WWS September



Sins & Zins: with guest Megan Ihnen

In September we welcome guest podcaster Megan Ihnen, a.k.a. blogger “Sybaritic Singer“, who joins us for a super-sized tasting of four Red Zinfandels paired with vocal selections on the theme of sin. We think you’ll agree, this is quite a good pairing!

Click here to listen.

This month’s Music Selections were:

Dirge – Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings, by Benjamin Britten

Peter Pears, tenor & Dennis Brain, horn
BBC Symphony Orchestra
John Hollingsworth, conductor
Live recording, 30.VII.1953

Dirge

 This ae nighte, this ae nighte,

Every nighte and alle,
Fire and fleet and candle‑lighte,
And Christe receive thy saule.
When thou from hence away art past,
Every nighte and alle,
To Whinny‑muir thou com’st at last;
And Christe receive thy saule.
If ever thou gavest hosen and shoon,
Every nighte and alle,
Sit thee down and put them on;
And Christe receive thy saule.
If hosen and shoon thou ne’er gav’st nane
Every nighte and alle,
The whinnes sall prick thee to the bare bane;
And Christe receive thy saule.
From Whinny‑muir when thou may’st pass,
Every nighte and alle,
To Brig o’ Dread thou com’st at last;
And Christe receive thy saule.
From Brig o’ Dread when thou may’st pass,
Every nighte and alle,
To Purgatory fire thou com’st at last;
And Christe receive thy saule.
If ever thou gavest meat or drink,
Every nighte and alle,
The fire sall never make thee shrink;
And Christe receive thy saule.
If meat or drink thou ne’er gav’st nane,
Every nighte and alle,
The fire will burn thee to the bare bane;
And Christe receive thy saule.
This ae nighte, this ae nighte,
Every nighte and alle,
Fire and fleet and candle‑lighte,

And Christe receive thy saule.
Lyke Wake Dirge, Anonymous (15th century)

Il Segreto per esser felici, from Lucretzia Borgia, by Donizetti

Shirley Verrett, mezzo-soprano
RCA Italiana Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Jonel Perlea, conductor
recorded in V. 1966, Roma

Orsini
Il segreto per esser felici
So per prova e l’insegno agli amici
Sia sereno, sia nubilo il cielo,
Ogni tempo, sia caldo, sia gelo,
Scherzo e bevo, e derido gl’insani
Che si dan del futuro pensier.
Non curiamo l’incerto domani,
Se quest’oggi n’è dato a goder.

Gli altri 
Sì, non curiamo l’incerto domani,
Se quest’oggi n’è dato a goder.

Coro
(di dentro)
La gioja de’ profani è un fumo passaggier.

Gennaro
Quai voci!

Orsini
Alcun si prende gioco di noi.

Tutti
Chi mai sarà?

Orsini
Scommetto che delle dame
Una malizia è questa.

Gli altri
Un’altra strofa, Orsino.

Orsini
La strofa è presta.
Profittiamo degli’anni fiorenti,
Il piacer li fa correr più lenti;
Se vecchiezza con livida faccia
Stammi a tergo e mia vita minaccia,
Scherzo e bevo, e derido gl’insani, ecc

Gli altri
Sì, non curiamo, ecc
(Si spengono le faci.)

Orsini
The secret of being happy
whether the sky be calm or cloudy;
I know by experience and teach it to my friends
Any weather, be it hot or freezing,
I joke and drink and I laugh at madmen
who give thought to the future.
Let us take no care for an uncertain tomorrow
since today has been given us to enjoy.

The Others
Yes, let us take no care for an uncertain tomorrow
since today has been given us to enjoy.

Voice
(from offstage)
The joy of the profane is a passing smoke.

Gennaro
What voices!

Orsini
Someone is making sport of us.

All
Whoever could it be?

Orsini
I bet that this is a malicious one
from among the ladies.

The Others
Another verse, Orsini.

Orsini
The verse is ready.
Let us profit from our flowering years,
Pleasure will make them pass more slowly;
if old age with a livid face
is at my heels and threatens my life.
I joke and drink and I laugh at madmen etc

The Others
Yes, let us take no care etc
(The torches are put out)

Dead Man Walking – Act II, Scene 8, The Execution: Dead Man Walking! Scene
Composer: Jake Heggie
Librettist: Terence McNally

(Warden, Father Grenville, Joseph, Sister Helen, Kitty and Owen Hart, Jade and Howard Boucher, Guards, Sisters and Mothers of the prayer vigil outside the prison, Inmates) · Patrick Summers/Houston Grand Opera Orchestra/Joyce DiDonato/Philip Cutlip/Michael Sumuel/Beau Gibson/Hector Vásquez/Boris Dyakov/Richard Bado/John Packard/Cheryl Parrish/Susanne Mentzer/Jon Kolbet/Carey Michael O’Rarden/Bradley Blunt/Wesle Chorus: Richard Bado
Chorus: Houston Grand Opera Chorus
Conductor,: Patrick Summers

Steal Me, Sweet Thief From The Old Maid and the Thief (1939), by Gian Carlo Menotti.

