price – mezzo-soprano
Matthew Morley – piano

Tuesday, 15 January at 1:15pm - FREE ADMITTANCE - Retiring Collection

Annabel Price – mezzo-soprano<br />Matthew Morley – pianoAnnabel Price – mezzo-soprano<br />Matthew Morley – piano

W Mozart

Non so più (The Marriage of Figaro)

H Purcell

Dido's Lament (Dido and Aeneas)

C Gluck

Ô toi qui prolongeas mes jours (Iphigénie en Tauride)

C Debussy

Il pleure dans mon coeur

Voici que le printemps

Green

M Ravel

D'Anne qui me jecta de la neige

D'Anne jouant de l'espinette

J Brahms

Dein Blaues Auge

Verzagen

H Wolf

Das verlassene Mägdlein

Das Gartner

G Henschel

Marienwürmchen (The Ladybird)

Mozart: Non so piu cosa son, cosa faccio/ I don't know what to feel, or what to do
Non so piu cosa son, cosa faccio, Or di foco, ora sono di ghiaccio,
Ogni donna cangiar di colore, Ogni donna mi fa palpitar.
Solo ai nomi d'amor, di diletto, Mi si turba, mi s'altera il petto,
E a parlare mi sforza d'amore, Un desio ch'io non posso spiegar.
Non so piu cosa son, cosa faccio, Or di foco, ora sono di ghiaccio,
Ogni donna cangiar di colore, Ogni donna mi fa palpitar.
Parlo d'amore vegliando, Parlo d'amor sognando,
All'acqua, all'ombra, ai monti, Ai fiori, all'erbe, ai fonti,
All'eco, all'aria, ai venti, Che il suon de'vani accenti
Portano via con se. E se non ho chi m'oda,
Parlo d'amor con me!

I do not know anymore what I am, what I do,
One moment I'm on fire, the next moment I am cold as ice,
Every woman changes my colour, Every woman makes me tremble.
At the very mention of love, of delight,
I am greatly troubled, my heart stirs within my chest,
It compels me to speak of love, A desire I can not explain.
I do not know anymore what I am, what I do,
One moment I'm on fire, the next moment I am cold as ice,
Every woman changes my colour, Every woman makes me tremble.
I speak of love while I'm awake, I speak of love while I'm dreaming,
Water, shade, mountains, Flowers, grass, fountains, echo, air, and the winds,
The sound of my hopeless words are taken away with them.
And if I do not have anyone near to hear me, I speak of love to myself!

Gluck: Ô toi, qui prolongeas mes jours/ O you, who prolonged my days
Ô toi, qui prolongeas mes jours,
reprends un bien que je déteste,
Diane! Je t'implore, arrêtes-en le cours.
Rejoins Iphigénie au malheureux Oreste,
Hélas! Tout m'en fait une loi,
la mort me devient nécessaire.
J'ai vu s'élever contre moi
les Dieux, ma patrie et mon père.

Oh, you, who prolonged my life, take back a gift that I detest
Diana, I beg you, stop the course of my days
Reunite Iphigenia with the hapless Orestes,
Alas! Everything commands me, and death become a necessity
I have seen rise up against me the gods, my homeland and my father

Debussy: Il pleure dans mon coeur/ It rains in my heart
Il pleure dans mon cœur
Comme il pleut sur la ville;
Quelle est cette langueur
Qui pénètre mon cœur?

Ô bruit doux de la pluie,
Par terre et sur les toits!
Pour un cœur qui s'ennuie,
Ô le chant de la pluie!

Il pleure sans raison
Dans ce cœur qui s'écœure.
Quoi! nulle trahison?
Ce deuil est sans raison.

C'est bien la pire peine,
De ne savoir pourquoi
Sans amour et sans haine
Mon cœur a tant de peine!

It is crying inside my heart
As it is raining over the town;
What is this lethargy
Entering my heart?

Oh sweet sound of the rain
On the ground and on the roofs!
To a bored heart,
Oh the warbling of the rain!

It is crying without any reason
Inside that heart that makes itself sick.
What! No betrayal?
That mourning is unjustified.

Not knowing the reason why
Is the greatest sorrow
Without love or hatred
My heart deeply is in pain!

Voici que le printemps/ Here comes Spring
Voici que le printemps, ce fils léger d'Avril,
Beau page en pourpoint vert brodé de roses blanches.
Paraît, leste, fringant, et les poings sur les hanches,
Comme un prince acclamé revient d'un long exil.

Les branches des buissons verdis rendent étroite
La route qu'il poursuit en dansant comme un fol;
Sur son épaule gauche il porte un rossignol,
Un merle s'est posé sur son épaule droite.

