John Muir suite (Peter Bird)

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  • (Posted 2005-11-20)  CPDL #10209:      (Sibelius 5)
Editor: Peter Bird (submitted 2005-11-20).   Score information: Letter, 20 pages, 283 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: Unabridged quotes and their sources can be found on the last page of the .pdf file. Copyright © 2005 by George Peter Bird. This edition may be freely distributed, duplicated, performed, and recorded.

General Information

Title: John Muir suite
Composer: Peter Bird

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SecularCantata

Language: English
Instruments: violin and flute [or equivalent organ stops]

First published: 2005
Description: A suite of 4 short pieces (2:30 each) in Renaissance styles, setting 4 well-known quotes from the prose of John Muir. The suite portrays one fine day in the mountains.

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

I. N'ascensione madregala:
Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.
Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine into trees.
The winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.

II. Nature her galliard:
Everything is flowing--going somewhere.
Snow flows fast or slow in grand beauty; the air in majestic floods of fragrance.
Rocks flow from volcanoes like water from springs; animals flock together and flow in currents, while the stars go streaming through space.
Everything is flowing--going somewhere.
How lavish is Nature; Nature always building, Nature always pulling down, creating, destroying, chasing every material particle from form to form, ever changing, ever beautiful.

[N.B. This passage was condensed considerably for grace in singing.
The original quotations may be found on the last page of the .pdf file.]

III. Vespers:
The evening flames with purple and gold.
The mighty host of trees, baptized in the purple flood, stand hushed and thoughtful, awaiting the sun\'s blessing and farewell.

IV. Grand canon:
This grand show is eternal.
It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never all dried at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor ever rising.
Eternal sunrise, eternal sunset, eternal dawn and gloaming, on seas and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls.

John Muir