"Daybreak" is finally here!
Bellissima! released our second compact disc ("Daybreak") on September 30, 2006, and we invite you to enjoy our music in the comfort of your own home. The CD is available at all of our concerts, through mail order, and courtesy of Birdland Music in Virginia Beach.
"Daybreak" is a wonderful way to show your appreciation of beautiful music, a fine addition to any collection, or a thoughtful gift for the classical music lover in your life.
Program Notes and musical samples from the Daybreak CD:
(Press the Play button twice to begin a selection and adjust the volume to your taste.)
How Can I Keep from Singing? (Nicole Baller, soloist)
Bellissima! offers the finest quality of music for women’s voices on this newest CD recording. From the beginning notes of the opening number How Can I Keep from Singing, we are stirred and inspired by the innocent beauty of the singing voice and reminded to trust in God as Lord over heaven and earth.
Hark, I Hear the Harps Eternal
Didn't You Hear? (Alicia Daniel, soloist)
Music as an expression of faith in God is brought alive by the spirituals Hark I Hear the Harps Eternal and Didn’t You Hear? Both pieces are arranged by the legendary Alice Parker. In Hark, I Hear the Harps Eternal, we experience cascades of joyous hallelujahs pouring down on us from those who have passed over into their heavenly reward. The calling back and forth of outdoor working songs is brought alive with the antiphonal singing of Didn’t You Hear?
The Poet Sings
In his own words, composer Z. Randall Stroope writes that, “humanity spends a lifetime trying to find a voice…” and this composer certainly offers us one in the profound setting, The Poet Sings. The first four lines of the text were written in the early 1900’s by the English poet Richard Le Gallienne, with the composer penning the remainder of the text of courage, integrity and strength.
Teach Me, O Lord (Enseigne-Moi Yaweh)
Dona Nobis Pacem
Teach Me Your Ways and Dona Nobis Pacem are each based on religious texts – the former from Psalm 86, exhorting us to walk in truthfulness and glorify the name of the Lord forever. The latter combines the Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi (Make us instruments of your peace. Where there is hatred let us sow love…) with a portion of the Agnus Dei Mass text (Grant us peace).
The setting of Melodies claims that beautiful music can soothe and calm the storms of a lifetime. Written by Latvian composer Peter Barisons with English text translation by Vance Wolverton, the piece reminds us of evening bells and sweet music drifting softly through the cloisters in the moonlight.
The Smoothing Iron
From the wealth of English folksong we hear The Smoothing Iron. The listener is entertained by the rollicking variations on a young man’s sighs as he observes his lady-love sort, wash, dry, fold…iron and eventually wear her “linens!”
The amusing reflections of the poet Jenny Joseph in Warning should give us confidence to enjoy ourselves as we each grow closer to old age. Composer Deborah Carr brings alive the text with speakers as well as singers telling us to live a little; to be absurd enough to wear red hats that do not suit one at all; to “go out in (our) slippers in the rain!...and learn to SPIT!”
The Earth Sings, Part I: Daybreak
The Earth Sings, Part II: Sea and Sky
The Earth Sings, Part III: Wind and Sun
Completing the recording are pieces representing the world around us. Stephen Paulus’ colorful and rhythmic piece, The Earth Sings, uses three texts from various parts of the world to paint the colorful picture of our environment. From a tribe of Wave Hill in northern Australia, an anonymous poet depicts the rising of the sun (Daybreak), followed by words from an Uglulik Eskimo woman showing the marriage of the water and sky (Sea and Sky), and from anonymous medieval Latin writers, we sing of the sun’s dazzling reflection on all nature (Wind and Sun).
I Thank You God
Finally, Gweyneth Walker’s setting of the e.e. cummings text, I Thank You God for most this amazing day… is the final exclamation of the joy and thrill Bellissima! members experience as they sing together, offering the most beautiful music in the most beautiful way to the most beautiful people – YOURSELF!
Our first musical release ("Beginnings") was a huge success. Supplies of this recording are limited. If you wish to purchase a copy of our first CD, please contact us to see if one is still available for sale.