Olivia Davis

A Lown Night

$16.95

Duration:

Instrumentation: Soprano and Piano

Instrumentation: Soprano and Piano
Delivery Method: Physical Delivery
Performance Materials: Score

The text for A Lown Night is a modern, American-English ‘translation’ of the first stanza of George MacDonald’s “A Lown Nicht.” The lyrical poem in Scots was also a sort of song by MacDonald. Its language is colorful, painting a picture with words that, at times, double in meaning. These moments, I have chosen to keep the original words to portray this play, such as “lamping” and “lown.” “Lamping” most likely refers to the moon striding out, and becoming brighter, but may also signify the ground being covered by a fine frost or dew. “Lown”—in the title—means still, calm, windless, quiet, and/or serene. “Curls” could also refer to many things: curls of flora, especially cones of a fir or pine tree; the ripple in water (from the ruffling of wind); a type of song; and even the glands of the neck.

 

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108-002-SP
Instrumentation: Soprano and Piano
Delivery Method: Physical Delivery
Performance Materials: Score

About the Work

Instrumentation: Soprano and Piano

The text for A Lown Night is a modern, American-English ‘translation’ of the first stanza of George MacDon- ald’s “A Lown Nicht.” The lyrical poem in Scots was also a sort of song by MacDonald. Its language is colorful, painting a picture with words that, at times, double in meaning. These moments, I have chosen to keep the original words to portray this play, such as “lamping” and “lown.” “Lamping” most likely refers to the moon striding out, and becoming brighter, but may also signify the ground being covered by a fine frost or dew. “Lown”—in the title—means still, calm, windless, quiet, and/or serene. “Curls” could also refer to many things: curls of flora, especially cones of a fir or pine tree; the ripple in water (from the ruffling of wind); a type of song; and even the glands of the neck. The poem is from a larger work by MacDonald, titled, “The Marquis of Lossie,” originally published in 1877. Text precedes the poem that helps give it context. A portion of this text is given below: When Malcolm lifted his head, the sun had gone down. He rose and wandered along the sand towards the moon at length blooming out of the darkening sky, where she had hung all day like a washed out rag of light, to revive as the sunlight faded. He watched the banished life of her day swoon returning, un- til, gathering courage, she that had been no one, shone out fair and clear, in conscious queendom of the night. Then, in the friendly infolding of her dreamlight and the dreamland it created, Malcolm’s soul re- vived as in the comfort of the lesser, the mitigated glory, and, as the moon into radiance from the darkened air, and the nightingale into music from the sleep stilled world of birds, blossomed from the speechlessness of thought and feeling into a strange kind of brooding song. If the words were half nonsense, the feeling was not the less real. Such as they were, they came almost of themselves, and the tune came with them. The complete, original poem by George MacDonald can be found below. —Olivia Davis October 2019 A Lown Nicht by George MacDonald Conscience-glass, Mirror the en’less All in thee; Melt the boundered and make it pass Into the tideless, shoreless sea. Warl o’ my life, Swing thee roun thy sunny track; Fire an’ win’ an’ water an’ strife, Carry them a’ to the glory back. Rose o’ my hert, Open yer leaves to the lampin mune; Into the curls lat her keek an’ dert, She’ll tak the colour but gie ye tune. Buik o’ my brain, Open yer faulds to the starry signs; Lat the e’en o’ the holy luik an’ strain, Lat them glimmer an’ score atween the lines. Cup o’ my soul, Goud an’ diamond an’ ruby cup, Ye’re noucht ava but a toom dry bowl Till the wine o’ the kingdom fill ye up..

Pages: 7