Spring Revels

Movements: 

I. April Rain Song II. when faces called flowers float out of the ground III. Spring Grass

Instrumentation/Voicing: 
SATB a cappella

Three evocative songs full of the gentleness, newness and unpredictability of spring. Elizabeth Alexander brings humor, imagination and meticulous craftsmanship to these fine settings of Langston Hughes, e. e. cummings and Carl Sandburg. Winner of the Brookline Chorus Composition Competition.

Audio: 

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Order Sheet Music
Catalog Number: 
SEA-006-00
Duration: 
10:00
Commissioned By: 
Festival Choir of Madison. Madison, WI
Premiere
Premiere Conductor: 
Eric Townell
Awards: 

Winner, Brookline Chorus Composition Competition

Performances: 

Broadmoor Chamber Singers; Becca Kenneally, conductor. Natick, MA
CoroAllegro; Jack Warren Burnam, conductor. Wilmington, DE
Festival Choir of Madison; Eric Townell, conductor. Madison, WI
Brookline Chorus; Bill Cutter, conductor. Brookline, MA
Hamilton College Choir; Rob Kolb, conductor. Spring Choir Tour to New York, Ohio and Illinois
South Bend Chamber Singers; Nancy Menk, conductor. South Bend, IN
Chamber Singers of Iowa City; Martin Dicke, conductor. Iowa City, IA
Harmonium Choral Society; Ann Matlack, conductor. Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival, Waterloo, CT

Text
Text Author or Source: 
Langston Hughes, e. e. cummings, Carl Sandburg
Language: 
English
Text: 

"April Rain Song"
Poem by Langston Hughes

Let the rain kiss you.
Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops.
Let the rain sing you a lullaby.
The rain makes still pools on the sidewalk.

The rain makes running pools in the gutter.
The rain plays a little sleep-song on our roof at night.

And I love the rain.

"April Rain Song" © 1932 by Alfred A. Knopf. Renewed in 1960 by Langston Hughes.
Reprinted by permission of Harold Ober Associates Incorporated, as agents for the Estate of Langston Hughes.
_______

"when faces called flowers float out of the ground"
Poem by e.e. cummings

when faces called flowers float out of the ground
and breathing is wishing and wishing is having -
but keeping is downward and doubting and never
- it's april (yes,april;my darling)it's spring!
yes the pretty birds frolic as spry as can fly
yes the little fish gambol as glad as can be
(yes the mountains are dancing together)

when every leaf opens without any sound
and wishing is having and having is giving -
but keeping is doting and nothing and nonsense
- alive;we're alive,dear:it's(kiss me now)spring!
now the pretty birds hover so she and so he
now the little fish quiver so you and so i
(now the mountains are dancing,the mountains)

when more than was lost has been found has been found
and having is giving and giving is living -
but keeping is darkness and winter and cringing
- it's spring(all our night becomes day)o, it's spring!
all the pretty birds dive to the heart of the sky
all the little fish climb through the mind of the sea
(all the mountains are dancing;are dancing)

"when faces called flowers float out of the ground," from Complete Poems, 1904-1962, by E.E. Cummings, edited by George J. Firmage. Used with the permission of Liveright Publishing Corporation.

Copyright 1923, 1925, 1926, 1931, 1935, 1938, 1939, 1940 and 1944-1962 by E. E. Cummings.

Copyright 1961, 1963, 1966, 1967, 1968 by Marion Morehouse Cummings.

Copyright 1972-1991 by the Trustees for the E.E. Cummings Trust. Reprinted by permission.
________

"Spring Grass"
Poem by Carl Sandburg

Spring grass, there is a dance to be danced for you.
Come up, spring grass, if only for young feet.
Come up, spring grass, young feet ask you.

Smell of the young spring grass,
You're a mascot riding on the wind horses.
You came to my nose and spiffed me.
This is your lucky year.

Young spring grass just after the winter,
Shoots of the big green whisper of the year,
Come up, if only for young feet.
Come up, young feet ask you.

"Spring Grass" © 1928, 1956, by Carl Sandburg.
Reprinted by permission of Harcourt, Brace and Jovanovich, Inc.