Four Sonnets From The Portuguese Manuscript
The Little Symphony Orchestra: Four Sonnets From The Portuguese.
This song-cycle for tenor (performed by James Schwabacher) and orchestra based on four poems from Elizabeth Barrett Browning's well-known sonnet collection was composed on commission for the Little Symphony Orchestra and is dedicated to the memory of the late Mrs. Sigmund Stern, San Francisco's beloved patroness of the arts. The work was completed in the February of 1956 and is fasioned, so F. G. Parmentier states, somewhat after the example of Robert Schumann's "Dichterliebe". The cycle of Sonnets VIII, XXXIII, XLIII and XLIV, the penultimate one being a meditation on the well-known "How Do I Love Thee"; material from the first song appears in the last one by way of a brief recapitulation and brief orchestral passages connect each song to the next one, the cycle being sung without pause.
Musical Program, Text
Parmentier, F. G., "Four Sonnets From The Portuguese Manuscript" (1955). The Music of F. G. Parmentier. 119.