Old and New Poetry Vol II

Vocal Works From the Texts of William Blake, Carl Vollrath & John Gracen Brown

Carl Vollrath composer
Aliana de la Guardia soprano
Jonas Budris tenor
Yoko Hagino piano
Rane Moore clarinet

Release Date: November 11, 2022
Catalog #: NV6474
Format: Digital & Physical
21st Century
Chamber
Vocal Music
Clarinet
Piano
Voice

Composer Carl Vollrath and Navona Records presents OLD & NEW POETRY VOL II, a compelling musical-literary experience featuring the works of seminal poet William Blake and contemporary writer John Gracen Brown. An enticing follow-up to his 2021 release of the same title, Vollrath employs piano and clarinet with various vocal ranges in this recording, each an intimate setting reflecting his close relationship with the text itself. Deeply in tune to nature and captured from the lens of the human experience, Vollrath’s musical response to this poetic language shows his dedication to and passion for these works.

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Track Listing & Credits

# Title Composer Performer
01 Songs of Innocence: The Shepherd Carl Vollrath; William Blake, texts Aliana de la Guardia, soprano; Yoko Hagino, piano 2:16
02 Songs of Innocence: The Ecchoing Green Carl Vollrath; William Blake, texts Aliana de la Guardia, soprano; Yoko Hagino, piano 2:04
03 Songs of Innocence: The Lamb Carl Vollrath; William Blake, texts Aliana de la Guardia, soprano; Yoko Hagino, piano 2:50
04 Songs of Innocence: The Little Black Boy Carl Vollrath; William Blake, texts Aliana de la Guardia, soprano; Yoko Hagino, piano 4:32
05 Songs of Innocence: Nurse’s Song Carl Vollrath; William Blake, texts Aliana de la Guardia, soprano; Yoko Hagino, piano 1:46
06 Eighteen Pieces on Poetry: I. The Cat and The Moon Carl Vollrath; John Gracen Brown, texts Aliana de la Guardia, soprano; Rane Moore, clarinet; Yoko Hagino, piano 0:49
07 Eighteen Pieces on Poetry: II. Streets on a Summer Night Carl Vollrath; John Gracen Brown, texts Aliana de la Guardia, soprano; Rane Moore, clarinet; Yoko Hagino, piano 1:05
08 Eighteen Pieces on Poetry: III. Cavern Crystals in a Cave Carl Vollrath; John Gracen Brown, texts Aliana de la Guardia, soprano; Rane Moore, clarinet; Yoko Hagino, piano 0:35
09 Eighteen Pieces on Poetry: IV. Fog and Rain Carl Vollrath; John Gracen Brown, texts Aliana de la Guardia, soprano; Rane Moore, clarinet; Yoko Hagino, piano 0:39
10 Eighteen Pieces on Poetry: V. Here... Carl Vollrath; John Gracen Brown, texts Aliana de la Guardia, soprano; Rane Moore, clarinet; Yoko Hagino, piano 1:09
11 Eighteen Pieces on Poetry: VI. Perhaps... Carl Vollrath; John Gracen Brown, texts Aliana de la Guardia, soprano; Rane Moore, clarinet; Yoko Hagino, piano 0:48
12 Eighteen Pieces on Poetry: VII. The Pink and Purple Carl Vollrath; John Gracen Brown, texts Aliana de la Guardia, soprano; Rane Moore, clarinet; Yoko Hagino, piano 2:09
13 Eighteen Pieces on Poetry: VIII. The View Carl Vollrath; John Gracen Brown, texts Aliana de la Guardia, soprano; Rane Moore, clarinet; Yoko Hagino, piano 1:29
14 Eighteen Pieces on Poetry: IX. Summer Day Carl Vollrath; John Gracen Brown, texts Aliana de la Guardia, soprano; Rane Moore, clarinet; Yoko Hagino, piano 1:01
15 Eighteen Pieces on Poetry: X. Far Above Carl Vollrath; John Gracen Brown, texts Aliana de la Guardia, soprano; Rane Moore, clarinet; Yoko Hagino, piano 1:10
16 Eighteen Pieces on Poetry: XI. Warm Sun Carl Vollrath; John Gracen Brown, texts Aliana de la Guardia, soprano; Rane Moore, clarinet; Yoko Hagino, piano 1:25
17 Eighteen Pieces on Poetry: XII. Night Scene Carl Vollrath; John Gracen Brown, texts Aliana de la Guardia, soprano; Rane Moore, clarinet; Yoko Hagino, piano 1:07
18 Eighteen Pieces on Poetry: XIII. Endless Stone Carl Vollrath; John Gracen Brown, texts Aliana de la Guardia, soprano; Rane Moore, clarinet; Yoko Hagino, piano 1:34
19 Eighteen Pieces on Poetry: XIV. The Fresh Greens Grass Carl Vollrath; John Gracen Brown, texts Aliana de la Guardia, soprano; Rane Moore, clarinet; Yoko Hagino, piano 1:14
20 Eighteen Pieces on Poetry: XV. The Breath of Autumn: The Red Leaves Carl Vollrath; John Gracen Brown, texts Aliana de la Guardia, soprano; Rane Moore, clarinet; Yoko Hagino, piano 2:33
21 Eighteen Pieces on Poetry: XVI. The Breath of Autumn: The Soft Wind Carl Vollrath; John Gracen Brown, texts Aliana de la Guardia, soprano; Rane Moore, clarinet; Yoko Hagino, piano 1:19
22 Eighteen Pieces on Poetry: XVII. The Breath of Autumn: Oh, The Apples Carl Vollrath; John Gracen Brown, texts Aliana de la Guardia, soprano; Rane Moore, clarinet; Yoko Hagino, piano 0:59
23 Eighteen Pieces on Poetry: XVIII. The Breath of Autumn: The World Today Carl Vollrath; John Gracen Brown, texts Aliana de la Guardia, soprano; Rane Moore, clarinet; Yoko Hagino, piano 1:04
24 It’s Over Carl Vollrath Aliana de la Guardia, soprano; Yoko Hagino, piano 2:59
25 Songs of Experience: My Pretty Rose-Tree Carl Vollrath; William Blake, texts Jonas Budris, tenor; Yoko Hagino, piano 1:27
26 Songs of Experience: Ah! Sun-flower Carl Vollrath; William Blake, texts Jonas Budris, tenor; Yoko Hagino, piano 1:58
27 Songs of Experience: The Garden of Love Carl Vollrath; William Blake, texts Jonas Budris, tenor; Yoko Hagino, piano 2:38
28 Songs of Experience: The Little Vagabond Carl Vollrath; William Blake, texts Jonas Budris, tenor; Yoko Hagino, piano 3:49
29 Songs of Experience: The School Boy Carl Vollrath; William Blake, texts Jonas Budris, tenor; Yoko Hagino, piano 2:41

