October 18, 2017

ARGENTO Song Blog – “Winter” from Six Elizabethan Songs


In 1958 Dominick Argento was 31, he had just landed his first job teaching theory and composition at the University of Minnesota. Did he celebrate by writing a few songs? He did. Since this was long before the allure of setting prose, letters, and diaries set in, Shakespeare would suffice…


Here are Jessica Lennick and Laura Ward performing Argento’s “Winter” from the Six Elizabethan Songs. 


You’ll hear it live on Lyric Fest’s Happy Hour and Mini Concert program DOMINICK ARGENTO TURNS 90, on Friday, October 27th, 2017 at Philadelphia Ethical Society Auditorium, Rittenhouse Square. Join us at 5:30 PM for a glass of wine and warm, Itanianate hors d’oeuvres. The forty minute Mini Concert starts at 6PM.


Now, since synchronicities have always fascinated me, I can’t resist leaving you with a few songs from that same year. Here is a sampling from my 1958 Playlist.  Enjoy!


Britten wrote one of my favorite song cycles, his Nocturne, for tenor, 7 obbligato instruments, and strings. Here is the beguiling 

“Encinctured with a twive of leaves.” 


Meanwhile, John Cage wrote his “Aria,” for solo voice and all the sounds that said solo voice might ever be able to make. (The score’s notation is color-coded.)


Peggy Lee came out with a classic: “Fever.”  


Under-appreciated song composer, Castelnuovo-Tedesco offered the world his 3 Songs, sung here exquisitely by Eileen Farrell.


And the eternal Édith Piaf recorded “Milord,” featured here on the Ed Sullivan show. 


I’d say it was a very good year for song!


Stay tuned for more Argento coming soon…

– Suzanne

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