The Song You Loved
Composed by Z. Randall Stroope
Voicing: SSATBB a cappella
Catalog number: AMP 1158
here to hear and see a recording of Canto que Amabas on YouTube. (MP4)
About the poet
Lucila Godoy Alcayaga, known by her pseudonym Gabriela Mistral, was a Chilean poet, diplomat, and humanist. Born in 1889, she began her career as an elementary and secondary teacher. She later played an important role in improving the educational systems in Chile and Mexico. She was active in the cultural committees of the League of Nations and was a consul in Naples, Madrid, and Lisbon. In additional, she taught Spanish literature in the United States at Columbia University, Middlebury College, and Vassar College. “Mistral” was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature “for her lyric poetry which, inspired by powerful emotions, made her name a symbol of the idealistic aspirations of the entire Latin American world.”
From The Selected Poems of Gabriela Mistral, translated by Ursula Le Guin,
Yo canto lo que tú amabas, vida mía,
por si te acercas y escuchas, vida mía,
por si te acuerdas del mundo que viviste,
al aterdecer* yo canto, sombra mía.
Soy la misma que fue tuya, vida mía,
Ni lenta ni trascordada ni perdida.
Acude al anochecer, vida mía;
ven recordando un canto, vida mía,
si la conción reconoces de aprendida
y si mi nombre recuerdas todavía.
Te espero sin plazo ni tiempo.
No temas noche, neblina ni aguacero.
Acude con sendero o sin sendero.
Llámame adonde tú eres, alma mía,
y marcha recto hacia mí, compañero
* “alterdecer” in some editions appears as “altardecer”
Life of my life, what you loved I sing.
If you're near, if you're listening,
think of me now in the evening:
shadow in shadows, hear me sing.
Life of my life, I haven't changed,
not turned aside and not estranged.
Come to me as the shadows grow long,
come, life of my life, if you know the song
you used to know, if you know my name
I and the songs are still the same.
Beyond time or place I keep the faith.
Follow a path or follow no path.
never fearing the night, the wind,
call to me, come to me, now at the end,
walk with me, life of my life, my friend.
Translated by Ursula Le Guin
Copyright © 2003 University of New Mexico Press
About the composer
Z. Randall Stroope is an American composer and conductor who serves as artistic director of two international music festivals, is an honorary board member of the National Association of Italian Choral Directors and has conducted choirs in 25 countries. His composition teachers were Cecil Effinger and Normand Lockwood, both students of the renowned French teacher Nadia Boulanger (a student of Gabriel Fauré). Randall has composed over 200 published works, conducted at Carnegie Hall over 50 times, and led the music for mass at the Vatican on many occasions. His music can be heard on Spotify, YouTube, and other media, including his own website (www.zrstroope.com). Randall works out of his home/studio near Santa Fe, New Mexico and on Merritt Island, Florida.
Click here to see a sample.