Recorded January 14-16 & April 15, 2022 at Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport MA
Producer, Editing & Mixing (Tracks 1-24) Brad Michel
Producer, Editing & Mixing (Tracks 25-29) Lucas Paquette
Engineer Tom Stephenson
Mastering Melanie Montgomery

Executive Producer Bob Lord

Executive A&R Sam Renshaw
A&R Director Brandon MacNeil

VP of Production Jan Košulič
Audio Director Lucas Paquette
Production Director Levi Brown
Production Assistant Martina Watzková

VP, Design & Marketing Brett Picknell
Art Director Ryan Harrison
Design Edward A. Fleming, Morgan Hauber
Publicity Patrick Niland, Aidan Curran

Artist Information

Carl Vollrath

Composer

Born in New York City to German parents, Carl Vollrath attended Newton High School. He received a B.A. from Stetson University, an M.A. from Columbia University, and an Ed.D. from Florida State University. Vollrath studied composition with Ernst von Dohnanyi Carlisle Floyd, and John Boda. He served with the West Point Military Band at West Point NY from 1953 to 1956 and was a music consultant in Miami FL from 1956 to 1958. He joined the Troy University (AL) faculty in 1965.Major works include six symphonies for band, an opera – The Quest – and a large collection of chamber music, all published by Tap Music (tapmusic.com). MMC Recordings has released three albums of Vollrath’s works, including a two-disc album of clarinet works recorded by Richard Stoltzman entitled Jack’s Fat Cat (2008).

