Cygnus Ensemble

February 26th: Bargemusic


bargemusic1 Cygnus @ New York City’s floating concert hall


Program features preview of Mario Davidovsky's new Ladino Songs, with Harold Meltzer's Pulitzer-Prize finalist, Brion.

featured sopranos Elizabeth Farnum & Priscilla Smith



Mathew Greenbaum--      Vocalise*  for Mario Davidovsky @ 75

David Claman--                  gone for foreign II
Mohammed Fairouz-- ----
Three Fragments of Ibn Khafājah*
Frank Brickle --                  Farai un vers  (Occitan poet Guillem de Peitau)*
Mario Davidovsky--          Ladino Songs*

(scroll to bottom for song texts)


Rondo ---                              David Loeb
for the Cygnus Guitar Ensemble, consisting of guitarists from all over the
NYC metro area.

Rebeckah Driscoll--           Sisters Face West
Charles Wuorinen--           In Memoriam James Avery, for oboe with piano doublings
Ferruccio Busoni--              Berceuse
Harold Meltzer--                Brion   (2009 Pulitzer Prize finalist in music composition)

*new Cygnus commissions

Moored in Brooklyn just under the Brooklyn Bridge, Bargemusic presents great music up to five days a week, every week of the year.   Walk across the gangplank of a renovated coffee barge into a “wonderfully intimate wood-paneled room with thrilling views of lower Manhattan and excellent acoustics.” Experience why critics call Bargemusic “the perfect chamber-music hall” and why artists say it is “unlike any other place in the world to perform.”


Bargemusic info:   calendar of concerts, info about reservations, and how to get to Bargemusic. Read about our 30th anniversary, and hear and watch audio & video features. Let us help you plan your special event at Bargemusic.   Call for information about our concert schedule, reservations or rentals: 718.624.2083 or 718.624.4061.


Davidovsky's Ladino Songs--             ladino book For books that preserve Ladino language and culture:
If the sea was (made of) milk                                         contact Teri Sisa at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
and the vessels of cinnamon
I would stain myself entirely
To save my banner

If the sea was milk                         
I would become a fisherman
I would fish my sorrows
With loving words

On the sea there is a tower
On the tower there is a windo
On the window there is a maiden
Who loves the sailors

Give me your hand (my) dove
To climb to your nest
Unlucky you sleep alone
I am coming to sleep with you.



The captive is coming
With all the captives (women)
Among them
is the white girl

It was not Quite down
Nor daylight
When the white girl
Sang her sorrows
Oh! what green fields
Fileds of olive trees
Where my mohter Gracia
Washed and syated
Oh!, what white tombstones
Tombs of our ancestors
I pass over them
Like a bird on its flight.


Brickle's setting of Guillem de Peitau's">Farai un vers

Vers:  Farai un vers de dreyt nien, Guillem Comte de Peitou

Gonna make a song of pure nothing

not of me or other men,

nor of love nor joys above,

or anything worse;

dreamed it nodding while out plodding--

on a horse!

Can't tell the day that I was born,

but I'm not happy or forlorn,

my heart's not hid nor on my sleeve--

no chance for change,

since that fight with a witch one night

on a mountain range!

Don't know when I get to bed,

or when I wake if no one's said,

because my heart's been torn apart

by a mortal blow;

I hold this house not worth a mouse,

by Saint Marsau!

I am so sick it's death, I fear,

and all I know is what I hear:

my only thought's to find a doc--

don't know a person;

he'll earn his fee if he cures me,

not if I worsen!

Had a girlfriend, don't know who,

never seen her--think that's true?

She doesn't please or cause me pain,

but there's no sweat:

no Frank or Norman's ever been

in my house yet!

Never seen her--my love's strong;

I've not been righted nor been wronged;

haven't met her--all the better!

I'm chicken feed . . .

and I know a prettier doe,

worth more indeed!

I've made a verse on "Don't-Know-Who":

by someone else I'll send it through,

who'll send it on by another one

to Anjau for me,

so she might from the locks on her jewelry box

send the counter key!


Three Fragments of Ibn Khafājah

(c. 1080)


His praises rang in song akin to those of the doves

that carried his qualitites instead of necklaces


We saw him in the likeness of the image of Joseph

We saw him in the likeness of the majesty of Solomon

His cloak enshrouded him as a page of temptation

Of which we read his face as its addressing line

His love is my religion and his dwelling my temple

Seeing him is my pilgrimage and remembering him my scripture


In a night's darkness which is a tender face

And its breeze is a pleasant perfume

So the moisture of its dew can be captured through sipping

And the lightninc of its lips can be almost kissed

-fragments excerpted by Magda Nowaihi

-tralated from Arabidc by Mohammed Fairouz


You are here:

Contact Us

Cygnus Ensemble
112 Central Parkway
Mount Vernon NY 10552
(914) 665-2254