Musick’s Empire Lloyd Pfautsch
Os Justi Anton Bruckner
The Blue Bird C.V. Stanford
My Shepherd Will Supply My Need arr. V. Thomson
Rainsong Houston Bright
Over the Rainbow Arlen arr.Turner
Hymn to Music Joe D. Markley
Fa una Canzona Orazio Vecchi
Sicut Cervus G.P. Palestrina
i carry your heart with me Stephen Paulus
Bogoroditse Devo S. Rachmaninov
Ola! Oh Che Bon Eccho! Orlando di Lasso
La fille aux cheveux de lin Debussy, arr. Kemp
world premiere
Hark, I Hear the Harps Eternal arr. Alice Parker
Wondrous Love arr. Parker/ Shaw
The Willow Song Vaughan Williams
A Boy and a Girl Eric Whitacre
La Muerte Del Angel Astor Piazzolla
Sweet and Twenty Daniel Pederson
Sing Me to Heaven Daniel Gawthrop

The Lord Bless You and Keep You

Peter Lutkin

Notes and Texts

My job was easy this concert. You wrote the notes for me.

And I thank you.
Krista Lang Blackwood, artistic director

Musick’s Empire

Lloyd Pfautsch (1921-2003)
I attended your concert at the 2005 ACDA national convention in Los Angeles. Though you sang Britten’s Hymn to St. Cecilia on that program, the standout was this selection. Simple in its compositional construction but powerful because of its simplicity. Octarium, then a relatively new group, marched on stage and mesmerized a jaded audience of choral professionals with one of the best readings of this piece I’ve ever heard. A powerful and memorable performance.

First was the World as one great Cymbal made,
Where Jarring Windes to infant Nature plaid.
All Musick was a solitary sound,
To hollow Rocks and murm’ring Fountains bound.

Jubal first made the wilder notes agree
And Jubal tuned the Musicks Jubilee:
He called the Echoes from the sullen Cell,
And built the Organs City where they dwell.

Each sought a consort in that lovely place:
And Virgin Trebles wed the manly Base.
From whence the Progeny of numbers knew
Into harmonious Colonies withdrew.

Some to Lute, some to the Viol went,
And others chose the Coronet eloquent.
These practicing the Wind, and those the Wire,
To sing Men’s Triumphs,
Or in Heaven’s quire.

Then Musick the Mosaique of the Air,
Did of all these a solemn noise prepare:
With which she gained the Empire of the Ear
Including all between the Earth and Sphear.

Victorious sounds! Yet here your Homage do
Unto a gentler Conqueror than you:
Who though He flies the Musick of his praise,
Would with you Heavens Hallelujah raise.


Os Justi

Anton Bruckner (1824-1896)
I sat in the pews of Visitation Church a few years ago and listened to God in the form of this perfect choral music so elegantly sung. Thank you.

Os justi meditabitur sapientiam,
The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom,
et lingua ejus loquetur judicium.
and his tongue speaks what is just.
Lex Dei ejus in corde ipsius:
The law of his God is in his heart;
et non supplantabuntur gressus ejus. Alleluia.
and his feet do not falter. Alleluia.


The Blue Bird

C.V. Stanford (1852-1924)

My Shepherd Will Supply My Need

arr. Virgil Thomson (1896-1989)

“The Blue Bird” takes one soaring over the wide, wide blue. Or even under the wide, wide blue. It’s blue either way. The blue above, the blue below. It just comes out of nowhere and goes straight into heaven.

The lake lay blue below the hill,
O’er it, as I looked, there flew
Across the waters, cold and still,
A bird whose wings were palest blue.
The sky above was blue at last,
The sky beneath me blue in blue,
A moment, ere the bird had passed,
It caught his image as he flew.

“My Shepherd Will Supply My Need” was playing on the CD while I was driving through the Smoky Mountains in eastern Tennessee after a fresh snowfall as the sun neared the horizon behind me. The orange and violet sky was glowing off the snow on the heights all around as the hollows began to fade in pools of shadow. The beauty of this piece of music merged with that of the scenery to create an unforgettable effect. If only I could live those same four minutes again.

