A Kinsman to Danger
The Mystical Poems of Sri Aurobindo
ORCHESTRATION: Baritone and Piano
WORDS BY: Sri Aurobindo
COMMISSIONED BY: PRS Foundation and Kissingen Sommer
DEDICATION: Dhan Palkhivala
AVAILABILITY: Param Vir
PREMIERE DATE: May 29, 2018
New work in preparation for Jeremy Huw Williams.
The Welsh baritone Jeremy Huw Williams studied at St John’s College, Cambridge, at the National Opera Studio, and with April Cantelo. He made his debut with Welsh National Opera as Guglielmo (Così fan tutte) and has since appeared in more than sixty operatic roles. He has given performances at major venues in North and South America, Australia, China, Hong Kong, and most European countries.
He has given recitals at the Wigmore Hall and Purcell Room, and at many major music festivals. He frequently records for BBC Radio 3 (in recital, and with the BBC NOW, CBSO, BBC SO, BBC SSO, BBC Philharmonic and BBC CO), and has made many commercial recordings, including ten solo discs of songs.
As a principal singer with Welsh National Opera he appeared at the opening night of the Wales Millennium Centre, and received the inaugural Sir Geraint Evans Award from the Welsh Music Guild.
He was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by Glyndwr University in 2009 for services to music in Wales, and received the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Music from the University of Aberdeen in 2011.
Light, endless Light! Darkness has room no more,
Life’s ignorant gulfs give up their secrecy:
The huge inconscient depths unplumbed before
Lie glimmering in vast expectancy.
Light, timeless Light immutable and apart!
The holy sealed mysterious doors unclose,
Light, burning Light from the Infinite’s diamond heart
Quivers in my heart where blooms the deathless rose.
Light in its rapture leaping through the nerves!
Light! Brooding Light! Each smitten passionate cell
In a mute blaze of ecstasy preserves
A living sense of the Imperishable.
I move in an ocean of stupendous Light
Joining my depths to His eternal height.
THE SEA AT NIGHT
The grey sea creeps half-visible, half-hushed,
And grasps with its innumerable hands
These silent walls. I see beyond a rough
Glimmering infinity, I feel the wash
And hear the sibilation of the waves
That whisper to each other as they push
To shoreward side by side, — long lines and dim
Of movement flecked with quivering spots of foam,
The quiet welter of a shifting world.
Someone leaping from the rocks
Past me ran with wind-blown locks
Like a startled bright surmise
Visible to mortal eyes, –
Just a cheek of frightened rose
That with sudden beauty glows,
Just a footstep like the wind
And a hurried glance behind,
And then nothing, – as a thought
Escapes the mind ere it is caught.
Someone of the heavenly rout
From behind the veil ran out.
With wind and the weather beating round me
Up to the hill and the moorland I go.
Who will come with me? Who will climb with me?
Wade through the brook and tramp through the snow?
Not in the petty circle of cities
Cramped by your doors and your walls I dwell;
Over me God is blue in the welkin,
Against me the wind and the storm rebel.
I sport with solitude here in my regions,
Of misadventure have made me a friend.
Who would live largely? Who would live freely?
Here to the wind-swept uplands ascend.
I am the lord of tempest and mountain,
I am the Spirit of freedom and pride.
Stark must he be and a kinsman to danger
Who shares my kingdom and walks at my side.
[From Sri Aurobindo: Collected Poems]