Listen to Music
Sonnets from the Portuguese
for SATB choir
Duration: appr. 10 min.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s 44 love poems to her husband comprise the collection Sonnets from the Portuguese. Of course these poems were completely original, but the fancy title was suggested by Elizabeth’s husband, Robert, as a way to mask the intense personal feelings in her poems. The most famous of the Sonnets is poem 43, “How do I love thee? Let me count the way.”
I came across the collection while searching for love poetry to set for choir. Of all the works I had been reading through, the Sonnets immediately caught my attention and drew my ear to the possibility of sounds that the words evoked. While my work carries the same title As Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s 44-poem collection, this version only contains three settings of poems. I chose 10-12 because to me they spoke to me not as individual thoughts but as a three-part singularity.
There were many other poems that would have worked just as well, but that will have to be a project for another day. For now, enjoy my modest setting of Sonnets from the Portuguese.
–Ryan Jesperson 9/26/2009, Kansas City, MO.
X “Yet, Love”
The third movement, "Indeed This Very Love" was premeired by Charles Bruffy and the Kansas City Chorale in March of 2010. Sonnets from the Portuguese won the 2010 Kansas City Chorale Composition Competition.
Charles Bruffy and the Kansas City Chorale
Copyright© 2011 Ryan Jesperson
The future: Bobby Watson and the UMKC Big Band will premiere Rhapsody for Dean Moriarty in Kansas City, MO.
The future: Ashly Evans will premiere Birdsongs in Houston, TX.
The future: Jeux pour Jumeaux will be premiered in San Francisco, CA.
fall, 2013: Ryan Ford will perform BA(da)SS in Hartford, CT.
summer/fall, 2013: The Agosto Duo will premiere a new work for oboe and english horn.
summer, 2013: David Tayloe will premiere A Page Out of Zen.
May 26th, 2013: Joseph Abad and Marko Stuparovic will perform Icarus in West Hartford, CT.
April 22nd, 2013: Jordan Jacobson will perform fragments and memories with the HICO Orchestra in CT.
April 20th, 2013: Jordan Jacobson will perform fragments and memories with the HICO Orchestra in CT.
April 19-20, 2013: The UMKC Opera Dept. will perform portions of Songs from Behind the Curtain.
April 7th, 2013: Joseph Abad and Marko Stuparovic will premiere Icarus in West Hartford, CT.
February 21st, 2013: Not Death, but Love will be performed by the Ouroboros Quartet at a Misha-maya-gat event in Manchester, CT.
October 18th, 2012: Sheri Brown and others will perform Getz Going: A Suite for Eddie Sauter in Manchester, CT.
October 14th, 2012: Sheri Brown and others will perform Getz Going: A Suite for Eddie Sauter in Hartford, CT.
August 23rd, 2012: Sheri Brown and others will premiere Getz Going: A Suite for Eddie Sauter on a Hartford Phase Shift concert.
June 7th, 2012 7pm: A concert of the works of Ryan Jesperson will be presented at the Hartt School in West Hartford CT.
May 31st, 2012: The Invisible, Magic, Soccer Phone will be premiered in Middlefield, CT.