My Shepherd will supply my need:
Jehovah is His Name;
in pastures fresh he makes me feed,
beside the living stream.
He brings my wandering spirit back
when I forsake his ways,
and leads me, for his mercy’s sake,
in paths of truth and grace.

When I walk through the shades of death
his presence is my stay;
one word of his supporting grace
drives all my fears away.
His hand, in sight of all my foes,
doth still my table spread;
my cup with blessings overflows,
his oil anoints my head.

The sure provisions of my God
attend me all my days;
O may thy house be my abode,
and all my work be praise.
There would I find a settled rest,
while others go and come;
no more a stranger, nor a guest,
but like a child at home.
TEXT: ISAAC WATTS (1674-1748)



Houston Bright (1916-1970)

Over the Rainbow

Harold Arlen (1905-1986)

arr. Guy Turner

“Rainsong” wasn’t specifically requested for this concert but once every two months or so, Octarium receives emails from people who have found it on our repertoire list and would love a recording of Octarium singing it. We hope some of those people are here tonight. – KLB

Clouds hang heavy above the plain
They bring the smell of a summer rain,
And my heart, it is heavy too,
And my spirits are heavy too.
(See how the rains do pour as if forevermore.)

Clouds drift low in a shadowed spell
They bring the memory of one farewell,
When a spirit from life withdrew,
When the soul of my love withdrew.
(See how the rains do pour as if forevermore.)

Raindrops fall from a sodden sky
They drum a querulous lullaby
As in memory of one who sleeps,
As if crooning to one who sleeps.
(See how the rains do pour as if forevermore.)

I’m from Kansas and I love it when you sing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” I especially enjoy that the version you use includes the beginning text; “There’s a rainbow highway to be found, Leading from your windowpane, to a place behind the sun, Just a step beyond the rain.” It’s this text that really sets up the meaning of the song and too often I hear it without that text included.

When all the world is a hopeless jumble
And the raindrops tumble all around
Heaven opens a magic lane

When all the clouds darken up the skyway
There’s a rainbow highway to be found
Leading from your windowpane
To a place behind the sun
Just a step beyond the rain
Somewhere, over the rainbow
Way up high
There’s a land that I dreamed of
Once in a lullabye
Somewhere, over the rainbow
Skies are blue
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true

Some day I’ll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far behind me
Where laughter falls like lemon drops
Away above the chimney tops
That’s where you’ll find me

Somewhere, over the rainbow
Skies are blue
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true

If happy little bluebirds fly
Beyond the rainbow
Why, oh, why can’t I?



Hymn to Music

Joe D. Markley (b. 1953)

Fa una Canzona

Orazio Vecchi (1550-1605)

Sicut Cervus

Giovanni Pierluigi Palestrina (c. 1525-1594)

Do your men ever sing alone? I’d love to hear just the men someday.

Here’s to brotherhood and song
And voices singing full and strong.
Soft the strains resound and rise,
Growing ‘till they fill the skies.

Short this fleeting life may last.
All our work to dust may pass.
Let us lasting tribute bring.
Unto Music let us sing.

Sweet the sounds of music springs
from our hearts when voices sing.
Not for gain or earthly treasure,
Sing we for our joy and pleasure.

I was so glad when your green CD came out and I saw that it had “Fa una Canzona” on it. I love madrigals. Wish you did more of them. You guys make them dance but you also bring out the rich harmonies that a listener sometimes misses while he’s dancing.

Fa una canzona senza note nere.
Sing me a song without black notes
Se mai bramasti la mia grazia havere:
If you have ever coveted my favor
Falla d’un tuonó ch’invita al dormire,
Make it a tone that invites sleep
Dolcemente facendo la finire.
Sweetly making it come to an end.
Per entro no vi spargere durezze
Don’t put in dissonances
Che le mie orecchie non vi sono avezze.
Because my ears are not used to them.


Palestrina. Octarium. Brilliant. That is all.

