Posted tagged ‘Christmas’

Happy New Year!

January 14, 2014

After a busy Christmas and a nice quiet New Year, time to roll up the sleeves and get down to some challenges to kick off 2014.

Been doing some last-minute translations for a couple of recitals in a certain distinguished London recital hall, including an obscure set of songs to poems by the great 14th-century Italian poet, Petrarch.  Not wishing to boast (ahem) but I was quite pleased with my efforts:

Or che ’l ciel e la terra (Sonnet CXXXI)

Or che’l ciel e la terra e’l vento tace
E le fere e gli augelli il sonno affrena,
Notte il carro stellato in giro mena
E nel suo letto il mar senz’onda giace,
Veggio, penso, ardo, piango; e chi mi sface
Sempre m’è inanzi per mia dolce pena:
Guerra è ’l mio stato, d’ira et di duol piena,
Et sol di lei pensando ò qualche pace.
Così sol d’una chiara fonte viva
Move ’l dolce e l’amaro ond’io mi pasco;
Una man sola mi risana e punge;
E perché ’l mio martir non giunga a riva,
Mille volte il dí moro e mille nasco;
Tanto da la salute mia son lunge.

Francesco Petrarca (1304–1374)

Now that heaven and earth and the wind are silent
and the beasts and the birds are bound in sleep,
Night leads her starry chariot on its rounds
and the ocean lies waveless upon its bed,
I look, I think, I burn, I weep;  and she who is my undoing
is always before me in my sweet pain:
I am in a state of strife, full of anger and sorrow,
and only by thinking of her do I have some peace.
Thus from a single clear gushing spring
come both the sweetness and the bitterness I feed on;
one hand alone both heals and hurts me;
and so my torment never reaches its end,
a thousand times a day I die and a thousand times I am born,
so far am I from salvation.

English translation by Jonathan Burton (c) 2014

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Merry Christmas! 2011

December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas from Diana and Jonathan

December 22, 2010

Xmas Thrush

picture:  Breakfast at Thorney Park, January 2010 — photo by JB

MERRY CHRISTMAS 2009!

December 16, 2009

All good wishes to all of you out there, from me and Diana…

Here is the Christmas card — and I’ll put in an audio link so you can hear it too, in a wheezy computerized version (with apologies for the dysfunctional counterpoint in the middle):

click on the button below to play it!

Belated Merry Christmas card!

January 2, 2009

Unfortunately I have been without internet and email over Christmas, so this is rather late, but here is my card for this year, with all good wishes for a belated Christmas and a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I’ll also post an audio link so you can hear a computerised version of it — though the robot Santas can only sing ‘Ha ha ha’ so it sounds unintenionally somewhat sarcastic.

xmas08_11

 

 

xmas08_21

Click on this link to hear it:  xmasho08kontaktmp31

Merry Christmas audio!

December 16, 2007

[click on this link, or on the PLAY button below]

Different Carols (c) Jonathan Burton 2007

Here is a slightly bumpy computer-fairground-organ version of my Christmas Card arrangements, courtesy of Sibelius Kontakt Silver…

Happy listening!  It’s about eleven minutes long (sorry it isn’t divided into eight tracks).  See previous blog entry for details.

You may have to try it a few times and/or pause it a bit to let the downloading catch up with itself!  Technology, eh.

Many thanks to Gillian and David for the mulled wine and mince pies!  And to the other nine players last Wednesday, particularly Lysander for stepping into the breach at the last minute.  (Hilary, please get well soon.)

Once again, a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS to all our listeners…

Merry Christmas Card!

December 13, 2007

xmas07_1web.jpg

Here’s my 2007 Christmas Card!

It’s the first two pages of the (39-page) score of my Christmas carol arrangements for ten wind players – we’re still arguing about whether the word is ‘Decet’ or Dectet’ – which received their triumphant premiere play-through last night, to the accompaniment of mulled wine and mince pies.

There are eight movements:

1 – The Mediaeval One (Gaudete)
2 – The Basque one (Atoz, atoz)
3 – The French one (Il est né, le divin enfant)
4 – The Old English one (The Coventry Carol)
5 – The One About The Holly (from Cornwall)
6 – The Other French one (Nous voici dans la ville)
7 – The Other Mediaeval One (The Boar’s Head Carol)
8 – The Very Traditional One (Dies natalis tibi felicitatis)

No. 8 is actually a joke – it was Grahame (the 1st flute)’s birthday…

Now my challenge is to find a way to (a) convert the score into a sound file, and (b) put it on here for your delight!

xmas07_2web.jpg