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The 49th Parallel | Walter Hall, Toronto
Songs of Canada and the United States

date: December 5, 2004

In 1976, the National Film Board of Canada produced a large, handsome picture book in honour of the bicentenary of American independence, entitled Between Friends.  Our programme used extracts from this book to link the items in a sequence of American and Canadian songs.  Significant among these were a cycle of 3 songs to Walt Whitman poems by Harry Somers; a song, “Fair Weather”, specifically written for the afternoon’s performer, Vilma Vitols; another cycle, A Lasting Spring, written for Colin Ainsworth who gave the first complete performance of it, and Stacey, written by John Beckwith for Monica Whicher and performed this afternoon by her.  Four songs from Ned Rorem’s Evidence of Things Not Seen, an enormous cycle of 36 songs, were performed on the recommendation of Steven Blier, of the New York Festival of Song, whom the Artistic Directors of the Aldeburgh Connection had visited in 2003.

Song Artist Composer Poet
At the River (Old American Songs) Vitols, Vilma Indra, mezzo; Ubukata, Bruce, piano Copland, Aaron Lowry, Robert
Look down fair moon (Three Songs) Ainsworth, Colin, tenor; Ralls, Stephen, piano Somers, Harry Whitman, Walt
After the dazzle of day (Three Songs) Ainsworth, Colin, tenor; Ralls, Stephen, piano Somers, Harry Whitman, Walt
A Clear Midnight (Three Songs) Ainsworth, Colin, tenor; Ralls, Stephen, piano Somers, Harry Whitman, Walt
Ah! may the red rose live alway Vitols, Vilma Indra, mezzo; Ubukata, Bruce, piano Foster, Stephen Foster, Stephen
O waly, waly, up the bank Whicher, Monica, soprano; Ubukata, Bruce, piano Russell, Welford anon.
Fair Weather Vitols, Vilma Indra, mezzo; Ralls, Stephen, piano Hawkins, John Parker, Dorothy
Warble for Lilac-time Whicher, Monica, soprano; Ralls, Stephen, piano Carter, Elliott Whitman, Walt
Lament (A Lasting Spring) Ainsworth, Colin, tenor; Ralls, Stephen, piano Holman, Derek Shakespeare, William
Orpheus with his lute (A Lasting Spring) Ainsworth, Colin, tenor; Ralls, Stephen, piano Holman, Derek Shakespeare, William
To Music (A Lasting Spring) Ainsworth, Colin, tenor; Ralls, Stephen, piano Holman, Derek Herrick, Robert
INTERMISSION
Smiling hope (The Widow) Whicher, Monica, soprano; Ralls, Stephen, piano Lavallée, Calixa Nelson, Frank H.
Amor (Cabaret Songs) Vitols, Vilma Indra, mezzo; Ralls, Stephen, piano Bolcom, William Weinstein, Arnold
On an Echoing Road (Evidence of Things Not Seen) Whicher, Monica, soprano; Vitols, Vilma Indra, mezzo; Ralls, Stephen, piano Rorem, Ned Colette, trans. Rorem, Ned
A Terrible Disaster (Evidence of Things Not Seen) Ainsworth, Colin, tenor; Ralls, Stephen, piano Rorem, Ned Goodman, Paul
Come In (Evidence of Things Not Seen) Whicher, Monica, soprano; Ralls, Stephen, piano Rorem, Ned Frost, Robert
The Old Men Admiring Themselves in the Water (Evidence of Things Not Seen)) Whicher, Monica, soprano; Vitols, Vilma Indra, mezzo; Ainsworth, Colin, tenor; Ralls, Stephen, piano Rorem, Ned Yeats, William Butler
Stacey Whicher, Monica, soprano; Ralls, Stephen, piano Beckwith, John Laurence, Margaret
The Circus Band Ainsworth, Colin, tenor; Ralls, Stephen / Ubukata, Bruce, piano Ives, Charles Ives, Charles
The Circus Band (Reprise) – ENCORE Whicher, Monica, soprano; Vitols, Vilma Indra, mezzo; Ainsworth, Colin, tenor; Ralls, Stephen / Ubukata, Bruce, piano Ives, Charles Ives, Charles