Sicut cervus desiderat ad fontes aquarum
As the hart pants after the water brooks
ita desiderat anima mea ad te, Deus
so pants my soul after you, O God


i carry your heart with me

Stephen Paulus (b. 1949)
When I attended your Modern Masters concert and saw the e.e. cummings poem on the list, I expected a sluggish, rich, dense, slow setting because I had heard the poetry set to song before. Then you started to sing, with the jaunty first rhythm, and I smiled. It’s just right. To carry someone’s heart with you doesn’t have to be soap opera background music romantic all the time, There are moments of deep richness but there are also moments of light joy. When you carry someone’s heart it shouldn’t be heavy and I appreciate that this song seemed to understand that.

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)
TEXT   EE CUMMINGS (1894-1962)


Bogoroditse Devo

Sergeï Vassilievitch Rachmaninov (1873-1943)
Russian choral music with only eight singers? Hell yeah.


Bogoroditse Devo, raduisya
Rejoice, virgin mother of God
Blagodatnaya Marie, Gospod s Tovoyu
Mary full of grace, the Lord is with you
Blagoslovena Tyi v zhenakh
Blessed are you among women,
i blagosloven plod chreva Tvoego,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb,
yako Spasa rodila esi dush nashikh
for you have borne the Savior of our souls.




Ola! Oh Che Bon Eccho!

Orlando di Lasso (c.1532-1594)
I had no idea you’d ever done this piece! I’d love to hear it live. In fact, I think you should do a whole concert of Renaissance novelty music.


Olà, o che bon eccho! Pigliamoci piacere!
Hello Echo! I like the joke!
Ridiamo tutti! O bon compagno!
Everybody do it! O what a fun friend!
Che voi tu? Voria che tu cantassi una canzona?
Is that you? Would you like to sing a song?
Perchè? Perchè sí? Perchè no?
Why? Why not?
Perchè non voglio? Perchè non voi?
Why don’t you want to?
Perchè non mi piace!
That doesn’t make me very happy.
Taci dico! Taci tu! O gran poltron!
Stop talking! Stop! You big fool.
Signor, sí! Orsù non piu! Andiamo!
Yes, you sir. Let’s not do this anymore. We’re going.
Addio, bon’eccho! Rest’in pace!
Goodbye, echo. Rest in peace.


La fille aux cheveux de lin

Claude Debussy (1862-1918)

arr. Brad Kemp
world premiere
In preparation for our planned 2012 recording Should Have Been Choral, our 2010 Composition Competition specifically requested arrangements of previously existing works; classical, pop, symphonic, etc.. This submission was named the winner because, though seemingly simple, it captures the tranquility of the original while using the voices intelligently, drawing out the wonderful Debussy harmonies with more depth than is possible on the percussive piano. – KLB


Hark, I Hear the Harps Eternal

arr. Alice Parker (b. 1925)

Wondrous Love

arr. Alice Parker and Robert Shaw (1916-1999)
Your American Idyll concert was the first Octarium concert I’d ever been too. I know nothing about singing or choirs but I loved the raw energy of this song. It’s a blatant and bold shout-out to God.


Hark I hear the Harps eternal ringing on the farther shore
As I near those swollen waters with their deep and solemn roar.
Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, praise the Lamb!
Hallelujah, hallelujah, Glory to the great I AM!
And my soul, tho’ stain’d with sorrow fading as the light of day,
Passes swiftly o’er those waters, to the city far away
Souls have cross’d before me, saintly, to that land of perfect rest;
And I hear them singing faintly, in the mansions of the blest.


I have loved “Wondrous Love” for years and loved singing this arrangement under the baton of Krista Blackwood in her church choir. When Octarium sings it, and I listen, the experience is overwhelming; I feel the music deeply because I know the music deeply. I don’t hum along, though sometimes I want to, but I feel I’m as much a part of the music listening as I would be singing.


What wondrous love is this, oh my soul, oh my soul,
What wondrous love is this, oh my soul.
What wondrous love is this that caused the Lord of bliss
to bear the dreadful curse for my soul.

When I was sinking down, sinking down, sinking down,
When I was sinking down, oh my soul.
When I was sinking down beneath God’s righteous frown,
Christ laid aside His crown for my soul.

And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on,
and when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on.
And when from death I’m free I’ll sing and joyful be,
and thro’ eternity I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on.
And thro’ eternity I’ll sing on.