Et les fleurs qui dormaient sous les mousses des bois
Ouvrent leurs yeux où flotte une ombre vague et tendre,
Et sur leurs petits pieds se dressent, pour entendre
Les deux oiseaux siffler et chanter à la fois.

Car le merle sifflote et le rossignol chante:
Le merle siffle ceux qui ne sont pas aimés,
Et pour les amoureux languissants et charmés,
Le rossignol prolonge une chanson touchante.

Across the hilltops comes the spring, blithe April's son!
In doublet, broidered green, White roses sewn between!
He laughs lightly! With hand on hip advances brightly!
Comes to his own like a monarch, his long weary exile done!

The leafy branches crowd along the n arrow byways,
Where comes the lusty lad, He dances there like mad!
He bears a nightingale high on one shoulder hale,
The other bears a blackbird, piping boldly skyways.

And the flow'rs who were sleeping 'mid the mossy wood
Unveil their eyes where shadows are vague and tender,
See them standing on tiptoe straight, there eager ears surrender,
List'ning the two birds singing together the while!

For the blackbird doth pipe and the nightingale chanteth,
The blackbird, whistling, jeers at the lovelorn youth,
And for those in Love's paradise, of smiling lips and eyes,
Nightingale all the wood with melody enchanteth!

Green
Voici des fruits, des fleurs, des feuilles et des branches
Et puis voici mon cœur qui ne bat que pour vous.
Ne le déchirez pas avec vos deux mains blanches
Et qu'à vos yeux si beaux l'humble présent soit doux.

J'arrive tout couvert encore de rosée
Que le vent du matin vient glacer à mon front.
Souffrez que ma fatigue, à vos pieds reposée,
Rêve des chers instants qui la délasseront.

Sur votre jeune sein laissez rouler ma tête
Toute sonore encore de vos derniers baisers;
Laissez-la s'apaiser de la bonne tempête,
Et que je dorme un peu puisque vous reposez.

Here are fruits, flowers, leaves and branches,
and here too is my heart, which beats for you alone.
Do not tear it with your two white hands,
and may the humble gift be sweet to your so lovely eyes.

I arrive still all covered in dew
which the morning wind comes to freeze to my brow.
Suffer my weariness, rested at your feet,
to dream of the dear moments which will soothe it.

On your young breast let my head to roll
still echoing with your last kisses;
let it grow calm again from the good storm,
and let me sleep a while, since you are resting.

Ravel: Deux Epigrammes de Clement Marot/ Two Epigrammes

D'Anne qui me jecta de la neige/ Anne who threw a snowball at me
Anne par jeu me jecta de la neige
Que je cuidoys froide certainement:
Mais c'estoit feu, l'expérience en ay-je
Car embrasé je fuz soubdainement
Puisque le feu loge secretement
Dedans la neige, où trouveray-je place
Pour n'ardre point? Anne, ta seule grâce
Estaindre peut le feu que je sens bien
Non point par eau, par neige, ne par glace,
Mais par sentir ung feu pareil au mien.

Anne in fun threw snow at me
which I found cold for certain:
but it was fire, the experience I had
for suddenly I was caressed
So, as fire secretly dwells
within the snow, where can I find a place
that does not burn? Anne, only your kindness
can extinguish the fire which consumes me
not with water, snow, or ice,
But with a fire like unto my own.

D'Anne jouant de l'espinette/ Anne who plays the spinet
Lorsque je voy en ordre la brunette
Jeune, en bon point, de la ligne des Dieux,
Et que sa voix, ses doits et l'espinette
Meinent ung bruyct doulx et melodieux,
J'ay du plaisir, et d'oreilles et d'yeulx
Plus que les sainctz en leur gloire immortelle
Et autant qu'eulx je devien glorieux
Dès que je pense estre ung peu ayme d'elle.

When I see all in order the brunette,
young, with beautiful figure, shaped like the gods,
and when her voice, her fingers and the spinet
make a sound sweet and melodious,
It is a joy for my ears and my eyes,
more than the saints in their immortal glory.
And even as they, I become glorious
When I think that she loves me a little.

Brahms: Dein Blaues Auge/ Your Blue Eyes
Dein blaues Auge hält so still,
Ich blicke bis zum Grund.
Du fragst mich, was ich sehen will?
Ich sehe mich gesund.

Es brannte mich ein glühend Paar,
Noch schmerzt das Nachgefühl;
Das deine ist wie See so klar
Und wie ein See so kühl.

Your blue eyes keep so still
That I can gaze upon their very depths.
You ask me what I want to see?
I see my own well-being.

