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

gather-rosebuds

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

Movements:

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."