Simeon, a chancel opera

Children's and Liturgical Opera Company, LLC

SONG CYCLE: "Birth Elegy"


Song Cycle

songs set to poems by Natalie Robins

music by Susan Hulsman Bingham

cover design by Ann Donohoe

"Birth Elegy," a set of thirty poems, appeared in Natalie Robins's book "Eclipse"
published by Swallow Press (a division of Ohio University Press) in 1981.

"Birth Elegy" was written for
Rebekka Robins Lehmann-Haupt
who died at birth on December 2, 1976

The "Birth Elegy" Song Cycle consists of fifteen songs for soprano
with piano accompaniment

Sample: "Heartbeats" from "Birth Elegy"
(partial setting stopping at asterisk)


It was a warm but winter Thursday,
quiet, full of time spent
hearing heartbeats.
Hers was lost.
Someone cried we'll find it:
a deep incision, strong tugs
until she, herself, was seen,
eyes closed, mouth down,
arms and legs as silent
as her mother's voice.*
Around her neck, the line
that brought her ife and
brought her death.

An informal recording of "Heartbeats" was made in the composer's living room years ago. We found the battered old audio tape and converted it to an mp3 file. The piano bench squeaks and the tape wavers off pitch occasionally, but be brave and click here to listen anyway!

Sung by Judith Caldwell, soprano, with Susan Bingham, piano


For more information on author Natalie Robins, click here.


"Birth Elegy" musical score: $20 + $5 shipping and handling within the U.S.

PDF file of "Birth Elegy": $15.


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