A glowing pair burned me once;
The after-effect still hurts.
Yet your eyes are like a lake so clear,
And like a lake, so cool.

Verzagen/ Despondency
Ich sitz' am Strande der rauschenden See
Und suche dort nach Ruh',
Ich schaue dem Treiben der Wogen
Mit dumpfer Ergebung zu.

Die Wogen rauschen zum Strande hin,
Sie schäumen und vergehn,
Die Wolken, die Winde darüber,
Die kommen und verwehn.

Du ungestümes Herz sei still
Und gib dich doch zur Ruh',
Du sollst mit Winden und Wogen
Dich trösten, - was weinest du?

I sit by the shore of the rushing sea
And there I search for peace;
I look at the drifting waves,
With a dull resignation.

The waves are rushing to the shore,
They foam and vanish again;
The clouds, the winds above,
They come and blow away.

Be still, impetuous heart,
And be resigned in peace,
Let the waves and winds console you;
Why do you weep?

Wolf: Das verlassene Mägdlein/ The forsaken maiden
Früh, wann die Hähne kräh'n,
Eh' die Sternlein verschwinden,
Muß ich am Herde stehn,
Muß Feuer zünden.

Schön ist der Flammen Schein,
Es springen die Funken.
Ich schaue so drein
In Leid versunken.

Plötzlich, da kommt es mir,
Treuloser Knabe,
Daß ich die Nacht von dir
Geträumet habe.

Träne auf Träne dann
Stürzet hernieder;
So kommt der Tag heran -
O ging er wieder!

Early when the cock crows
Ere the stars retire,
I must stand at the hearth,
Must tend the fire.

What beauty in the fire's light,
With the sparks a leaping,
I stand long gazing at them,
Lost now in my grieving.

Suddenly I remember,
Unfaithful fellow,
'twas you I was dreaming of
Till the night had ended.

Tears well up and fall
One upon the other;
The day has just begun
Oh, would that it were over!

Das Gartner/ The Gardener
Auf ihrem Leibrößlein
So weiß wie der Schnee,
Die schönste Prinzessin
Reit't durch die Allee.

Der Weg, den das Rößlein
Hintanzet so hold,
Der Sand, den ich streute,
Er blinket wie Gold!

Du rosenfarb's Hütlein
Wohl auf und wohl ab,
O wirf eine Feder,
Verstohlen herab!

Und willst du dagegen
Eine Blüte von mir,
Nimm tausend für eine,
Nimm alle dafür!

On her favorite pony
as white as snow,
the fairest princess
rides down the avenue.

On the path down which her steed
so finely prances,
the sand that I strewed there
glitters like gold!

You rose-colored little hat,
bobbing up and down,
Oh toss a feather
stealthily down!

And if, for that, you would like
a little flower from me,
take a thousand for one -
take all of them!

Henschel: Marienwürmchen/The Ladybird
Marienwürmchen, setze dich auf meine Hand,
Ich tu' dir nichts zuleide.
Es soll dir nichts zuleid geschehn,
Will nur deine bunten Flügel sehn,
Bunte Flügel meine Freude.

Marienwürmchen, fliege weg,
Dein Häuschen brennt, die Kinder schrein
So sehre, wie so sehre.
Die böse Spinne spinnt sie ein,
Marienwürmchen, flieg hinein,
Deine Kinder schreien sehre.

Marienwürmchen, fliege hin zu Nachbars Kind,
Sie tun dir nichts zuleide.
Es soll dir da kein Leid geschehn,
Sie wollen deine bunten Flügel sehn,
Und grüß sie alle beide.

Ladybird, sit on my hand -
I will do you no harm.
No harm shall come to you;
I only wish to see your colourful wings:
your colourful wings are my joy.

Ladybird, fly away,
your house is burning, your children are crying
so much, so much.
The evil spider is spinning her web around them;
Ladybird, fly home,
your children are crying so.

Ladybird, fly to the neighbour's children,
They will do you no harm.
No harm will come to you:
they only wish to see your colorful wings,
and greet them both for me.

We conceived this recital programme, or rather borrowed it, from a recital given at Wigmore Hall almost 100 years ago in 1924. The recital was given by my grandmother-in-law, Eleanor Marshall, mezzo-soprano, which is how we came to know about the recital. The repertoire is mostly very familiar to a contemporary audience, but the 'selection box' structure of the recital is quite unfamiliar to us now. The programme certainly demonstrated Eleanor's dramatic and vocal range, but did not offer the audience a coherent over-arching narrative that we tend towards today. Another feature of the original recital was the inclusion of several substantial piano works to balance the songs (purely vocal recitals were not the convention in the 1920s). However, today we will just present the songs.

