It’s the birthday of pianist and composer Ola Gjeilo, born in Norway in 1978. He earned his bachelor’s degree in composition from the Royal Academy of Music in London and his master’s in composition from the Juilliard School. Here is “The Ground” from Gjeilo’s Sunrise Mass, sung by the Central Washington University Chamber Choir with the composer at the piano.
Stillness comes when snow is falling,
Covering all in solemn white;
Lines of grey from hearth-fires rising,
Gathering all in restful night.
Spirit dwells in deep reflection,
Autumn cares to lay aside,
Finding signs of new direction
In the still of wintertide.
While outside the cold wind blowing,
Swirling, restless raw and rime,
Here inside a wave is growing,
Biding, silent, all in time.
After winter’s meditation
Gates of nature burst apart;
Comes the springtime’s inspiration,
Flowing from the ready heart.
Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.
Congregavit nos in unum Christi amor.
Exsultemus, et in ipso jucundemur.
Timeamus, et amemus Deum vivum.
Et ex corde diligamus nos sincero.
Where charity and love are, God is there.
Love of Christ has gathered us into one.
Let us rejoice in Him and be glad.
Let us fear, and let us love the living God.
And from a sincere heart let us love one another.
In honor of the birthday of English novelist and poet Emily Brontë (1818-1848), here is a choral setting by Ola Gjeilo of one of her poems.
Shall earth no more inspire thee,
Thou lonely dreamer now?
Since passion may not fire thee
Shall Nature cease to bow?
Thy mind is ever moving
In regions dark to thee;
Recall its useless roving—
Come back and dwell with me.