The Blessed Virgin's Expostulation:
This is beautifully sung by Sylvia McNair, who does ornaments almost like a celtic soprano. Beautiful ornaments and runs throughout. It's very additive musically and divided into several emotional/musical sections (where are the affectations now? huh?) The first section is very much recitativo and jumps around keys, in minor, in major, skeleton accompaniment in the keyboard. It ends with her calling Gabriel, but he doesn't come. I love how at the last Gabriel she almost gets breathy with vexation -- and its on this repeated high note, making it all so poignant. Then the melody sinks down saying, "flatt'ring hopes farewell." Then, the key changes, tempo changes, the accompaniment does more and starts to imimate the vocal footwork in the next section. It's much shorter than the first part and is followed by another recit section even shorter, returning to a forth section somewhat similar to the second, only the meter's changed, it's 2/2 and not 3/4. This finishes with another recit section. Nice to note that all the recit's are in the same key, but they have such different lengths--otherwise I'd draw more attention (yay apothecism) to the fact that the form of the piece shadows vaguely that of a 5-part Rondo. Plus the recit doesn't really have a "theme" to speak of. I love the last line: "I trust God, but oh! I fear the child." Really interesting spiritual and psychological implications, fun trip for the performer too.