Our programme begins, as Eleanor did in 1924, with three opera arias: Cherubino's adolescent outpouring of how it is to be in love, followed by Dido's Lament in which Dido, having been abandoned by Aeneas, prepares to die; and the lesser-known aria from Gluck's Iphigénie en Tauride, in which Iphigénie, having been saved from death by the Goddess Diana, now implores her to let her die.

The middle set of songs in this programme are to me the most exciting as they would have seemed very contemporary and probably unknown to most of the audience. Debussy and Ravel were well-known composers but would have seemed avant-garde at the time. Of the three Debussy songs, Il pleure dans mon coeur and Green are taken from the Ariettes oubliées (Forgotten songs) which are settings of poems by Verlaine and possibly written while Verlaine was living in Camden Town (not hard to imagine, given the line 'It rains in my heart as it rains in the town'). The middle song, Voici que le printemps, is a setting of a poem by Paul Bourget and is a charming, simple evocation of Spring, bursting with Debussy's luscious harmonies. The two Ravel songs are written to poems by Clément Marot, an early 16th century French poet, and the musical style references this period while also being very modern. The two epigrams live up to their name - short, witty, concise poems - Anne who threw a snowball at me, and Anne who played the spinet.

For our final set of songs, we are going to perform four German Lied: two Brahms songs and two Wolf songs from the Mörike-Lieder. Both pairs of songs are remarkable for their extremely constrasting style, again demonstrating the singer's range rather than tying poetic themes together. We will end the recital with a song by George Henschel, as Eleanor did in 1924. Henschel was a well-known singer, a teacher at the Royal College of Music and very prolific composer at the time, writing dozens of settings of German poems, with now rather dated English translations, in a Victorian take on a German Lied style. His music is not well-known nowadays, but we found a charming setting of The Ladybird, a traditional German folk song (Marienwürmchen), which we will end with.
Annabel Price

Annabel Price studied music at Cambridge where she was a choral exhibitioner at Trinity College, and studied singing at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. Since finishing formal education, Annabel has combined a career in television with her singing - studying with, amongst others, Theresa Goble, Hazel Wood and Alison Wells, and attending courses at Morley College and Cratoule, France.

Recent work includes as soloist in Handel's Messiah at St Mark's Regent's Park, the Mozart Requiem with Islington Choral Society in Seville, Spain and a song recital as part of St Mark's Regent's Park Summer Music Festival. Annabel is also a keen consort singer and regularly sings in London churches. As well as performing, Annabel enjoys teaching singing, both in schools and privately, to a wide range of pupils from age 5 to 65.

Matthew Morley was awarded a post-graduate Meaker Fellowship to study piano accompaniment at the Royal Academy of Music with Dr Alexander Kelly, Geoffrey Pratley, and Paul Hamburger. He won all the Academy's accompaniment prizes and gained its Advanced Certificate in Piano Accompaniment.

He subsequently joined the music staff at Glyndebourne Festival and Touring Opera, and now works mainly as a Chorus Master and Assistant Conductor with groups including Opera Holland Park, the National Reisopera of The Netherlands, Buxton International Festival, and English National Opera, where for nine years he was Assistant Chorus Master. He is also the Organist of St Bride's Church, Fleet Street, a position he has held for over twenty-five years.

Annabel Price studied music at Cambridge where she was a choral exhibitioner at Trinity College, and studied singing at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. Since finishing formal education, Annabel has combined a career in television with her singing - studying with, amongst others, Theresa Goble, Hazel Wood and Alison Wells, and attending courses at Morley College and Cratoule, France.

Recent work includes as soloist in Handel's Messiah at St Mark's Regent's Park, the Mozart Requiem with Islington Choral Society in Seville, Spain and a song recital as part of St Mark's Regent's Park Summer Music Festival. Annabel is also a keen consort singer and regularly sings in London churches. As well as performing, Annabel enjoys teaching singing, both in schools and privately, to a wide range of pupils from age 5 to 65.

Matthew Morley was awarded a post-graduate Meaker Fellowship to study piano accompaniment at the Royal Academy of Music with Dr Alexander Kelly, Geoffrey Pratley, and Paul Hamburger. He won all the Academy's accompaniment prizes and gained its Advanced Certificate in Piano Accompaniment. He subsequently joined the music staff at Glyndebourne Festival and Touring Opera, and now works mainly as a Chorus Master and Assistant Conductor with groups including Opera Holland Park, the National Reisopera of The Netherlands, Buxton International Festival, and English National Opera, where for nine years he was Assistant Chorus Master. He is also the Organist of St Bride's Church, Fleet Street, a position he has held for over twenty-five years.