Cantarcillo de la Virgen (Little Carol of the Virgin)

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SSA/harp or piano
SSATB a cappella
Christmas text in Spanish by Lope de Vega, trans. Denise Levertov

Duration 3 minutes
Difficulty (1-5): 3 (treble); 4 SSATB

 

 listen to Cantarcillo de la Virgen - SSA
Performed by the Santa Fe Women's Ensemble, Linda Raney, director

 listen to Cantarcillo de la Virgen - SATB
Performed by Musica Sacra, Mary Beekman, director
 


 

Premiered December 7, 2003 by The Santa Fe (NM) Women’s Ensemble, directed by Linda Raney

 
This piece began as an SATBB a cappella piece, later I realized that it would make a very sweet lullaby for women’s chorus and harp. The middle section of the piece uses some harmonic formulas which have become fairly commonplace in my subsequent music, basically harmonies being extended into seemingly new areas by the use of substituted roots for an already existing harmony. The ear at first seems to feel a tonic area has been defined, but the substitution leads the ear to the realization that things are still shifting harmonically. Dee Gauthier’s Women’s Chorale of Western Michigan University gave a beautiful performance of this piece at the Michigan Fall 2004 ACDA conference.

 

TEXT

Pues andáis en las paalmas,
ángeles santos,
que se duerme mi niño,
tened los ramos.
 
Palmas de Belén
que mueven airados
los furiosos vientos
que suenan tanto:
no le hagáis ruido,
cored más paso,
que se duerme mi niño
tened los ramos.
 
El niño divino,
que está cansado
de llorar en la tierra
por su descanso
sosegar quiere un poco
del tierno llanto.
Que se duerme mi niño,
tened los ramos.
 
Rigurosos yelos
le están cercando;
ya veis que no tengo
con qué guardarlo.
Ángeles divinos
que vais volando,
que se duerme mi niño,
Tened los ramos.
Angels walking under the palm trees,
holy angels,
let my child sleep,
hold back the branches.
 
Palms of Bethlehem,
tossing in angry wind,
rustling so loud:
 
for his sake quieten,
sway gently --
Let my child sleep.
hold back the branches.
 
The holy child
is tired
of crying for his rest
on earth;
he craves a little respite
From his pathetic plaint.
Let my child sleep,
hold back the branches.
 
All about him
the bitter frost;
see, I have nothing
with which to shelter him.
Blessed angels,
flying past,
let my child sleep,
hold back the branches.

 

 

 

  

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    SSA/harp or piano

Click to See pdf Score
     SSATB a cappella

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