Charlotte de Rothschild & David Watkins | Harp & Voice Recital

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Harp & Voice Recital

by Charlotte de Rothschild & David Watkins

A beautiful recital of songs for voice and harp spanning five centuries, recorded in the magnificent Great Hall of Charlecote Park in Warwickshire, England.
Genre: Classical: Art songs
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Have You Seen But A Whyte Lilie Grow?
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2. As I Walked Forth
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3. When Daisies Pied
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4. Sarabande & Ground
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5:03 $0.99
5. Blow, Blow Thou Winter Wind
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6. Music For A While
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3:32 $0.99
7. Se Tu M'ami
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2:53 $0.99
8. O Del Mio Dolce Ardor
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4:31 $0.99
9. Danza, Danza, Fanciulla Gentile
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1:40 $0.99
10. Heidenröslein
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11. An Die Musik
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12. Seligkeit
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13. Air De Sara
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14. Air Par M. Mereau
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15. Du Déserteur
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3:25 $0.99
16. Petite Suite
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8:34 $0.99
17. Sérénade Italienne
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2:55 $0.99
18. Le Colibri
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3:39 $0.99
19. La Bien Aimée
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2:46 $0.99
20. La Bien Mariée
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1:34 $0.99
21. She Moved Thro' The Fair
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2:10 $0.99
22. Scarborough Fair
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2:00 $0.99
23. Barb'ra Allen
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24. Sumer Is Icumen In
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Available as MP3, MP3 320, and FLAC files.


Album Notes
Charlotte de Rothschild and David Watkins both have very successful solo careers which take them all over the world; their decision to form a duo was been rewarded with engagements in glorious surroundings such as Fountains Abbey, Badminton and Burleigh House, Sledmere and the Royal Academy of Arts in England, and with tours to Denmark, Germany and the Far East. They recorded this CD in 1994 and it shows what a wonderful partnership they shared at the time.

Charlotte de Rothschild studied at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria and at the Royal College of Music in London. She specialises in the recital and oratorio repertoire. She has a particularly interesting and unusual approach in tailoring her recital programmes to specific themes: the best known is the "Family Connections" programme in which all the songs are by composers who were either friends, teachers, or ancestors of her family during the last two hundred years. 1994 marked the 250th anniversary of the birth of Mayer Amschel Rothschild, the founding father of the dynasty, and Charlotte performed her special programme all over the world. Some of the concerts took place in original Rothschild houses such as the Villa Ephrussi-Rothschild in the south of France, the Chateau de Ferrièrres outside Paris and she presented this programme in the Rothschild-Palais in Frankfurt for Chancellor Kohl on the actual anniversary. Last year she had her Wigmore Hall debut in London and there were concert tours and television appearances in the UK, Germany and Japan. Her new CD "Family Connections", (on the IMP Masters label MCD 86) was distributed world-wide by Pickwick Records.

Other themes presented in major concert halls or festivals are "Flower Songs" (arranged by the season) which Charlotte did in 1993 for Country Living Magazine and for the Gertrude Jekyll exhibition at the Museum of Garden History, "Women of the Old Testament" (with harpsichord and piano accompaniments) that she devised for the B'nai Brith Music Festival and "A Woman's Lot" (a humorous look at the passage of life) which she created for the National Federation of Women's Institute's 75th anniversary and which she performed at the 1993 Bournemouth International Festival. The CD "Flowers, Dreams and Romance", (TOCE-6850) based on the "Flower Songs" theme and containing 12 songs by Charlotte's ancestor, Mathilde de Rothschild, was released in Japan in 1991 by Toshiba-EMI and went to no. 1 in their charts. Her career has since flourished and you can read more at

David Watkins was harpist of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and played for great artists like Maria Callas, Joan Sutherland, Margot Fonteyn and Rudolph Nureyev. Since then he was a founder member of the New Welsh National Opera Orchestra under James Lockhart, was invited to play with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra by Rudolf Kempe, and was subsequently with the London Philharmonic for many years under the batons of Solti, Haitink and Tennstedt.

