The Blue Bird — Tenebrae Choir

This piece of music is quite magical.  I have sung this song in recent times in concert with the chamber choir, Fox Valley Voices. It is the best known of Charles Villiers Stanford’s two sets of eight partsongs.  Musically it is ethereal and a joy to sing.  The lyrics were written by novelist and poet, Mary Elizabeth Coleridge. She was the great-grandniece of the well known 18th century poet, Samuel Taylor Coleridge (“The Rime of The Ancient Mariner”) and daughter of Arthur Duke Coleridge with singer, Jenny Lind.  Her father was credited with the formation of the London Bach Choir.

With such a heritage, it is perhaps not surprising that she could write such spare, yet evocative lyrics …

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
Chamber Choir Tenebrae Performance of “The Blue Bird”

Music Charles Villers Stanford (1852-1924)
Lyrics Mary E Coleridge (1861-1907)
Performance Tenebrae Choir
Directed by Nigel Short

Article @2021 by John Anstie
All Rights Reserved

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