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Love’s Philosophy (full piece)


I. Love's Philosophy
III. Give me women, wine, and snuff
II. Desire
IV. So, we'll go no more a roving

DURATION
8’40”

INSTRUMENTATION
SATB (div.) a cappella

AUDIO
Wicker Park Choral Singers; Mark Tomasino, conductor

POETS
Percy Bysshe Shelley, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John Keats, Lord George Gordon Byron

YEAR COMPOSED
2011

COMMISSIONER
Cantori

ORDERING SCORES
Inkjar Publishing Company
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PERUSAL SCORE
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PROGRAM NOTES
Love’s Philosophy explores concepts of love through the eyes of four English poets, all of whom contributed to the ideals of the Romantic movement which emphasized revolutionary thought and imagination over traditional practices and reason. In these four poems, Percy Bysshe Shelley teasingly addresses flirtation, Samuel Taylor Coleridge writes of desire, John Keats heartily endorses lust and merry-making, and Lord George Gordon Byron lingers on the loss of love. This piece was commissioned by Robert Cowles and the Hobart and William Smith Colleges vocal ensemble Cantori.
-S.G.

TEXTS

I. Love’s Philosophy
Percy Bysshe Shelley
The fountains mingle with the river
And the rivers with the ocean,
The winds of Heaven mix for ever
With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single,
All things by a law divine
In one spirit meet and mingle -
Why not I with thine?

See the mountains kiss high Heaven
And the waves clasp one another;
No sister-flower would be forgiven
If it disdained its brother;
And the sunlight clasps the earth,
And the moonbeams kiss the sea -
What are all these kissings worth
If thou kiss not me?

II. Desire
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Where true Love burns Desire is Love’s pure flame;
It is the reflex of our earthly frame,
That takes its meaning from the nobler part,
And but translates the language of the heart.

III. Give me women, wine, and snuff
John Keats
Give me women, wine, and snuff
Untill I cry out “hold, enough!”
You may do so sans objection
Till the day of resurrection:
For, bless my beard, they aye shall be
My beloved Trinity.

IV. So, we'll go no more a roving
Lord George Gordon Byron
So, we’ll go no more a roving
So late into the night,
Though the heart be still as loving,
And the moon be still as bright.

For the sword outwears its sheath,
And the soul wears out the breast,
And the heart must pause to breathe,
And love itself have rest.

Though the night was made for loving,
And the day returns too soon,
Yet we’ll go no more a roving
By the light of the moon.