A Many-Splendored Thing — February 12, 2021

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

This week’s Playlist is inspired by the Valentine’s Day holiday and features music that expresses the many aspects of love, including Brahms’s second set of love songs, Neue Liebeslieder-Walzer, Stroope’s sumptuous Alma de Mi Alma, an arrangement of Billy Joel’s hit She’s Always a Woman sung by the King’s Singers, and more.

Listen on YouTube:

Listen on Spotify:


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

Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)

Neue Liebeslieder-Walzer, Op. 65


Performed by Chamber Choir of Europe, conducted by Nicol Matt


Eric Whitacre (b.1970)

A Boy and a Girl

Background and Text

Performed by Eric Whitacre Singers, conducted by Eric Whitacre


Z. Randall Stroope (b.1953)

Amor De Mi Alma

I was born to love only you;
My soul has formed you to its measure;
I want you as a garment for my soul.

Your very image is written on my soul;
Such indescribable intimacy,
I hide even from you.

All that I have, I owe to you;
For you I was born, for you I live,
For you I must die, and for you
I give my last breath.
                    Garcilaso de la Vega (1503-1536)

Performed in live concert by St. Olaf Choir, conducted by Anton Armstrong


Sven-David Sandström (1942-2019) 

Four Songs of Love

Let Him Kiss Me
Until the Daybreak
Awake, O North Wind
His Left Hand


Performed by Swedish Chamber Choir, conducted by Simon Phipps


Carlos Guastavino (1912-2000)

Al Tribunal de tu Pecho (from Indianas)

To the court of your heart
I come to appeal,
should it want to listen
to my passion and pleading.
Gardens of love, those who love
deserve only a slight penalty.

To the court of your heart
I come to prove my fidelity,
the proof should be
my sleeplessness and observance.

To the court of your heart
I come to ask for clemency,
if it is going to sentence me
to prison and penitence.
                    León Benarós (1915-2012)

Performed by Cuarteto Vocal Cavatina


John Clements (1910-1986)

Flower of Beauty

She is my slender small love, my flow’r of beauty fair
From the whiteness of her little feet to the shining of her hair;
More fair she is than April rain on daffodil or tree:
She is my slender small love, my flow’r of beauty, she.

I know she walks in the evening down by the riverside,
And the grasses lean to kiss her robes who soon will be my bride:
More dear to me her little head than earth or sky or sea!
She is my slender small love, my flow’r of beauty, she.
                    Sydney Bell

Performed by Westminster Choir, conducted by Joe Miller


James Mulholland (b.1935)

A Red, Red Rose


Performed by Kansas City Chorale, conducted by Charles Bruffy


Franz Schubert (1797-1828); arr. Goff Richards (1944-2011)

Who is Sylvia?


Performed by King’s Singers


Billy Joel (b.1949); arr. Philip Lawson (b.1957)

She’s Always a Woman


Performed by King’s Singers


       Arr. Hugo Alfvén (1872-1960)

Tjuv och tjuv det ska du heta

Thief, yes thief, that’s what you are
For you stole my beloved
But I draw sweet comfort,
Knowing I’ll soon get her back again
Yes I will, tra la la.
                    Swedish Folksong

Performed by Örebro Chamber Choir, conducted by Fred Sjöberg