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Aliana de la Guardia

Soprano

The Arts Fuse lauds de la Guardia’s sound as “lovely, natural” and “as clear and powerful as grain alcohol.” As an active soprano vocalist, Aliana de la Guardia has garnered acclaim for her “dazzling flights of virtuosity” (Gramophone) in “vocally fearless” performances that are “fizzing with theatrical commitment” (The Boston Globe). A graduate of the Boston Conservatory and consummate interpreter of new classical concert repertoire, she has enjoyed collaborations with many ensembles featuring today’s most eminent composers including “Scenes from a Novel” and “Kafka Fragments” with violinist Gabriela Diaz by György Kurtág, “Aspen Suite” by Salvatore Sciarrino,“Nenia: the Death of Orpheus” by Harrison Birtwistle conducted by Jeffery Means, and the world premiere of “Earth Songs” by Ronald Perrera with New England Philharmonic, among others.

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Yoko Hagino

Yoko Hagino

Pianist

Yoko Hagino was born and raised in Japan, where she began her piano studies at the age of 4. As a child, she performed her own compositions, which took her to Europe and the United States, including performances as a concert soloist with the Czech Symphony, the University of Southern California Symphony, Kyoto City Symphony, and Ensemble Orchestra Kanazawa. Hagino has appeared as a soloist with Osaka Century Orchestra, UMass Boston Chamber Orchestra, Key West Symphony Orchestra, White Rabbit Sinfonietta, and has also performed various piano recitals ranging from the music of Bach to contemporary repertoire. Hagino is a prize winner of the Steinway Society Piano Competition, the First International Chamber Music Competition, the All-Japan Selective Competition of the International Mozart Competition, and Chamber Music Competition of Japan.

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Rane Moore

Clarinetist

Clarinetist Rane Moore is well-regarded for her thoughtful, provocative interpretations of standard and contemporary repertoire. Fiercely devoted to the new music communities of the East Coast and beyond, Moore is a founding member of the New York based Talea Ensemble which regularly gives premieres of new works at major venues and festivals around the world. Moore has recently joined the award winning wind quintet, The City of Tomorrow, and is also a member of Boston’s Callithumpian Consort and Sound Icon.

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Jonas Budris

tenor

Tenor Jonas Budris is a versatile soloist and ensemble musician, engaging new works and early music with equal passion.

He performs and tours frequently with Cut Circle, and can be heard in their new recording, Johannes Ockeghem: The Songs. He also appears with Cut Circle in the short documentary, Sounds of Renaissance Florence. He has also enjoyed performing, touring, and recording with such groups as the Handel and Haydn Society, Blue Heron, Boston Baroque, The Thirteen, and the Skylark Vocal Ensemble.

Budris is a featured soloist in Boston Baroque’s GRAMMY-nominated recording of Monteverdi’s opera, Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, and sang in Blue Heron’s album Music from the Peterhouse Partbooks, Vol. 5, which received the 2018 Gramophone Award for Early Music.

On the opera stage, he has performed principal and supporting roles with Opera Boston, OperaHub, Guerilla Opera, and Odyssey Opera, originating such roles as John in Giver of Light and the title role of Chrononhotonthologos.

Budris recently made his debut at the Carmel Bach Festival, where he was the 2018 Tenor Vocal Fellow for the Virginia Best Adams Vocal Masterclass. He is a Lorraine Hunt Lieberson Fellow with Emmanuel Music, where he has performed regularly in their Bach Cantata and evening concert series.

Originally from Martha’s Vineyard, Budris holds a degree in Environmental Sciences & Engineering from Harvard College.

Texts

The songs based on the poetry of William Blake were written 60 years ago while I was at Florida State University. I fell in love with his words and started to set them to music. Songs based on the writing of John Gracen Brown were written for clarinetist Tim Phillips and a vocalist. I wrote “It’s Over” to a Chinese student who resided in my home, who has since returned to China.

