Judith Bettina, soprano; James Goldsworthy, piano

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Text: Muriel Rukeyser

This work appears on Songs & Encores, Bridge Records Bridge 9199 (New Rochelle, New York, 2006) with songs by Milton Babbitt, Christopher Berg, Chester Biscardi [Baby Song of the Four Winds and Guru] Tobias Picker, Mel Powell, and David Rakowski, featuring Tom Kolor, vibraphone, and Curtis Macomber, violin. Liner notes by Hayes Biggs.

Used by permission of Bridge Records, Inc., www.bridgerecords.com, from the CD Songs & Encores, Bridge 9199.




Recovering was written for my friend, Thomas Young, in memory of his wife, Marilyn Helinek. It is a setting of two poems by Muriel Rukeyser, including two lines from "The Poem as Mask: Orpheus" and the entirety of "Recovering". The second poem is framed by a musical quotation which brings out an inner voice and modifies the opening of J. S. Bach's chorale, Es ist das Heil uns kommen her (Now is to Us Salvation Come).

Jan Heller Levi, in A Remembrance of Muriel Rukeyser (1913-1980) published in the Sarah Lawrence College Bulletin May 1980, wrote that "Muriel, like no one else, proved to us that recovery - recovery of what has been lost or what has been denied us - is the true work of poetry and of our lives."
. . . There is no mountain, there is no god, there is memory
of my torn life, myself split open in sleep . . .

Muriel Rukeyser, from The Speed of Darkness (1968) I/Clues:
"The Poem as Mask: Orpheus"
Dream of the world
speaking to me.

The dream of the dead
acted out in me.

The fathers shouting
across their blue gulf.

A storm in each word,
an incomplete universe.

Lightning in brain,
slow-time recovery.

In the light of October
things emerge clear.

The force of looking
returns to my eyes.

Darkness arrives
splitting the mind open.

Something again
is beginning to be born.

A dance is
dancing me.

I wake in the dark.

Muriel Rukeyser, from "Recovering" from The Gates (1976) One
Reprinted by permission of International Creative Management, Inc.
Copyright © 1994 by William L. Rukeyser.

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