Dawn Upshaw, Soprano
Orchestra of St. Luke’s
David Zinman, Conductor
1989 recording

What a curse for a woman is a timid man!
A week has gone by,
he’s had plenty of chances,
but he made no advances.
Miss Todd schemes and labors to get him some money,
she robs friends and neigbhours, the club and the church.
He takes all the money
with a smile that entrances,
but still makes no advances.
The old woman sighs and makes languid eyes.
All the doors are wide open,
all the drawers are unlocked!
He neither seems pleased or shocked.
He eats and drinks and sleeps,
he talks of baseball and boxing,
but that is all!
What a curse for a woman is a timid man!

Steal me, oh steal me, sweet thief,
For time’s flight is stealing my youth.
And the cares of life steal fleeting time.
Steal me, thief, for life is brief and full of theft and strife.
And then, with furtive step,
death comes and steals time and life.
O sweet thief, I pray make me glow,
before dark death steals her prey.

Steal my lips, before they crumble to dust,
Steal my heart, before death must,
Steal my cheeks, before they’re sunk and decayed,
Steal my breath, before it will fade.
Steal my lips, steal my heart, steal my cheeks,
Steal, oh steal my breath,
And make me die before death will steal her prey.
Oh steal me!
For time’s flight is stealing my youth.

On the Way to the Dump:

‘ Es lebt’ eine Vilja’, Hanna’s aria from Die Lustige Witwe by Franz Lehar

Unknown Singer, unknown recording from the ~70s (?)

‘Es lebt’ eine Vilja’

Nun lasst uns aber wie daheim
Jetzt singen unser’n Ringelreim
Von einer Fee, die wie bekannt
Daheim die Vilja wird genannt!

Es lebt’ eine Vilja, ein Waldmägdelein,
Ein Jäger erschaut’ sie im Felsengestein!
Dem Burschen, dem wurde
So eigen zu Sinn,
Er schaute und schaut’
auf das Waldmägdlein hin.
Und ein niegekannter Schauder
Fasst den jungen Jägersmann,
Sehnsuchtsvoll fing er still zu seufzen an!
Vilja, o Vilja, Du Waldmägdelein,
Fass’ mich und lass’ mich
Dein Trautliebster sein!
Vilja, O Vilja, was tust Du mir an?
Bang fleht ein liebkranker Mann!

Das Waldmägdelein streckte
die Hand nach ihm aus
Und zog ihn hinein in ihr felsiges Haus.
Dem Burschen die Sinne vergangen fast sind
So liebt und so küsst gar kein irdisches Kind.
Als sie sich dann satt geküsst
Verschwand sie zu derselben Frist!
Einmal hat noch der Arme sie gegrüsst:
Vilja, o Vilja, Du Waldmägdelein,
Fass’ mich und lass’ mich
Dein Trautliebster sein!
Vilja, O Vilja, was tust Du mir an?
Bang fleht ein liebkranker Mann!

‘Vilja-Lied’

So let us, however, as at home
Now sing our ring dance rhyme
About a fairy, who, as is known
At home is called Vilja!

There lived a Vilja, a wood-maiden,
A hunter spied her in a rocky cliff!
The fellow, became
So strangely affected,
He looked and looked
At the little wood-maiden.
And a never known shudder
Seized the young hunter,
Longingly he began quietly to sigh!
Vilja, O Vilja, you little woods-maiden,
Take me and let me
Be our dearest true love!
Vilja, O Vilja, what are you doing to me?
Fearfully begs a lovesick man!

The woods-maiden stretched
Out her hand to him
And pulled him into her cliff-dwelling.
The lad almost lost his senses, ( for)
Thus loved and kissed no earthly child.
As soon as she was sated with kissing
She disappeared at that moment!
Just once did the poor lad wave to her:
Vilja, O Vilja, you little woods-maiden,
Take me and let me
Be our dearest true love!
Vilja, O Vilja, what are you doing to me?
Fearfully begs a lovesick man!

Play Out – Get Happy, sung by Judy Garland

composed by Harold Arlen, with lyrics written by Ted Koehler.

This month we tasted 4 wines – Red Zinfandels

Wine Selections:

2012 Brazin Old Vine Zinfandel, Lodi, CA

2012 Pedroncelli Bushnell Vineyard Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley, CA*

2012 Sin Zin, Alexander Valley Vineyards, Alexander Valley, CA*

2008 Joseph Swann Stellwagen Vineyard Zinfandel, Sonoma Valley, CA

*Wine Notes: J said some factually incorrect things regarding regions/appellations when speaking about Dry Creek Valley and Alexander Valley during the podcast. [Perhaps he’d had a few too many sips.] Dry Creek & Alexander Valleys are two separate and distinct appellations – both within the larger Sonoma Valley appellation. The Dry Creek Valley IS NOT, as J spoke of on the podcast, within the Alexander Valley.


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