Soprano and piano
Cedile Chicago, NFP, dedicated to Henry Fogel
To Music was commissioned by Cedille Records and dedicated to Henry Fogel, who has devoted his life to the leadership of musical organizations. Henry has served as President of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, President and CEO of the League of American Orchestras, Dean of the Chicago College of the Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, and as a charter member and past Chair of Cedille Records’ Board of Directors. When Cedille Records President James Ginsburg approached me with a commission in Henry’s honor, we asked Fran Fogel, Henry’s wife, to suggest a suitable topic for the piece. Fran cited Henry’s deep love for music and I researched poems on the subject. I discovered two delightful such poems, both by the early English poet Robert Herrick (1591–1674). He titled both “To Music,” and I found the poems worked so well together that I combined them to create this art song.
Music, thou queen of heaven, care-charming spell,
That strik'st a stillness into hell;
Thou that tam'st tigers, and fierce storms, that rise,
With thy soul-melting lullabies;
Fall down, down, down, from those thy chiming spheres
To charm our souls, as thou enchant'st our ears.
Begin to charm, and as thou strok'st mine ears
With thine enchantment, melt me into tears.
Then let thy active hand scud o'er thy lyre,
And make my spirits frantic with the fire;
That done, sink down into a silvery strain,
And make me smooth as balm and oil again.
First published in Hesperides in 1648; now in public domain.