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Music for Vocal Duet

Meghann Vaughn, mezzo-soprano

Sidney Outlaw, baritone

Christopher Johnson, piano


Selections from Myrten (Op. 25)
Widmung (Dedication)
Poet: Friedrich Rückert

You my soul, you my heart,
You my rapture, O you my pain,
You my world in which I live,
My heaven you, to which I aspire,
O you my grave, into which
My grief forever I’ve consigned!
You are repose, you are peace,
You are bestowed on me from heaven.
Your love for me gives me my worth,
Your eyes transfigure me in mine,
You raise me lovingly above myself,
My guardian angel, my better self!

Freisinn (Free Spirit)
Poet: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Let me hold sway in the saddle!
Stay in your huts and your tents!
And I’ll ride happily far away,
With only the stars above me.
He has set the constellations
To guide you over land and sea,
That you may delight in them,
As you gaze forever aloft.

Der Nussbaum (The Walnut Tree)
Poet: Julius Mosen

A walnut tree blossoms outside the house,
Fragrantly, airily, it spreads its leafy boughs.
Many lovely blossoms it bears,
Gentle winds come to caress them tenderly.
Paired together, they whisper,
Inclining, bending gracefully
Their delicate heads to kiss.
They whisper of a maiden who
Dreamed for nights and days
Of, alas, she knew not what.
They whisper—
who can understand so soft a song?
Whisper of a bridegroom and next year.
The maiden listens, the tree rustles;
Yearning, musing
She drifts smiling into sleep and dreams.

Jemand (Somebody)
Poet: Robert Burns

My heart is sair, I dare na tell,
My heart is sair for Somebody!
I could wake a winter-night
For the sake o’ Somebody.—
Oh-hon! for Somebody!
Oh-hey! for Somebody!
I could range the world around
For the sake o’ Somebody.—
Ye Powers that smile on virtuous love,
O, sweetly smile on Somebody!
Frae ilka danger keep him free,
And send me safe my Somebody.—
Oh-hon! for Somebody!
Oh-hey! for Somebody!
I wad do—what wad I not.—
For the sake o’ Somebody?

Songs from the ‘Book of the Cupbearer’ from West-östlicher Divan
Poet: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Sitz ich allein (If I sit alone)

If I sit alone,
Where could I be better off?
I drink my wine
All by myself;
Nobody hampers me
And I can think my own thoughts.

Setze mir nicht, du Grobian (Do not sit that near me, you oaf)

You oaf, don’t bang down the jug like that
Beneath my nose!
Whoever serves me wine, must do so gently,
Or the 1811 will cloud in the glass.

You sweet boy, come on in,
Why stand there on the threshold?
You shall in future bring my wine,
Each wine shall taste delicious and bright.

Die Lotosblume (The Lotus-Flower)
Poet: Heinrich Heine

The lotus-flower fears
The sun’s splendour,
And with bowed head,
Dreaming, awaits the night.
The moon is her lover,
And wakes her with his light,
And to him she tenderly unveils
Her innocent flower-like face.
She blooms and glows and gleams,
And gazes silently aloft—
Fragrant and weeping and trembling
With love and the pain of love.

Aus den Hebräischen Gesängen (From Hebrew Melodies)
Poet: Karl Julius Körner, translated by George Gordon, Lord Byron

My soul is dark—Oh! quickly string
The harp I yet can brook to hear;
And let the gentle murmurs fling
Its melting murmurs o’er mine ear.
If in this heart a hope be dear,
That sound shall charm it forth again:
If in these eyes there lurk a tear,
’Twill flow, and cease to burn my brain.
But bid the strain be wild and deep
Nor let thy notes of joy be first;
I tell thee minstrel, I must weep,
Or else this heavy heart will burst;
For it hath been by sorrow nursed,
And ached in sleepless silence long;
And now ’tis doom to know the worst,
And break at once—or yield to song.

Im Westen (In the West)
Poet: Robert Burns, translated by Wilhelm Gerhard

I gaze over the Forth across to the north:
What good’s the north and Highland snow to me?
What good’s the east and the sun-burning south,
The distant land and the wild sea?
From the west, where the sun sets,
Beckons all that delights me in slumber and dream:
In the west lives the man who rewards me with love,
Who pressed me and my little child to his heart!

