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when faces called flowers float out of the ground

A whimsical (and amorous!) song of spring
Commissioned by the Festival Choir of Madison / Eric Townell
Winner of the Brookline Chorus Composition Competition
e. e. cummings

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Floating flowers, climbing fish, diving birds — only e. e. cummings could create such a spring!   This playful musical setting is as buoyant as the poem, full of surprising modulations, metric variety and a few amorous asides.  when faces called flowers float out of the ground is the second movement of Spring Revels.

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when faces called flowers float out of the ground

Poem by e.e. cummings

when faces called flowers float out of the ground
and breathing is wishing and wishing is having —
but keeping is downward and doubting and never
- it's april (yes,april;my darling)it's spring!
yes the pretty birds frolic as spry as can fly
yes the little fish gambol as glad as can be
(yes the mountains are dancing together)

when every leaf opens without any sound
and wishing is having and having is giving —
but keeping is doting and nothing and nonsense
- alive;we're alive,dear:it's(kiss me now)spring!
now the pretty birds hover so she and so he
now the little fish quiver so you and so i
(now the mountains are dancing,the mountains)

when more than was lost has been found has been found
and having is giving and giving is living —
but keeping is darkness and winter and cringing
- it's spring(all our night becomes day)o, it's spring!
all the pretty birds dive to the heart of the sky
all the little fish climb through the mind of the sea
(all the mountains are dancing;are dancing)


Spring Revels (complete work):

Cayuga Vocal Ensemble / G. Roberts Kolb ~ Cornell University (Ithaca, NY)   * Premiere

Broadmoor Chamber Singers / Becca Kenneally (Natick, MA)

Brookline Chorus / William Cutter (Brookline, MA)

Chamber Singers of Iowa City / Martin Dicke (Iowa City, IA)

CoroAllegro / Jack Warren Burnam (Wilmington, DE)

Hamilton College Choir / G. Roberts Kolb (Venues in NY, OH and IL)

Harmonium Choral Society / Anne Matlack ~ Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival (Waterloo Village)

Harmonium Choral Society / Anne Matlack (Madison, NJ)

South Bend Chamber Singers / Nancy Menk ~ Saint Mary's College (Notre Dame, IN)

when faces called flowers float out of the ground:

College Hill Singers / G. Roberts Kolb  ~ Hamilton College (Clinton, NY)

Oratorio Society of Minnesota / George Chu ~ Hamline University (Saint Paul, MN)


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