Songs My Mother Taught Me

In this video Mormon Tabernacle Organist Richard Elliott performs his own setting of Antonin Dvorak's lovely "Songs My Mother Taught Me."  It is the fourth of seven songs in the Gypsy Songs cycle B. 104, Opus 55.

The flowing melody is rendered perfectly on the warm diapason solo and string chorus accompaniment of the Tabernacle's 206 rank Aeolian Skinner pipe organ.  From an episode of Music and the Spoken Word, Elliot arranged this piece and played it during the traditional organ solo spot on the broadcast.

A rough translation of the lyrics for Songs My Mother Taught Me are as follows:

Songs my mother taught me, In the days long vanished;

Seldom from her eyelids were the teardrops banished.

Now I teach my children, each melodious measure.

Oft the tears are flowing, oft they flow from my memory's treasure.

I hope you enjoy this wonderful video from Richard Elliott.

Happy Mother's Day!

UPDATE:  Rick played his arrangement again yesterday on the Music & the Spoken Word broadcast.  It was just a beautiful this time around.  I also played it at church yesterday and many people commented on how much they enjoyed hearing it... a simple, tasteful tribute to mothers.  As I've watched my wife teach our daughter little songs its made me remember back to my own mother and grandmother teaching me songs of all sorts.  I still have some of those music books and we use them now with our daughter.  Watching her sing these little melodies is amazing, and especially when thinking about her eventually passing them on to her family in the future as we did to her and as was done for us.  Music truly passes through time, generations, boundaries, cultures, and hearts.

I found an equally beautiful performance of the piece on YouTube, played by violinist Valeriy Sokolov and pianist Svetlana Kosenko this weekend.  I've always believed that good musicians take the time to listen to performances and learn from what others have done.  As I practiced up Rick's arrangement to play on Sunday, I listened to these two and gained an even better understanding of conveying the emotion in the musical line.

Here is the performance by violinist Valeriy Sokolov and pianist Svetlana Kosenko: