Uploaded on Apr 18, 2011
Superb British mezzo-soprano Sarah Connolly, accompanied by pianist Eugene Asti, sings "King David" (1919), a setting of Walter de la Mare's poem about a doleful Old Testament monarch who is made serene by the song of a nightingale. Restrained and subtle, it slowly evolves from a mood of self-pity to one of peace.
From a recital at Wigmore Hall, London, 8 March 2010. She also performed "King David" at a recital in Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Centre, New York on 14 April 2011. For the New York Times review of that recital, see:
King David was a sorrowful man:
No cause for his sorrow had he;
And he called for the music of a hundred harps,
To ease his melancholy.
They played till they all fell silent:
Played and play sweet did they;
But the sorrow that haunted the heart of King David
They could not charm away.
He rose; and in his garden
Walked by the moon alone,
A nightingale hidden in a cypress tree,
Jargoned on and on.
King David lifted his sad eyes
Into the dark-boughed tree
"Tell me, thou little bird that singest,
Who taught my grief to thee?"
But the bird in no-wise heeded;
And the king in the cool of the moon
Hearkened to the nightingale's sorrowfulness,
Till all his own was gone.
Photo: Julieta Cervantes, New York Times
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