— Carl Vollrath

The Shepherd
William Blake

How sweet is the shepherd’s sweet lot!
From the morn to the evening he strays;
He shall follow his sheep all the day,
And his tongue shall be filled with praise.

For he hears the lambs’ innocent call,
And he hears the ewes’ tender reply;
He is watchful while they are in peace,
For they know when their shepherd is nigh.

The Ecchoing Green
William Blake

The sun does arise
And make happy the skies
The merry bells ring
To welcome the spring
The skylark and thrush
The birds of the bush
Sing louder around
To the bell’s cheerful sound
While our sports shall be seen
On the Ecchoing Green

Old John with white hair
Does laugh away care
Sitting under the oak
Among the old folk
They laugh at our play
And soon they all say
“Such, such were the joys
When we all, girls and boys
In our youth time were seen
On the Echoing Green.”

Till the little ones, weary
No more can be merry
The sun does descend
And our sports have an end
Round the laps of their mothers
Many sisters and brother
Like birds in their nest
Are ready for rest
And sport no more seen
On the darkening Green

The Lamb
William Blake

Little Lamb, who made thee?
Dost thou know who made thee?
Gave thee life, and bid thee feed
By the stream and o’er the mead;
Gave thee clothing of delight
Softest clothing, woolly, bright;
Gave thee such a tender voice
Making all the vales rejoice?
Little Lamb, who made thee?
Dost thou know who made thee?

Little Lamb, I’ll tell thee
Little Lamb, I’ll tell thee:

He is called by thy name
For he calls himself a Lamb
He is meek, and he is mild;
He became a little child
I a child, and thou a lamb
We are called by his name

Little Lamb, God bless thee!
Little Lamb, God bless thee!

The Little Black Boy
William Blake

My mother bore me in the southern wild,
And I am black, but O! my soul is white;
White as an angel is the English child:
But I am black as if bereav’d of light.

My mother taught me underneath a tree
And sitting down before the heat of day,
She took me on her lap and kissed me,
And pointing to the east began to say.

Look on the rising sun: there God does live
And gives his light, and gives his heat away.
And flowers and trees and beasts and men receive
Comfort in morning joy in the noonday.
And we are put on earth a little space,
That we may learn to bear the beams of love,
And these black bodies and this sun-burnt face
Is but a cloud, and like a shady grove.

For when our souls have learn’d the heat to bear
The cloud will vanish we shall hear his voice.
Saying: come out from the grove my love & care,
And round my golden tent like lambs rejoice.

Thus did my mother say and kissed me,
And thus I say to little English boy.
When I from black and he from white cloud free,
And round the tent of God like lambs we joy:

Ill shade him from the heat till he can bear,
To lean in joy upon our fathers knee.
And then I’ll stand and stroke his silver hair,
And be like him and he will then love me.

Nurse’s Song
William Blake

WHEN the voices of children are heard on the green,
And laughing is heard on the hill,
My heart is at rest within my breast,
And everything else is still.

‘Then come home, my children, the sun is gone down,
And the dews of night arise;
Come, come, leave off play, and let us away
Till the morning appears in the skies.’

‘No, no, let us play, for it is yet day,
And we cannot go to sleep;
Besides, in the sky the little birds fly,
And the hills are all cover’d with sheep.’

‘Well, well, go and play till the light fades away,
And then go home to bed.’
The little ones leapèd and shoutèd and laugh’d
And all the hills echoèd.

Eighteen Pieces on Poetry
John Gracen Brown

I. The cat dances, and the moon shines brightly. The cat dances, and the moon shines brightly.

II. The heavy, dark trees line the streets of summer. The heavy, dark trees line the streets of summer.

III. The crystals in the cave absorb the light as if they have not seen it in a thousand years.

IV. The fog rises within the mountains and the rain comes slowly down.

V. Here there is the cold wind, the darkness of the night, and these lonely hills without end.

VI. Perhaps the moon will appear, will appear. Perhaps will appear above the naked trees somewhere within the sky. Perhaps the moon will appear.

VII. The pink and purple flowers. The pink and purple flowers. Pink and purple flowers. The pink and purple flowers flower within the basket. The pink and purple flowers.

