VOCAL WORKS

Be Still, My Heart

Composer's Note

 

"The songs in this collection were composed at various times over a span of 39 years. The performing level and artistic quality of each song, however, are not necessarily commensurate with the date of its creation. "Be Still, My Heart," which was the earliest piece (1967) and is the lead title on the accompanying CD, exhibits a more contemporary approach than several other pieces. What idiom to use- traditional or contemporary- was determined by factors such as the expressive demand and context of the lyrics, the theatrical format (zarzuela, film, etc.) that it was written for, and the idea, image, or event that inspired it. Many of these songs came from zarzuelas or musicales that I wrote at different periods."

Convention Center with Basilica Choir at Baltimore, MD, June 13, 1998

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Be Still, My Heart

The following are select vocal pieces from Be Still, My Heart, all composed by Bayani Mendoza de Leon.

Be Still My Heart (1968)

Set to the poem of the same title by the mystic Persian poet, Kahlil Gibran.

 

Cynthia Wuco Landes, soprano; Sharon Bjorndal, piano

Parang Kahapon Lamang (It Seems Only Yesterday, 1985)

From the composer's zarzuela, "Villa Mariquita," this song is a mother's poignant and nostalgic reminiscences of three children's growing years.

 

Cynthia Wuco Landes, soprano; Sharon Bjorndal, piano.

Kay Tamis Ng Buhay

(Life is Sweet, 1993)

Set to a poem entitled "Kay Tamis Mabuhay sa Sariling Bayan" (Sweet Are the Hours in One's Native Land) that appeared in the immortal novel, "Noli Me Tangere" (Touch Me Not) by the Philippine National Hero, Dr. Jose Rizal.

 

Cynthia Wuco Landes, soprano; Sharon Bjorndal, piano.

Kahit Kaylan, Kahit Saan (No Matter When, No Matter Where, 1973)

A baritenor solo from the zarzuela, "Ako" (later retitled "Sidewalk Vendor"), this song describes a kind of enduring love that will always be proven true "whenever or wherever" it is tested.

 

Alberto Cruz, baritenor; Sharon Bjorndal, piano.

Bulalakaw (Shooting Star, 1985)

A serenade from the composer's zarzuela, "Villa Mariquita," it alludes to a beloved whose beauty radiates like a shooting star, but there is also fear that if not nurtured constantly with love, the beloved's splendor will fizzle out.

 

Alberto Cruz,baritenor; Sharon Bjorndal, piano

Sa Puno Ng Lukban (By the Grapefruit Tree, 1985)

From the composer's zarzuela, "Villa Mariquita," this is a charming soprano-tenor duet that waxes nostalgic over a couple's first profession of love to one another by a grapefruit tree.

 

Cynthia Wuco Landes, soprano; Alberto Cruz, tenor; Sharon Bjorndal, piano.

Nangangamba Ako

(Fearful I Am, 1973)

One of the songs from the zarzuela, "Ako" (later retitled "Sidewalk Vendor"), with both music and libretto by the composer.

 

Cynthia Wuco Landes, soprano: Sharon Bjorndal, piano.

Be Serious For A Change (1985)

A soprano-baritenor duet from the composer's zarzuela, "Villa Mariquita, this song is a vocal exchange between a native-born Filipino and a native-born American couple and, therefore, is cast in alternate Filipino and English lyrics.

 

Cynthia Wuco Landes, soprano; Alberto Cruz, baritenor; Sharon Bjorndal, piano.

Marunong Ang Langit

(Heaven is Wise, 1973)

A soprano-tenor duet from the zarzuela, "Ako" (later retitled "Sidewalk Vendor"), this song ascribes to fate (euphemistically called "heaven") the love destiny of any two people.

 

Cynthia Wuco Landes, soprano; Alberto Cruz, tenor; Sharon Bjorndal, piano

Saan Hahangga Ang Palad

(Where Will Fate Lead Us, 1973)

A soprano-tenor duet from the zarzuela, "Ako" (later retitled "Sidewalk Vendor"), this song is about lovers wondering aloud what is in store for them, taking comfort in the strength and purity of their love for each other.

 

Cynthia Wuco Landes, soprano; Alberto Cruz, tenor; Sharon Bjorndal, piano.