A WORD ABOUT "SONGS OF LIFE" Eileen Mager
All of my life, I've been fascinated by — and often humbled by — the extraordinary strength and resilience of the human spirit. Our capacity for love, humor, spirituality, and joy, often in spite of whatever reverses and downright horrors and tragedies life may dish out. We are inspired by life's challenges, each other, all of nature, our connection with our Deity, the beauty that surrounds us, music, and life itself.
These songs express those sources of inspiration. We begin with "Darest Thou Now, O Soul" — a challenge to one's own soul to walk out "toward the Unknown Region" — to take on life's adventure. We continue with songs expressing a lifetime of experiences and responses to them — responsesliturgical songs, and a Benjamin Britten song which has perhaps the oddest expression of faith and worship I have ever encountered — "For I Will Consider My Cat, Jeoffry."
It all concludes with Bach's song of reconciliation with the
spiritual, "Wie freudig ist mein Herz" ("How Joyful Is My
Heart"). > >
I was assisted in this project by some wonderful musicians and friends: pianist/organist Ellen Brown, bassoonist John Friedeman, flutist Lisa Tharp, and violinist Jim Apperson.
"Songs of Life" is, to say the least, an eclectic collection. But then, isn't life a mixed bag as well?
I hope you enjoy them.
A NOTE FROM THE LABEL
Very occasionally, the miracle that is spirit moves us, and we are uplifted, and when that happens for us, we are gratified, and we know, momentarily, that all of the efforts of the otherwise daily grind have truly been worthy, and made manifest, and distilled into another one of those fleeting, precious moments that are the reason we live.
Thank you, Eileen,for bringing that gift to Eroica Classical Recordings, in "Songs of Life!" It is a glorious idea, the blending of poetry, and voice, and organ, and harp, and piano, and flute, and keyboard, and ... bassoon!!!
We will proudly, and tenderly carry the creative idea of “Songs of Life” as a banner of this label, representative of all the men and women of heart and courage and soul and sacrifice and discipline: men and women who have gathered from every corner of the world to merge and blend and unify into the Eroica family of artists, healers, and all that is splendid and shining and true.
Then, we know. Then, we realize who we are. And then, we know why we are doing this, and why we have always done it and will always do it.
Larry A. Russell, CEO
Ralph Vaughan Williams, poem by Walt Whitman -- Darest thou now, O soul -- organ
Lindsay Lafford, poem by Jan Struther -- High o'er the Lonely Hills -- organ
Lori Laitman -- Songs from "I Never Saw Another Butterfly" -- bassoon
The Butterfly -- poem by Pavel Friedman, 1942
Yes, That's the Way Things Are -- poem by Koleba (M. Kosek, H. Lowy, Bachner)
Birdsong -- poem Anonymous, 1941
[Note: The poets were all children at the Terezin concentration camp in WW II]
Robert Schumann, poem by F. Rückert -- Widmung -- piano
Robert L. Morris -- Songs from "Lyric Suite" -- piano
Juba: Ev'rytime I Feel the Spirit
Ralph Vaughan Williams, poem by A. E. Housman, from "A Shropshire Lad" -- piano & keyboard
From Far, from Eve and Morning, from "On Wenlock Edge"
W. A. Mozart -- Laudate Dominum, from "Vesperae de Domenica" K 321 -- piano & organ
Franz Schubert, poem by Franz von Schober -- An die Musik --piano
James DeMars -- Recordare, from "An American Requiem" -- piano
W. A. Mozart -- Ridente la calma -- piano
Gustav Holst, words by Cecil Spring Rice -- I Vow to Thee, My Country -- organ
Max Janowski -- organ, with harp stop on the third one
Yih'yu L'ratson -- text Psalm 19:15
Adon Olam -- poem by Solomon ibn Gabirol, melody Yossele Rosenblatt
Avinu Malkeynu -- text from the Liturgy
Lindsay Lafford -- Psalm 23, from "A Cantata of Psalms" -- organ
J. S. Bach, text by Samuel Rodigast, 1674 -- organ and flute
Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan, from Cantata No. 100,
Gustav Holst -- Four Songs for Voice and Violin, Opus 35 -- violin
My soul has nought but fire and ice
I sing of a maiden
My Leman is so true
Spiritual -- Ain't-a That Good News? -- a cappella
Benjamin Britten, poem by Christopher Smart -- organ
For I Will Consider My Cat, Jeoffry, from "Rejoice in the Lamb"
J. S. Bach -- Wie freudig ist mein Herz, from Cantata No. 199 -- organ
Piano, organ, keyboard