Catherine Hammond | The Wonder of Creation

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The Wonder of Creation

by Catherine Hammond

Rich contralto voice singing beautiful Scottish traditional and art songs by Brahms, Schubert, and Schumann. Plus 8 original songs, piano pieces, and quintets for flute, oboe, viola, cello, and piano or harp, written in easy-to-listen-to Romantic style.
Genre: Classical: Art songs
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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Where the Lilies Blow
Catherine Hammond, Stephanie Stathos, Izumi Sakamoto, Dominick Douglas, Cynthia Forbes & William Merrill
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2. Ye Banks and Braes
Catherine Hammond & John Watt
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3. Whaur Gadie Rins
Catherine Hammond & John Watt
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4. Scots Wha Hae Wi' Wallace Bled
Catherine Hammond & John Watt
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5. Ca' the Yowes
Catherine Hammond & John Watt
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6. Bonny Earl O' Moray
Catherine Hammond & John Watt
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7. Ae Fond Kiss
Catherine Hammond & John Watt
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8. Dans le jardin de ma mère
Catherine Hammond, Stephanie Stathos, Izumi Sakamoto, Dominick Douglas & Cynthia Forbes
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9. Schwanengesang, D.957: IV. Ständchen
Catherine Hammond & John Watt
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10. An die Musik, D. 547
Catherine Hammond & John Watt
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11. Winterreise, D. 911: 11. Frühlingstraum
Catherine Hammond & John Watt
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12. Litaney auf das Fest Aller Seelen, D. 343
Catherine Hammond & John Watt
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13. Liederkreis, Op. 39: I. In der Fremde
Catherine Hammond & John Watt
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14. Dichterliebe, Op. 48: III. Die Rose, die Lilie, die Taube
Catherine Hammond & John Watt
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15. Dichterliebe, Op. 48: IV. Ich will meine Seele tauchen
Catherine Hammond & John Watt
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16. Dichterliebe, Op. 48: VII. Ich grolle nicht
Catherine Hammond & John Watt
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17. Lieder und Gesänge, Vol.II, Op. 51: II. Volksliedchen
Catherine Hammond & John Watt
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18. Light and Shadow
Catherine Hammond & William Merrill
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19. In the Beginning
Catherine Hammond, Stephanie Stathos, Izumi Sakamoto, Dominick Douglas, Cynthia Forbes & William Merrill
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20. 7 Lieder, Op. 48: I. Der Gang zum Liebchen
Catherine Hammond & John Watt
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21. 5 Lieder, Op. 94: IV. Sapphische Ode
Catherine Hammond & John Watt
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22. 9 Lieder and Songs, Op. 63: V. Meine Liebe ist grün
Catherine Hammond & John Watt
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23. 5 Songs, Op. 72: I. Alte Liebe
Catherine Hammond & John Watt
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24. 5 Lieder, Op.105: IV. Auf dem Kirchhofe
Catherine Hammond & John Watt
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25. 5 Romances and Songs, Op. 84: IV. Vergebliches Ständchen
Catherine Hammond & John Watt
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26. 15 Romances, Op. 33: XII. Muss es eine Trennung geben
Catherine Hammond & John Watt
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27. 5 Lieder, Op. 47: I. Botschaft
Catherine Hammond & John Watt
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28. Father, Thou Art Very Near Us
Catherine Hammond & John Watt
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29. Christ My Refuge
Catherine Hammond & William Merrill
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30. All Is Well
Catherine Hammond & John Watt
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31. Thanksgiving Hymn
Catherine Hammond & William Merrill
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32. Var. 1, The Spires of Leiden
Catherine Hammond & William Merrill
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33. Var. 2, Leaving the Homeland
Catherine Hammond & William Merrill
0:00 album only
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34. Var. 3, Crossing the Ocean
Catherine Hammond & William Merrill
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35. Var. 4, Pilgrim Boogie
Catherine Hammond & William Merrill
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36. Happiness
Catherine Hammond & William Merrill
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Contralto Catherine Hammond studied voice with Ruth Streeter in Boston, Bernard Diamant in Montreal, Roy Henderson in London, and Robert Gartside in Lexington, Massachusetts. She holds degrees in music from Columbia University (BA) and Boston University (MA). While at Columbia, she performed solos with the Columbia University Chorus and the Gilbert and Sullivan Society. In Boston she has been a member of the Cantata Singers, the Handel and Haydn Society, and the Bowdoin Street Consort, which she founded.

