Rose-Cheek’d Laura takes its text from a late-renaissance poetic gem by Thomas Campion. This interpretation is sung from the perspective of a world-weary man, who is old beyond his years, looking upon a young child playing on a cold, grey November day. The song is about how a child’s innocence can act as an antidote to all of the cynicism that builds up around us as we age.
Rose-cheek'd Laura, come,
Sing thou smoothly with thy beauty's
Silent music, either other
Lovely forms do flow
From concent divinely framed;
Heav'n is music, and thy beauty's
Birth is heavenly.
These dull notes we sing
Discords need for helps to grace them;
Only beauty purely loving
Knows no discord,
But still moves delight,
Like clear springs renew'd by flowing,
Ever perfect, ever in them-
This piece, along with Regrets by my colleague Ryan Stevens, was chosen by Jake Heggie to be included in a guest spot on a concert of his art songs. An extra thank you goes to Mr. Heggie for his suggestions for last minute revisions. This recording was made on March 27, 2015 with Rhys Talbot (baritone-bass) and Dr. Robin Guy (piano).