Freedom and Love (2004) by Wayne Peterson
for soprano and percussion

Freedom and Love
by Thomas Campbell (1777-1844)

How delicious is the winning
Of a kiss at love's beginning,
When two mutual hearts are sighing
For the knot there's no untying!

Yet remember, 'Midst our wooing,
Love has bliss, but Love has ruing;
Other smiles may make you fickle,
Tears for other charms may trickle.

Love he comes, and Love he tarries,
Just as fate or fancy carries;
Longest stays, when sorest chidden;
Laughs and flies, when press'd and bidden.

Bind the sea to slumber stilly,
Bind its odour to the lily,
Bind the aspen ne'er to quiver,
Then bind Love to last for ever.

Love's a fire that needs renewal
Of fresh beauty for its fuel:
Love's wing moults when caged and captured,
Only free, he soars enraptured.

Can you keep the bee from ranging
Or the ringdove's neck from changing?
No! nor fetter'd Love from dying
In the knot there's no untying.

While recently perusing an old anthology of English verse, I was beguiled by a poem written during the Elizabethan Period, Freedom and Love, by Thomas Campbell. The gentle, warm and witty text immediately suggested its suitability as a companion piece for my Tympan Alley. Using the same voice-with-percussion accompaniment, I endeavored to capture its more varied and subtle moods. Like its predecessor, the treatment is essentially straight-forward and clear. The attentive listener should have no difficulty following its course.

— W. P.    

[from program for November 5, 2007 concert]