For Consort’s Tenth Anniversary we featured three pieces from Los Angeles-based composer Kenneth Neufeld’s “Songs from the Twelfth Night” with texts by William Shakespeare. You learn more about him in his biography.
Kenneth attended our performance and sent us a letter of congratulations.
I. O Mistress Mine
“O mistress mine, where are you roaming?
O stay and hear – your true love’s coming,
that can sing both high and low:
Trip no further, pretty sweeting,
journeys end in lovers’ meeting,
ev’ry wise man’s son doth know.
What is love? ‘Tis not hereafter;
Present mirth hath present laughter.
What’s to come is still unsure:
In delay there lies no plenty.
Then kiss me, sweet and twenty!
Youth’s a stuff will not endure.”
II. Come Away, Death
“Come away, death, and in sad cypress let me be laid;
Fly away, breath; I am slain by a fair cruel maid.
My shroud of white, stuck all with yew, O, prepare it!
My part of death, no one so true did share it.
Not a flower sweet, on my black coffin let there be strown;
Not a friend greet my poor corpse, where my bones shall be thrown:
A thousand thousand sighs to save,
Lay me where sad true lover never find my grave to weep there.”
III. I Am Gone, Sir
“I am gone, sir, and anon, sir, I’ll be with you again;
In a trice, like to the old Vice, your need to sustain.
Who, with dagger of lath, in his rage and his wrath, cries, ah ha! To the devil:
Like a mad lad, pare thy nails, dad; Adieu, good man devil.
I am gone, adieu. Ha!”