He has made several highly praised solo records for RCA and Meridian, written a Method for Harp published by Boosey & Hawkes and his compositions are published by Stainer & Bell. David performed his own harp concerto with the London Philharmonic in the Royal Festival Hall. He is the Professor of Harp at the Guildhall and his lecture recitals are celebrated in many countries. Many composers have written works for him and he travels the world as a soloist, playing fascinating programmes which often include his own rediscovered classics for the harp.

Programme notes and words to the song:
Have you seen but a whyte Lillie grow
Have you seen but a whyte Lillie grow before rude hands had touch'd it;
Have you mark't but the fall of the snow before the Earth hath smucht it
Have you felt the wool of Beaver, or Swans down ever;
Or have smelt of the Bud of the Bryer, or the Nard in the fire, or have tasted the bag of the Bee:
O so whyte, o so soft, o so sweet, so sweet is shee!

As I walkt forth one Summer's day
As I walkt forth one Summer's day
To view the meadow green and gay,
A pleasant Bower I espied,
Standing fast by the River side;
And in't a mayden I heard cry:
Alas alas, ther's none e're lov'd as I.
Then round the meadow did she walk,
Catching each Flower by the stalk,
Such Flow'rs as in the meadow grew,
The dead man's thumb an hearb all blew;
And as she pul'd them still cri'd she:
Alas, alas ther's none e're lov'd as I.
The Flowers of the sweetest scent
She bound about with knotty bents,
And as she bound them up in Bands,
She wept, she sigh'd and she wrong her hands:
Alas, alas alas cri'd she
Alas, alas, there's none e're lov'd as I.
When she had fil'd her apron full
Of such green things as she could cull;
The green things serv'd her for her bed,
The Flowers were the pillows for her head;
Then down she lay'd her, ne're word more did speak,
Alas, alas, with love her heart did break.

When Daisies pied (The Cuckow Song)
When Daisies pied and violets blue,
And Ladysmocks all silver white, and cuckoo buds of yellow hue
Do paint the meadows with delight;
The cuckoo then, on ev'ry tree
Mocks married men: for thus sings he:
O word of Fear, unpleasing to a married Ear!

When shepherds pipe on oaten straw
And merry Larks are ploughmen's clocks, and turtles tread,
And rooks and daws and maidens bleach their summer smocks.
The cuckoo then, on ev'ry tree
Mocks married men; for thus sings he:
O word of Fear, unpleasing to a married Ear!

Sarabande & Ground William Croft was a chorister at the Chapel Royal under John Blow, whom he succeeded in 1708 as organist of Westminster Abbey. He is remembered mainly for his church music but these two pieces are found in his keyboard suites (BM Add; 31467). There are several versions of the Ground which at one time was attributed to Henry Purcell.

Blow, blow, thou winter wind
Blow, blow, thou winter wind,
Thou art not so unkind
As man's ingratitude.
Freeze,freeze thou bitter sky,
Thou dost not bite so nigh
As benefits forgot.
Thy tooth is not so keen
Because thou art not seen,
Although thy breath be rude.
Tho' thou the waters warp
Thy sting is not so sharp,
As friend remembered not.

Music for a while
Music, music for a while
Shall all your cares beguile:
Wond'ring how your pains were eas'd
And disdaining to be pleas'd,
Till Alecto* free the dead
From their eternal bands,
Till the snakes drop, drop, drop from her head
And the whip from out her hands.
Music for a while
Shall all your cares beguile.

* Alecto was one of the Furies of Eumenides

Se tu m'ami
Se tu m'ami, se tu sospiri
Sol per me, gentil pastor,
Ho dolor de' tuoi martiri,
Ho diletto del tuo amor,
Ma se pensi che soletto
Io ti debbari amar,
Pastorello, sei soggetto
Facilmente a t'ingannar.
Bella rosa porporina
Oggi Sylvia sceglierà,
Con la scusa della spina
Doman poi la sprezzerà
Ma degli uomini il consiglio
Io per me non seguirò.
Non perchè mi piace il giglio
Gli altri fiori sprezzerò.

If you love me, go on sighing for me, gentle shepherd; tomorrow may be your lucky day!