Appearing frequently in recitals of art songs in several languages, she has also been a regular church soloist in the Boston area over the last twenty-five years. In 2002, she recorded Brahms’ Two Songs for Contralto, Cello, and Piano, with her brother, cellist Frank Hammond, and pianist Thomas Hightower; a CD in 2003, of hymns for vocal quartet and piano for Longyear Museum in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts; and in 2006, a CD of 27 art songs titled “Intimations.”

Catherine Hammond has also written numerous songs and instrumental pieces, including a multi-media work based on Dostoyevsky’s short story, “Dream of A Ridiculous Man,” and a short musical for children titled “Mask-erade.” Eight of her most recent compositions—two songs, three short quintets, and three piano pieces—are included in this CD.


Translations

SCHUBERT

Ständchen
Serenade
Poem by Ludwig Rellstab

Softly my songs imploring,
come to you through the night;
In the quiet grove below, darling, come to me!
Whispering, the slender treetops
rustle in the moonlight;
Do not fear the traitor’s hostile listening.
Do you hear the throbbing of the nightingales?
Ah! They implore you,
With the sound of sweet sorrow, they plead for me.
They understand the heart’s longing,
know the pain of love,
And touch every soft heart with their silver tones.
Let your breast, too, be moved,
Darling, listen to me,
Trembling, I wait for you!
Come, gladden my heart!

An die Musik
To Music
Poem by Franz von Schober

Thou precious Art, in how many a gloomy hour,
When feeling constricted by life’s wild circle,
Hast thou kindled my heart with warmer love,
And transported me into a better world!
Oft hath a sigh, flowing from thine harp,
A sweet, holy harmony from thee,
Opened up for me the heaven of better times,
Thou precious Art, for this I thank thee!

Frühlingstraum
Spring Dream
Poem by Wilhelm Müller

I dreamt of brightly colored flowers,
The way they bloom in May;
I dreamt of green meadows,
And of joyful bird songs.
And when the cocks crowed,
Then my eye awoke;
It was cold and dark,
The ravens shrieked on the roof.
But on the window panes,
Who painted the leaves there?
You laugh about the dreamer
Who saw flowers in winter?
I dreamt of love and loving,
Of a beautiful maiden,
Of hearts and kisses,
Of joy and rapture.
And when the roosters crowed,
My heart awakened;
Now sit I here alone
And think about the dream.
I close my eyes again,
My heart still beats so warmly.
When will you leaves turn green on the window?
When will I hold my beloved in my arms?

Litanei
Litany
Poem by Johann Georg Jacobi

Rest in peace, all souls,
Ye who endured fearful torment;
Who lived out a sweet dream,
Tired of life, hardly born,
Then pushed out of the world;
All souls, rest in peace!
And those who never laughed in the sun,
Who, lying on thorns,
kept watch beneath the moon,
To see God face to face
In pure, heavenly light,
All who have departed from this world,
All souls, rest in peace!

SCHUMANN

In der Fremde
In a Strange Land
Poem by Joseph von Eichendorff

From my homeland, behind the red lightning,
The clouds come floating over here,
But my father and mother died long ago,
And there’s nobody there who knows me now.
How soon will the gentle peace come,
When I also will be at rest,
And the beautiful woods will murmur
their loneliness above me,
And no one will remember me any more…

Die Rose, die Lilie, die Taube
The Rose, the Lily, the Dove
Poem by Heinrich Heine

The rose, the lily, the dove, the sun
I once loved with a passionate delight.
But I don’t love them any more, I love only
The one who is little, fine, pure, the only one.
She herself, the joy of all love,
Is rose and lily and dove and sun,
I love only the little one,
Who is fine, pure, the only one!

