Vivian Fine





Songs of Our Time




7 ½ minutes


Medium-high or medium voice and piano. Percussion added for 1970 performance


Jozef Wittlin and Bertolt Brecht, translated by Joy Davidman.


May 24, 1970, Mt. Anthony High School, Bennington, Vermont; Catherine Satterlee, mezzo-soprano, Nina Karp, alto, Sarah Tenney, percussion, and Vivian Fine, piano

  1. Stabat Mater
  2. And what did she get, the soldier’s wife

program notes

Fine expressed her feelings [about World War II] in two song collections. The first consists of two songs, “Epigram,” and “Epitaph: upon the death of Sir Albert Morton’s Wife,” on texts by Sir William Jones (1746-1794) and Sir Henry Wotton (1568-1639). She wrote the second collection, “Songs of Our Times” (1943) for a concert that Lazare Saminsky produced at the Temple Emmanuel [in New York] to support the Russian/American efforts in the war. The two songs, “Stabat Mater,” and “And what did she get, the soldier’s wife,” are about a woman’s sorrow during the time of war. The first uses a Polish text by Josef Wittlin and the second by Bertold Brecht is in German. They are translated into English by Joy Davidman, and Fine includes both the original and English texts so that the singer may choose which language she prefers.[Also see Songs of Love and War (1991)]

–Heidi Von Gunden, The Music of Vivian Fine, Scarecrow Press, 1999