O del mio dolce ardor
O del mio dolce ardor bramato ogetto,
L'aura che tu respiri, alfin respiro.
O vunque il guardo io giro,
Le tue vaghe sembianze Amore in me dipinge:
Il mio pensier si finge le più liete speranze;
E nel desio che così m'empie il petto
Cerco te, chiamo te, spero e sospiro.

I am reminded of you at each turn; a vague resemblance, a thought, a slight breeze makes my soul long for your return.

Danza, danza
Danza, danza fanciulla gentile, al mio cantar;
Gira leggera, sottile al suono del l'onde del mar.
Senti il vago rumore del l'aura scherzosa che parla al core con languido suon,
E che invita a danzar senza posa.

Dance to my song, happy maiden, pirouette to the sound of my voice.

Sah ein Knab ein Röslein stehn,
Röslein auf der Heiden,
War so jung und morgenschön,
Lief er schnell, es nah zu sehn,
Sah's mit vielen Freuden.
Röslein, Röslein, Röslein rot,
Röslein auf der Heiden.

Knabe sprach: Ich breche dich,
Röslein auf der Heiden!
Röslein sprach: ich steche dich,
Daß du ewig denkst an mich,
Und ich will's nicht leiden.
Röslein, Röslein, Röslein rot,
Röslein auf der Heiden.

Und der wilde Knabe brach
's Röslein auf der Heiden;
Röslein wehrte sich und stach,
Half ihm doch kein Weh und Ach,
Mußt es eben leiden.
Röslien, Röslein, Röslein rot,
Röslein auf der Heiden.

A boy saw a young and lovely wild rose in the heather and ran to pick it. He told the flower of his intentions and she replied that she would prick his fingers so that he'd always remember her. The impetuous boy did pick her and although she pricked him, it didn't hurt him as much as her, poor little rose!

An die Musik
Du holde Kunst, in wieviel grauen Stunden,
Wo mich des Lebens wilder Kreis umstrickt,
Hast du mein Herz zu warmer Lieb entzunden,
Hast mich in eine beßre Welt entrückt!

Oft hat ein Seufzer, deiner Harf entflossen,
Ein süßer, heiliger Akkord von dir
Den Himmel, beßrer Zeiten mir erschlossen,
Du holde Kunst, ich danke dir dafür!

O music, how often have your chords opened my heart and shown me a heaven on earth, I thank you.

Freuden sonder Zahl! blühn im Himmelssaal!
Engeln und Verklärten, wie die Väter lehrten.
O, da möcht ich sein und mich ewig freun!

Jedem lächelt traut eine Himmelsbraut;
Harf und Psalter klinget, und man tanzt und singet.
O, da möcht ich sein und mich ewig freun!

Lieber bleib ich hier, lächelt Laura mir
Einen Blick, der saget, daß ich ausgeklaget.
Selig dann mit ihr, bleib ich ewig hier!

I want to be where the angels laugh and the wise men teach, where the harp glistens and one dances and sings, everyone greets a bride of heaven. But Laura's one glance is enough to persuade me that I'd be happiest staying here for ever!

Philippe-Jacques Meyer was a prolific composer and harpist at the French court of Louis XVI and he was a collaborator with Voltaire. He arranged a number of the popular arias of the day for the harp and voice including these three delightful songs.

Air de Sara
Le long d'un bois Colin passoit, il vit Lisette qui dormoit et qui soupiroit. En soupirant son mouchoir s'elevoit. Ah, dit Colin, si j'allois mais non je n'ose. Ah, pourquoi donc, ne pas oser, soudain sur ses levres de rose doucement il dépose le plus tendre baiser. Peut on dormir après cela, Lisette aussitot s'eveilla. Colin soupira. La belle dit d'ou vient ce baiser la. Ah, si c'étoit, mais non en vain j'y songe cesse Lise de t'offencer, ce doux baiser n'est qu'un mensonge sans mal on peut en songe recevoir un baiser.

One day as Colin was walking in the woods, he saw Lisette sleeping and he sighed longingly, "If only I dared... but why not?!" Suddenly, he kissed her gently on her rosy lips. How could one sleep after that? Lisette woke up and asked "Where did that wonderful kiss come from, was I dreaming?" Colin said; "I won't lie, I meant you no harm, please don't be offended."