Ich will meine Seele tauchen
I Want to Bathe My Soul
Poem by Heinrich Heine

I want to bathe my soul
Deep in the lily’s cup;
The lily will exhale with resonant tones
A song about my sweetheart.
The song will quiver and tremble
Like the kiss of her lips,
Which she once bestowed on me
In a wondrously sweet moment.

Ich grolle nicht
I’m Not Resentful
Poem by Heinrich Heine

I’m not resentful, though my heart is breaking;
Love forever lost! But I’m not resentful.
Though you shine in the splendor of your diamonds,
No ray of light can enter the dark night of your heart;
This I’ve known for a long time.
I’m not resentful, though my heart is breaking.
I saw you, yes, in my dream,
And I saw the night that fills your heart,
And saw the snake eating at your heart,
I saw, my dear, how very miserable you are.
But I’m not resentful, I’m not resentful.

Volksliedchen
Little Folk Song
Poem by Friedrich Rückert

When, early in morning, I go into the garden
In my little green hat,
My first thought is,
What is my darling doing now?
There is no star shining in the heavens
That I wouldn’t want for my friend.
My very heart I would gladly give him,
If only I could pluck it out.
When, early in morning, I go into the garden
In my little green hat,
My first thought is,
What is my darling doing now?

BRAHMS

Der Gang zum Liebchen
On the Way to My Beloved’s
Bohemian Folklore

The moon is shining down;
I should go again to see
How my beloved is;
How is she doing?
Alas, she’s in despair,
And complains and laments
That she will never, ever
See me again!

Sapphische Ode
Sapphic Ode
Poem by Hans Schmidt

Roses that I plucked at night from the dark hedges,
Breathed a fragrance sweeter than in the daytime,
But the branches, moving, richly showered me
With their dew.
Thus did the perfume of your kisses
enchant me as never before,
When I plucked at night the flower of your lips:
But from you, like them moved in your soul,
Flowed a dew of tears.

Meine Liebe ist grün
My Love Is Green
Poem by Felix Schumann
(son of Robert and Clara Schumann)

My love is green as the lilac bush,
And my love is beautiful as the sun!
It shines on the lilac bush
And fills it with perfume and delight.
My soul has wings of the nightingale
And balances on the blooming lilac,
And shouts, and, overcome by the perfume,
Sings many songs drunk with love.

Alte Liebe
Old Love
Poem by Karl August Candidus

The dark swallow is returning
From a distant land,
The pious storks come back,
Bringing new happiness.
On this spring morning,
So gloomy, overcast and warm,
It seems as though I felt again
The pain of a former love.
It seems as though I were being
Softly tapped on my shoulder,
As if I heard a rustling
Like the sound of a dove’s wing.
There’s a knocking on my door,
And yet no one is outside;
I smell the perfume of jasmine,
And yet there’s no bouquet.
I hear someone calling me from far away,
An eye looks at me,
An old dream grabs me
And leads me down its path.

Auf dem Kirchhofe
At the Churchyard
Poem by Detlev von Liliencron

The day was blown about with heavy rain and storm-tossed,
I had been wandering among many forgotten graves;
The stones and crosses were worn, the wreaths were old,
And the names so overgrown, I could barely read them.
The day was storm-tossed and blown about with heavy rain,
Frozen on all the graves was the word: “Was.”
As if dead from the storms, the coffins slumbered;
The frost on all the graves quietly melted, leaving the word: “Restored.”

Muss es eine Trennung geben
Must There Then Be a Parting
Poem by Ludwig Tieck

Must there then be a parting,
Breaking the heart that’s true?
No, this is not what I call “life,”
Dying would not be so bitter.
The sound of a shepherd’s flute
Fills me with sorrow deep inside,
I look into the evening sunset
And think longingly of thee.
Is there then no true love?
Must there be only grief and parting?
If I had never been loved,
I would still have a ray of hope.
But now must I go on wailing:
Where is any hope besides the grave?
Far away must I bear my sorrow,
While secretly my heart is breaking.

Botschaft
Message
Poem by Hafis von Daumer

Blow, little breeze, balmy and soft,
About my darling’s cheeks,
Play softly in her hair,
Don’t fly away in a hurry!
Should she ask
How I, poor man, am doing,
Say: “His suffering was immense,
And his situation truly alarming,
But now can he hope
To have a wonderful life again,
Because you, my beloved,
Are thinking of him.”

Vergebliches Ständchen
Serenade in Vain
Folklore of the Lower Rhineland

(He) Good evening, my darling,
Good evening, my dear,
I come to you impelled by love,
Oh, please open the door!
(She) My door is locked
And I’m not letting you in.
Mother advises me well,
And if you came in,
All would be over for me!
(He) The night is so cold,
The wind is so icy
That my heart is freezing,
And my love will die;
So open the door, my dear!
(She) If your love dies,
Let it die, so be it;
Go home to bed and sleep,
Good night, laddie,
Good night, good night, laddie!


Notes on the Original Pieces
by Catherine Hammond

Variations on the Thanksgiving Hymn, “We Gather Together”

The four variations on the Thanksgiving Hymn, written in four different musical styles, tell the story of the Pilgrims’ emigration in 1620.
• Variation 1, titled “The Spires of Leiden,” is in traditional classical style, with octave leaps to depict the church spires of Leiden, Holland, where the Pilgrims initially took refuge after leaving England.
• Variation 2, titled “Leaving the Homeland,” is in minor mode, to express the Pilgrims’ sadness in leaving their home country for unknown distant shores.
• Variation 3, titled “Crossing the Ocean,” in Debussy-like French Impressionist style, describes the Mayflower’s crossing of the Atlantic, where the Pilgrims must have encountered huge, crashing waves, but ended up in the quiet harbor of Plymouth in North America.
• Variation 4, titled “Pilgrim Boogie,” is a humorous take on the joy of the Pilgrims in reaching North America safely.

Christ My Refuge
In my setting of Mary Baker Eddy’s well-known poem, “Christ My Refuge,” the arpeggios in the piano imitate the harp mentioned in the first lines, “O’er waiting harp-strings of the mind There sweeps a strain….”
Christ My Refuge: Words by Mary Baker Eddy, Courtesy of The Mary Baker Eddy Collection.

All Is Well
This song is my setting of an inspirational poem, “All Is Well,” by English poet Rosa Maud Turner.
All Is Well: Words by Rosa Maud Turner, Christian Science Sentinel, Sept. 23, 1933, Courtesy of The Mary Baker Eddy Collection.

Three Short Quintets for Flute, Oboe, Viola, Cello, and Piano or Harp
Each of these three quintets has a character of its own, entirely different from the other two.

“Where the Lilies Blow” was inspired by an Easter lily and thus includes the concept of eternal life. The first part expresses the triumph of eternity — heard in the soaring melodies shared by the flute, oboe, viola, and cello — over time, described by the metronomic beat of the piano chords. The next part, with its bouncy rhythm and quick sixteenths and eighth notes, evokes lilies blowing in the wind. This is followed by three melodies played by the oboe, cello, and viola, with a flute descant-obbligato, which express spiritual striving for the ideal. The piece concludes with the lilies theme.

“Dans le Jardin de ma Mère” (“In My Mother’s Garden”) has a French title, because it is written in a French modal style à la Ravel. The triplets played by the harp reminded me of flowers, and since my mother was not only knowledgeable about flowers but painted them beautifully, I titled it “In My Mother’s Garden” as a kind of homage to her.

“In the Beginning,” written in late Romantic style, was inspired by the first chapter of Genesis, which reads: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” The piece starts with the strings and winds playing a slow, winding, chromatic and somewhat discordant passage, evoking the “spirit of God [moving] upon the face of the waters” and primordial breathing. Suddenly, a loud chord in the piano signals the moment of creation, followed by the Love theme—the love felt by God in conceiving and forming His creation. After a second Love theme and a repetition of the first one, the piece ends with a quiet recapitulation of the initial chromatic passage.

The title “Light and Shadow” refers to the way the piece goes back and forth between major (light) and minor (shadow).

“Happiness” is a Viennese-style waltz that just “happened” after I had been reading through a book of Strauss waltzes.

NOTE: “Father, Thou Art Very Near Us”: words by English poet Violet Hay; music by Percy Buck.





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