• Kenneth Leighton
  • Veris Gratia (1950)

  • Novello & Co Ltd (World)
  • str
  • oboe, cello
  • 26 min

Programme Note

Veris Gratia, op. 9

Lento sostenuto
Allegro molto e con brio
Andante semplice
Epilogue - Sostenuto, ma con moto

Composed in 1950, this work for oboe, cello and strings was first performed by the Newbury String Players the following year under Gerald Finzi, to whom it is dedicated. The original soloists were Celia Nicklin and Jacqueline du Pré. The music is mainly lyrical and was inspired by lines from Helen Waddell's Medieval Latin lyrics. Each movement is prefaced by a stanza reflecting some aspect of spring.
© Kenneth Leighton

I
Tu saltim, Veris gratia,
exaudi et considera
frondes, flores et gramina;
nam mea languet anima.

Do thou, O Spring most fair,
Squander thy care
On flower and leaf and grain.
- Leave me alone with pain!

II
Letabundus rediit
avium concentus,
ver jocundum prodiit,
gaudeat iuventus,
nova ferens gaudia;
modo vernant omnia,
Phebus serenatur,
redolens temperiem,
novo flore faciem
Flora renovatur.

Joyously return again
Singing-birds in chorus,
Spring is in our way again,
New delight before us.
O youth, be gay!
Green is on every spray,
And April, sweet of breath,
The old earth garnisheth

III
In hac valle florida
floreus, fragatus,
intra septa lilia
locus purpuratus
dum garritus merule
dulciter alludit.
Philomena carmine
dulcia concludit.

In this fair valley,
Fragrant and sweet,
Is a bright valley
With lilies deep,
Where the gay blackbird
Pipes all day long,
Sweetness recordeth
The nightingale's song.

IV
Applaudamus igitur
rerum novitati.
Felix qui diligitur
voti compos grati,
dono letus Veneris,
cuius ara teneris
floribus odorat.
Miser e contrario
qui sublato bravio
sine spe laborat.

Then let us praise together
This earth that is new-stirred,
And happy be the lover
Who knows his prayer is heard,
By grace of Her
Whose altars fragrant are
With flowers new blown.
And God have pity on the sadder folks,
Who travail without hope!

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