The Rubaiyat – suite for chorus

This suite for large chorus and orchestra is being composed on the poems from the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, using Edward FitzGerald’s 1st English translation. At this time it is a collection of songs for piano and SATB chorus in various musical styles.

The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam is not a story, but a collections of poems. A rubai is a little 4-lined poem, a quatrain. The word rubaiyat is the plural. They are riddles, challenges; on the outside they talk of wine, women, love and life; but inside, “wine” means divine inspiration “my love” is God, and so on. The original translator from the Persian into English was Edward FitzGerald. His translation and a spiritual interpretation and commentary by Paramahansa Yogananda are published in “The Wine Of The Mystic”

The only recording at this time was made by singers from Corona Del Mar HS with the composer at the piano. These were great kids and very enthusiastic about this set of pieces, for which I am grateful. Still, there is much to be desired in this casual recording but it will give the listener the beginning of an idea of what the piece is, or pieces are, all about.

The following are in the recording; the numbers refer to the Edward FitzGerald’s order; the title is followed by a short description of the music.

1. Awake! – fanfare
2. Dreaming
3. And as the cock crew – Waltzey drinking song; like the Irish song, Wild River (No, Nay, Never)
12. How Sweet – Baroque duet, like Handel’s, I know That My Redeemer Liveth.
13. Look to the rose & 48. While the rose blows – English madrigal style ballet, like Sing We And Chant It
16. Think, in this battered caravanserai
37. Ah, fill the cup – a)  like a jazz ballad, then b) like a rousing bhajan from India.

Here is a link to see the poems:

In addition:
#39 How Long – is finished as a fast, serious, contrapuntal, patter song.

Click here to see the pop-style song, “Oh Come With Old Khayyam,” using several of the rubaiyat.

Music is not prepared for publication at this time but we can work something out if you are interested.