Air par M. Mereau
Dors mon Enfant clos te paupière, tes cris me dechirent le Coeur,
Dors mon Enfant, ta pauvre Mère a bien assez de sa douleur.
Lorsque par des douces tendresses ton Pere sut gagner ma foi.
Il me sembloit par ses caresses naif, innocent comme toi.
Je le crûs où sont ses promesses il oublie et son fils et moi.

Sleep my child, close your eyes, your cries rend my heart but your poor mother has enough sorrow of her own. I was taken in by your father's assumed innocence and where are his promises now? He has forgotten both his son and me.

Du Deserteur
Dans quel trouble te plonge ce que je te dit la.
Puis que c'est un mensonge que t'importe cela.
Cette ruse cruelle ne doit plus t'offencer.
Toi me croire infidelle pouvais tu le penser.
Louise, infidelle, mechant pouvais tu le penser.
Vivre et t'aimer sont pour moi même chose,
Et quelque soient les devoirs que m'impose
Le serment dont j'atens notre felicite.
Il n'ajouter rien a ma fidelite.
Je t'aimerais toute ma vie, j'en jure par ta main que je presse.
Je prie le ciel de nous unir par un même trépas,
Ou duis sais -je du moins expirer dans tes bras.

It is a lie that I am unfaithful to you, and I am sad that you think me wicked and cruel, Louise. To live and to love are the same thing for me and your sermon on unfaithfulness is unjust. I swear this by the hand that I press and I pray that heaven will unite us in death and then I can expire in your arms.

Petite Suite This work was awarded first prize in the International Competition for Harp Composition in 1961 in the USA and is now played by harpists all over the world. The "Prelude" is a sparkling early morning piece, depicting the river Seine flowing through the countryside near Rouen. The "Nocturne", more sombre in character, was influenced by the same river at night. Dark thoughts are dispelled by the "Fire Dance", a piece which evokes the exciting ritual dances of South America.

Sérénade Italienne
Partons en barque sur la mer
Pour passer la nuit aux étoiles.
Vois, il souffle juste assez d'air
Pour enfler la toile des voiles.
Le vieux pêcheur italien
Et ses deux fils, qui nous conduisent
Écoutent mais n'entendent rien
Aux mots que nos bouches si disent.
Sur la mer calme et sombre, vois,
Nous pouvons échanger nos âmes,
Et nul ne comprendra nos voix,
Que la nuit, le ciel et les lames.

Let us sail to sea and spend the night under the stars. Look, there is just enough wind for our sails. The old Italian fisherman and his two sons can hear us but will not understand what we say. Out there, our souls will exchange vows and only the calm, dark sea, the sky and the waves will understand our voices.

Le Colibri
Le vert colibri, le roi des collines,
Voyant la rosée et le soleil clair,
Luire dans son nid tissé d'herbes fines.
Comme un frail rayon s'échappe dans l'air.
Il se hâte et vole aux sources voisines,
Où les bambous font le bruit de la mer,
Où l'açoka rouge aux odeurs divines
S'ouvre et porte au coeur un humide éclair.
Vers la fleur dorée, il descend, se pose,
Et boit tant d'amour dans la coupe rose
Qu'il meurt, ne sachant s'il l'a pu tarir!
Sur ta lèvre, pure, ô ma bien aimée,
Telle aussi mon âme eut voulu mourir,
Du premier baiser, qui l'a parfumée.

The green humming bird flies to a red hibiscus in the glitter of the early sun on the dew. There he drinks so much love from its cup that he dies. My soul would have died like he did, from that first kiss on your pure lips.

La bien aimée (A girl whose love shines fair)
Suis sous bonne étoile née,
Car j'ai bel ami.

J'aime bien et suis aimée,
Et j'ai mon amour donnée
À celui qui beaucoup m'agrée,
Je lui dois merci.

Toujours m'a sa foi portée
Et servie et honorée;
Et bien sais que folle pensée
N'a jamais nourri.

Sauve mon honneur gardée,
Lui sera abondonnée
Mon amour, qu'il a desirée;
Mon coeur est a lui.