VIII. Black-eyed Susans dot the countryside and a wind blows among them.

IX. Green grass and bright sunlight fill the summer day. Green grass and bright sunlight fill the summer day.

X. Far above the black twigs, a bit of blue appears among the passing clouds.

XI. The warm sun rises up behind, behind the cold winter trees. The cold winter trees.

XII. White clouds shine at night as thunder dances behind them.

XIII. Endless stones of black and brown lie beneath the waters. Endless stones of black and brown.

XIV. The fresh green grass. The fresh green grass. The fresh green grass grows, within, grows within, grows within the old brown grass of winter. The fresh green grass grows within the old brown grass of winter’s fresh grass.

XV. The red leaves play in the wind and in the golden sun. The red leaves play in the golden in the golden sun.

XVI. The soft October wind plays and plays among the restless autumn leaves, the restless autumn leaves. The soft October wind.

XVII. Oh the apples, the apples, the apples were so red and tasty, red and tasty up on the tree, up on the tree that I ate and harvested a heavy crop. The apples, the apples were so red and tasty.

XVIII. The world seems tired, lazy, and sweet and the sun slants through the window.

My Pretty Rose-Tree
William Blake

A flower was offered to me,
Such a flower as May never bore;
But I said, ‘I’ve a pretty rose tree,’
And I passed the sweet flower o’er.

Then I went to my pretty rose tree,
To tend her by day and by night;
But my rose turned away with jealousy,
And her thorns were my only delight.

Ah! Sun-flower
William Blake

Ah Sun-flower! weary of time,
Who countest the steps of the Sun:
Seeking after that sweet golden clime
Where the traveller’s journey is done.

Where the Youth pined away with desire,
And the pale Virgin shrouded in snow:
Arise from their graves, and aspire,
Where my Sun-flower wishes to go.

The Garden of Love
William Blake

I laid me down upon a bank
Where Love lay sleeping
I heard among the rushes dank
Weeping, weeping

Then I went to the heath and the wild
To the thistles and thorns of the waste
And they told me how they were beguiled
Driven out, and compelled to the chaste

I went to the Garden of Love
And saw what I never had seen
A Chapel was built in the midst
Where I used to play on the green

And the gates of this Chapel were shut
And “Thou shalt not,” writ over the door
So I turned to the Garden of Love
That so many sweet flowers bore

And I saw it was filled with graves
And tombstones where flowers should be
And priests in black gowns were walking their rounds
And binding with briars my joys and desires

The Little Vagabond
William Blake

Dear mother, dear mother, the Church is cold;
But the Alehouse is healthy, and pleasant, and warm.
Besides, I can tell where I am used well;
Such usage in heaven will never do well.

But, if at the Church they would give us some ale,
And a pleasant fire our souls to regale,
We’d sing and we’d pray all the livelong day,
Nor ever once wish from the Church to stray.

Then the Parson might preach, and drink, and sing,
And we’d be as happy as birds in the spring;
And modest Dame Lurch, who is always at church,
Would not have bandy children, nor fasting, nor birch.

And God, like a father, rejoicing to see
His children as pleasant and happy as He,
Would have no more quarrel with the Devil or the barrel,
But kiss him, and give him both drink and apparel.

The School Boy
William Blake

I love to rise in a summer morn
When the birds sing on every tree
The distant huntsman winds his horn
And the sky-lark sings with me
O! what sweet company

But to go to school in a summer morn
O! it drives all joy away
Under a cruel eye outworn
The little ones spend the day
In sighing and dismay
Ah! then at times I drooping sit
And spend many an anxious hour
Nor in my book can I take delight
Nor sit in learnings bower
Worn thro’ with the dreary shower

How can the bird that is born for joy
Sit in a cage and sing
How can a child when fears annoy
But droop his tender wing
And forget his youthful spring?

O father and mother if buds are nip’d
And blossoms blown away
And if the tender plants are strip’d
Of their joy in the springing day
By sorrow and care’s dismay

How shall the summer arise in joy
Or the summer fruits appear
Or how shall we gather what griefs destroy
Or bless the mellowing year
When the blasts of winter appear?