This is an excerpt from the world premiere performance of Geoffrey Gordon's Ode to a Nightingale, a setting of the John Keats poem for mixed choir and solo cello, featuring the Mogens Dahl Chamber Choir and cellist Toke Moldrup. The performance took place in Copenhagen, Denmark, 16 May 2018 and was recorded and broadcast by Danish Radio.
From reviews of the studio recording of Ode to a Nightingale, on the BIS label, as part of the Cello Libris release (https://bis.se/performers/moldrup-toke/cello-libris-works-by-geoffrey-gordon):
"The World Premiere (of Ode to a Nightingale) was broadcast live by Danish Radio; the performers were those on this disc. All credit is due to the Mogens Dahl Chamber Choir for its super diction in English, allowing us to relish the subtleties of Gordon’s writing..... The choral setting enables an appreciation of Gordon’s harmonic world from a different sonic perspective: listen to the sheer sonic gold of the line “Where Beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes,” for example. This is a gorgeous setting of the Keats poem."
Fanfare (July/August 2020)
"The disc concludes with Gordon’s setting of John Keats’ immortal Ode to A Nightingale.....there are flashes of vocal writing which recall Britten at his best."
- Richard Hanlon
Ode to a Nightingale
My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,
Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains
One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk:
'Tis not through envy of thy happy lot,
But being too happy in thine happiness,—
That thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees
In some melodious plot
Of beechen green, and shadows numberless,
Singest of summer in full-throated ease.
O, for a draught of vintage! that hath been
Cool'd a long age in the deep-delved earth,
Tasting of Flora and the country green,
Dance, and Provençal song, and sunburnt mirth!
O for a beaker full of the warm South,
Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene,
With beaded bubbles winking at the brim,
And purple-stained mouth;
That I might drink, and leave the world unseen,
And with thee fade away into the forest dim........
- Contemporary Choral