I was born under Fortune's star. I love and am loved by one who has given me great happiness and for that I give him many thanks. He's always faithful and courteous, and never thinks anything bad about me. For all that, I will continue to guard my honour while giving him my whole heart!

La bien mariée (The merry wife)
Mon mary a, que je crois,
Par ma foi,
Le gosier de chair salée,
Car il ne peut respirer,
Ni durer,
Si sa gorge n'est pas moillée.

Lorsqu'il est un grand courroux,
Lui adoucir le courage,
Faites-lui tant seulement
Boire quelque bon breuvage.

Pourvu qu'il ne vende rien
De son bien,
S'il boit, j'en suis réjouie;
Car j'ai tout le long du jour
Son amour
Et sommes sans fâcherie

J'ai un peu goûté enfin
Ce bon vin:
Or vive ce bon breuvage,
Qui mon homme in santé met
Et nous fait
Vivre in paix en mariage!

By my faith, I believe my husband's throat is lined with salt, because he can't last a moment without wetting his lips! Whenever he's angry, you must quickly give him a drink. As long as he doesn't sell any of our belongings to get wine then I shall be content. But if he drinks, then for most of the day he loves me and we don't quarrel. I've had a good tast of this wine - long live the grape! It keeps my husband healthy and happy - so long may we have a peaceful marriage!

She moved thro' the Fair
My young love said to me, "My mother wont mind
And my father wont slight you for your lack of kind,"
And she stepp'd away from me and this she did say,
"It will not be long, love, till our wedding day."

She stepp'd away from me and she went thro' the fair,
And fondly I watch'd her move here and move there,
And then she went homeward with one star awake,
As the swan in the evening moves over the lake.

Last night she came to me, she came softly in,
So softly she came that her feet made no din,
And she laid her hand on me and this she did say:
"It will not be long, love, till our wedding day."

Three Folk Songs These three settings of folksongs were written at different times, the words being the most important influence on the treatment of each song. The "Scarborough Fair" accompaniment is developed from simple single notes and "Barbara Allen's" drama is unfolded with contrasted ideas for each verse culminating in the entwining counterpoint for the rose and the briar. The cuckoo begins and finishes "Sumer is icumen in". Spring awakens in a hushed dawn and finishes with the frenzy and bustle of a Brueghel painting complete with bagpipes.

Scarborough Fair
Are you going to Scarborough Fair?
Parsely, sage, rosemary and thyme.
Remember me to one who lives there.
She once was a true love of mine.

Tell her to make me a cambric shirt:
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.
Without no seams nor needlework,
Then she'll be a true love of mine.

Tell her to find me an acre of land:
Parley, sage, rosemary and thyme;
Between the salt water and the sea strands,
Then she'll be a true love of mine.

Tell her to reap it with a sickle of leather;
Parsely, sage, rosemary and thyme
And gather it all in a bunch of heather,
Then she'll be a true love of mine.

Barb'ra Allen
'Twas in the merry month of May,
When green buds all were swelling,
Sweet William on his death-bed lay
For the love of Barb'ra Allen.

So slowly, slowly she got up,
And slowly she drew nigh him
And the only words to him did say,
"Young man, I think you're dying."

He turned his face unto the wall
As death was in him welling,
Goodbye, goodbye my friends all
Be good to Barb'ra Allen.

When he was dead and laid in grave,
She heard the death bells knelling,
And every stroke to her did say
"Hard hearted Barb'ra Allen."

"Oh Father go and dig my grave,
Make it both long and narrow,
Sweet William died on yesterday
And I will die tomorrow."

Barb'ra was buried in the old churchyard,
Sweet William was buried beside her;
Out of Sweet William's heart there grew a rose,
Out of Barb'ra Allen's a briar.

They grew and grew in the old churchyard,
'Til they could grow no higher,
At the end they formed a true lovers knot,
And the rose grew round the briar.

Sumer is icumen in
Sumer is icumen in lhude sing cucu,
Groweth sed and Bloweth med and Springeth the wude nu,
Sing, cucu.
Ewe bleteth after lomb, couth after calve cu,
Bulluc sterteth, Buck verteth, murye sing, cucu.
Cucu, cucu, Well thu singest cucu, Ne swick thu nave nu.


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