Now Winter Nights Enlarge (2013)

for SATB mixed chorus
ca 3.5 minutes

Text: Thomas Campion (1567-1620)

Commissioned by Albert Pinsonneault for the Madison Choral Project

Premiere: December 21, 2013

The text comes from a lute song composed by English composer Thomas Campion. This choral setting harkens back to the polyphony and texture of English madrigals, and even borrows bits from Campion’s original melody.

Now winter nights enlarge
The number of their hours,
And clouds their storms discharge
Upon the airy towers,
Let now the chimneys blaze,
And cups o’erflow with wine:
Let well-tun’d words amaze
With harmony divine.
Now yellow waxen lights
Shall wait on honey love,
While youthful revels, masques and courtly sights
Sleep’s leaden spells remove.

This time doth well dispense
With lovers’ long discourse;
Much speech hath some defence,
Though beauty no remorse.
All do not all things well:
Some measures comely tread;
Some knotted riddles tell;
Some poems smoothly read.
The summer hath his joys,
And winter his delights;
Though love and all his pleasures are but toys,
They shorten tedious nights.

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