The Willow Song

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958)

A Boy and a Girl

Eric Whitacre (b. 1970)
I love Vaughan Williams and this song is a perfect miniature of what makes his music so great. The text is ideal, being Shakespeare, and Vaughan Williams doesn’t muck it up too much with compositional bravado. He just lets it sing.


The poor soul sat sighing by a sycamore tree,
Sing all a green willow;
Her hand on her bosom, her head on her knee,
Sing willow, willow, willow:
The fresh streams ran by her, and murmur’d her moans;
Sing willow, willow, willow;
Her salt tears fell from her, and soften’d the stones;
Sing willow, willow, willow;
Sing all a green willow must be my garland.

I attended your talk at the Central Library and remember the lyricist reading the poem “A Boy and a Girl.” I had heard the Whitacre setting before but something finally clicked that night with the poetry and the amazing story it tells in so few words; stretched out underground, a boy, and a girl, saying nothing, never kissing, giving silence for silence. To this day, I cannot hear this without stopping everything I’m doing to really listen and shed tears.


Stretched out on the grass,
a boy and a girl.
Savoring their oranges,
giving their kisses like waves exchanging foam.

Stretched out on the beach,
a boy and a girl.
Savoring their limes,
giving their kisses like clouds exchanging foam.

Stretched out underground,
a boy and a girl.
Saying nothing, never kissing,
giving silence for silence.
TEXT OCTAVIO PAZ (1914-1998)


La Muerte Del Angel

Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992)
I love this little ditty. I know nothing about it except once when you guys were “live” on KPR, it played and then started again, three times in a row. Each time I wished Rachel Hunter had let it play out. I could listen to it on repeat for hours.


Sweet and Twenty

Daniel Pederson

Sing Me to Heaven

Daniel Gawthrop (b. 1949)
I heard one song on the radio during one of your very first seasons; you were doing Shakespeare texts. This song wasn’t anything special until somewhere in the middle when the most gorgeous set of chords I’ve ever heard popped out of the woodwork. I can’t remember the song. I can’t remember the text. But I still hear those chords. I want to hear them again.


O mistress mine, where are you roaming?
O stay and hear, your true love’s coming
That can sing both high and low.
Trip no further, pretty sweeting;
Journeys end in lovers’ meeting,
Ev’ry wise man’s son doth know.
What is love? ‘Tis not hereafter;
Present mirth hath present laughter;
What’s to come is still unsure:
In delay there lies no plenty;
Then come kiss me, sweet and twenty;
Youth’s a stuff will not endure.


What can be said about “Sing Me to Heaven” that hasn’t already been said a million times? It is a perfect marriage of text and melody and harmony. It settles the soul. It connects the joy of singing to the journey to the next. When words fail, sing. Comfort me. Sing.


In my heart’s sequestered chambers lie truths stripped of poet’s gloss.
Words alone are vain and vacant, and my heart is mute.
In response to aching silence memory summons half-heard voices,
And my soul finds primal eloquence and wraps me in song.

If you would comfort me, sing me a lullaby.
If you would win my heart, sing me a love song.
If you would mourn me and bring me to God,
Sing me a requiem, Sing me to heaven.

Touch in me all love and passion, pain and pleasure,
Touch in me grief and comfort; love and passion, Pain and pleasure.

Sing me a lullaby, a love song, a requiem,
Love me, comfort me, bring me to God:
Sing me a love song, Sing me to heaven.


The Lord Bless You and Keep You

Peter Lutkin (1858-1931)
While in high school (many, many years ago), our small church choir sang this piece many times. In fact, I think we may have sung it at the end of the Lord’s Supper every month, accompanied by a wonderful pipe organ, which was a rarity in the kind of Baptist church I belonged to, and directed by a youth and music pastor who had a profound and lasting impact on my life. I always found that the music stirred my soul, especially the “Amen” section at the end. However, the words that I most remember now are “and give you peace”. During the turbulent late 60’s, we all needed the peace of God. And that hasn’t really changed, now, has it?


The Lord bless you and keep you
The Lord lift his countenance upon you and give you peace
The Lord make his face to shine upon you
And be gracious unto you.