Make Much of Time

for Soprano, Tenor, Chorus and Orchestra

1987, rev. 2011

25 minutes

Poetry: Robert Herrick, William Shakespeare, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Instrumentation: Sop, Ten, Chorus; 2(1) 222; 4331; timp, 2perc, hp; stgs

Commission: Flagstaff Symphony Association

Premiere: Flagstaff Symphony
Harold Weller, Conductor
Nan Nall, soprano,
Warren Hoffer, tenor
Chorale Union, Jo-Michael Scheibe, director
April 29, 1987, Flagstaff, Arizona


Full study and vocal scores available for purchase at Subito Music Distribution. Performance materials available for rental only through Subito Music Rental Library.


I. Invocation
II. O mistress mine
III. Gather ye rosebuds while ye may
IV. Fair daffodils
V. The tide rises, the tide falls
VI. Corinna's going a Maying

Composer Notes: Movements 1, 3, 4, and 6 set poems by Robert Herrick, movement 2 sets a poem by William Shakespeare, and movement 5 sets one by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

The cantata celebrates life, and the various texts urge us to enjoy life here-and-now. Herrick celebrates the daily pleasures of earthly existence, reminding us that “Our time is short,” and that “this same flower that smiles to-day, To-morrow will be dying.” He tells Corinna it is a “profanation” to stay in when she could go “a Maying.” He urges her to join him, “Come, let us go, while we are in our prime: And take the harmless folly of the time."