Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Come To My Garden/Lift Me Up from The Secret Garden

Come To My Garden/ Lift Me Up from The Secret Garden. Music by Lucy Simon, Lyrics by Marsha Norman. Original Broadway Cast Recording.

This is one of my favorite songs from The Secret Garden simply because of the amazing harmonies. The song starts out with some very nice arpeggiated chords, and then Lily comes in with a huge octave leap. Her voice is so pure, and it just soars and sounds absolutely effortless. The accompaniment is basically rolled chords, but the voicing is very nicely done. All of the notes in the chords are very close together... they aren't your typical musical theatre chord voicings. They are beautiful. After 8 measures, the vocal material repeats. Here, the accompaniment changes, and there are arpeggiated chords in the left hand and blocked chords in the right hand. After these two 8 measure phrases, the material changes. The vocal line is now in an even higher range... which just carries wonderfully in a good soprano voice. It is only different for about 4 measures, and then we return to the original octave leap come to my garden motive, but it is altered slightly and we don't get the same thing this time.
The tempo picks up slightly, and Colin comes in. It is so fun to listen to this part because I just love the pure sound of boys voices when they are very young. He has a completely different melody than Lily. Lily's part was very legato and flowing, while Colin's is broken up a bit more and moves more as far as rhythm goes. Once he gets through his melodic motive once, Lily comes in with him, but singing her original motive. The parts are just stunning together. The harmonies are absolutely gorgeous. Finally they come together and they have the same lyrics and rhythm. This part is done accapella, and the harmonies blow me away. This only happens long enough for them to sing, "I shall see you in my garden", then they go back to singing their own separate motives with the accompaniment. They come again together for the very end, where they sing, "Come sweet day" together, but again with such beautiful harmonies. I wonder how long it took to teach that young kid those parts.
I really can't even describe the beauty of this music to you with words. You really just need to listen to it for yourselves... it's not your typical musical theatre music. The voice part is much more classical, and the orchestrations are slightly more difficult. Listen if you get a chance... you'll love it.

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