Du bist wie eine Blume (You are like a flower)
Poet: Heinrich Heine

You are like a flower,
So sweet and fair and pure;
I look at you, and sadness
Steals into my heart.
feel as if I should lay
My hands upon your head,
Praying that God preserve you
So pure and fair and sweet.


Er und Sie (He and She) from Vier Duette (Op. 78)
Poet: Justinus Kerner

He: If I gaze into the quiet valley
Where beneath the sun
Flowers gleam without number,
I see but one alone.
Ah! Her blue eyes now
Are also gazing at the meadows;
I can see them
In the dew-drenched forget-me-nots.

She: If I lean out of my little window
At the hour when stars are shining,
Though all of them be fairer,
I see but one alone;
There at dusk he gazes
Gently up to heaven,
For a dear image
Is mirrored there.

Ich bin dein Baum (I am your tree) from Minnespiel (Op. 101)
Poet: Friedrich Rückert

I am your tree: O gardener, whose loyalty
Treats me affectionately and tenderly,
Come, let me with thanks shower into your lap
The ripe fruit I grew for you alone.
I am your gardener, O tree of loyalty!
I am not jealous of others’ happiness:
I always find your dear branches decked anew
With fruit, where I once picked the fruit.

Die tausend Grüsse (The thousand greetings) from Minnespiel (Op. 101)
Poet: Friedrich Rückert

The thousand greetings That we send you,
O East Wind, you must steal none of them!
Thoughts throng to you.
Could arms also entwine you!
Oh! Breathe into the air your longing!
Let me take your fragrance for kisses.
Swear! I shall hear it:
That you love me, listen! I swear it:
That you are my very blood.
I was yours and remained yours,
I am yours and remain yours;
Many times I’ve sung it,
Still many times I’ll sing it:
I was yours and remained yours,
I am yours and remain yours.

Translations © Richard Stokes,

author of The Book of Lieder,

published by Faber,

provided courtesy of Oxford Lieder

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Mezzo-soprano Meghann Vaughn, a versatile performer, is equally comfortable in operatic, solo, and ensemble repertoire. Ms. Vaughn has performed various solo and ensemble works with the Interchurch Center Choir and The Riverside Choir at The Riverside Church in New York City, where she has been an active member of the choir for thirteen seasons. A North Carolina native, Ms. Vaughn is a graduate of The University of North Carolina at Greensboro’s School of Music and holds a Master of Music degree in Voice from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.

Lauded by The New York Times as a “terrific singer” with a “deep, rich timbre” and the San Francisco Chronicle as an “opera powerhouse” with a “weighty and forthright” sound, Baritone Sidney Outlaw delights audiences in the U.S. and abroad with his rich and versatile baritone and engaging stage presence.  Mr. Outlaw added a GRAMMY nomination to his list of accomplishments for the Naxos Records recording of Darius Milhaud’s 1922 opera trilogy, L’Orestie d’Eschyle in which he sang the role of Apollo. The 2019-2020 season includes his San Francisco Opera debut as the First Mate in Billy Budd, Messiah with the National Symphony Orchestra, Tommy McIntyre in Fellow Travelers with Madison Opera, Dizzy Gillespie in Yardbird with New Orleans Opera, Beethoven’s Missa solemnis with the Colorado Symphony, and Mahler’s Songs of a Wayfarer with the Toledo Symphony. A sought-after concert singer and recitalist, Mr. Outlaw has been collaborating with Warren Jones since 2007 in recitals in the US and Abroad. He is also a member of The Riverside Church of NYC Choir.  For more info please visit

Pianist Christopher Johnson is a native of Tulsa, Oklahoma and completed undergraduate and graduate studies at The Cleveland Institute of Music, Manhattan School of Music, and Yale University. He serves as Director of Music and Organist at The Riverside Church in New York City and as Director of Chapel Music at The Interchurch Center.


May 19, 2021 12:05 pm – 12:35 pm(GMT+00:00)


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