Wellsprings of Life — August 7, 2020

Derived from a range of outstanding choral music, my themed Playlists are designed to be like concerts, of about an hour in length.

The music of this week’s Playlist utilizes imagery of water and the heart as sources of life, with music of Barber, Howells, Whitacre, excerpts from Haydn’s The Creation, and an arrangement of Carly Simon’s award-winning Let the River Run.

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Click the links for information on the pieces and texts/translations.

Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)

“The Third Day” from The Creation

And God Said: Let the Waters Under the Heaven
Roaming in Foaming Billows
And God Said: Let all the Earth Bring Forth Grass
With Verdure Clad the Fields Appear
And the Heavenly Host the Third Day Proclaimed
Awake the Harp


Performed by Gabrieli, conducted by Paul McCreesh


Tomás Luis de Victoria (c.1548-1611)

Vidi Aquam

I saw water flowing from the temple,
on the right side, alleluia:
And all to whom that water came
have been saved, and they will say, alleluia.

Worship the Lord, for he is good:
for his mercy is forever.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end. Amen.
                    Rite of Asperges, Psalm 118:1 & Doxology

Performed by Saint Clement’s Choir (Philadelphia), conducted by Peter Richard Conte


Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (c.1525-1594)

Sicut cervus

As a hart longs for the flowing streams,
so longs my soul for thee, O God.
                    Psalm 42:1

Performed by The Cambridge Singers, conducted by John Rutter


Herbert Howells (1892-1983)

Like as the Hart Desireth the Waterbrooks

Like as the hart desireth the waterbrooks:
so longeth my soul after thee, O God.
My soul is athirst for God, yea, even for the living God:
when shall I come to appear before the presence of God?
My tears have been my meat day and night:
while they daily say unto me, Where is now thy God?
                    Psalm 42:1-3

Performed by Tenebrae, conducted by Nigel Short


Arr. Moses Hogan (1957-2003)

Wade in the Water

Wade in the water,
Children wade in the water,
God’s gonna trouble the water.

See that host all dressed in white.
The leader looks like an Israelite.

See that band all dressed in red.
Well it looked like the band that Moses led.
                    African-American Spiritual

Performed by Moses Hogan Singers & Barbara Hendricks, conducted by Moses Hogan


Gregory Brown (b.1975)

Observing Nature (from Vidi Aquam)


Performed by The Crossing, conducted by Donald Nally


Samuel Barber (1910-1981)

To Be Sung on the Water

Beautiful, my delight,
Pass, as we pass the wave.
Pass, as the mottled night
Leaves what it cannot save,
Scattering dark and bright.

Beautiful, pass and be
Less than the guiltless shade
To which our vows were said;
Less than the sound of the oar
To which our vows were made,
Less than the sound of its blade
Dipping the stream once more.
                    Louise Bogan (1897-1970)

Performed by Conspirare, conducted by Craig Hella Johnson


Eric Whitacre (b.1970)

i carry your heart

Background and Text

Performed by Eric Whitacre Singers, conducted by Eric Whitacre


Bob Chilcott (b.1955)

The Wellspring

Infant of the bubbling spring
well in my heart.

Child of the sighing marsh
breathe in my head.

Son of the keen light
quicken my eyes.

Rebel of the restless creeks
tumble in my ears.

Disciple of the rising tide
dance in my heart.

Teacher of the gruff salt-wind
educate my tongue.
                    Kevin Crossley-Holland (b.1941)

Performed by Oxford Choir, conducted by Bob Chilcott


Carly Simon (b.1945); Arr. Craig Hella Johnson (b.1962)

Let the River Run

We’re coming to the edge,
Running on the water,
Coming through the fog,
Your sons and daughters.

Let the river run,
Let all the dreamers
Wake the nation.
Come, the New Jerusalem.

Silver cities rise,
The morning lights
The streets that meet them,
And sirens call them on
With a song.

It’s asking for the taking.
Trembling, shaking.
Oh, my heart is aching.
                    Carly Simon

Performed by Conspirare, conducted by Craig Hella Johnson