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WorksChoral MusicBurt Family Carol SeriesRomance in Waltz Time

Romance in Waltz Time       * NEW! *
a Partner Song for 2 Voices and Piano

Music: Alfred Burt (Untitled Waltz, ca. 1950) & Abbie Betinis (2015)
Lyrics: Michael Dennis Browne & Abbie Betinis (2015)
Duration: 3:15 min.
Premiere: Minnesota Public Radio - Dec. 22, 2015
Premiered by: Carrie Henneman Shaw (Voice 1), Laura Betinis Healy (Voice 2), Anthony Healy (Piano)
Published by: unpublished manuscript

  LISTEN (Click to view/hide)
(Dec. 22, 2015)
[0:00] Ah, Bleak and Chill the Wintry Wind (by Alfred S. Burt, 1945)
[1:45] Intro to the Burt Family Carol tradition
[4:25] Interview with Abbie on Christus Natus Hodie & Night
[6:18] Christus Natus Hodie (by Bates G. Burt, 1936) -- World Premiere
[7:35] Night (an art song by Alfred S. Burt)
[9:40] Interview with Abbie & Michael Dennis Browne on collaboration
[14:10] Romance in Waltz Time -- 2015 Burt Family Carol, World Premiere!
            (by Alfred Burt, ca.1950/Abbie Burt Betinis, 2015)

[17:23] Interview with Abbie on re-imagining and versatility of carols
[19:30] Peace with Me Now (by Abbie Burt Betinis, 2014)
Performed by: Carrie Henneman Shaw, Laura Betinis Healy (Abbie's sister), Abbie Betinis, and pianist Anthony Healy


Performed by Carrie Henneman Shaw, Laura Betinis Healy, and Anthony Healy, at Minnesota Public Radio.

  LYRICS (Click to view/hide)
Romance in Waltz Time Lyrics by Michael Dennis Browne (Voice 1) & Abbie Betinis (Voice 2)
Voice 1:
You bring the starlight
    And I’ll bring snow;
Over this heaven
    On earth we’ll go,
Hold high our lanterns
    So we can see  
          Who in this miracle
    We could be.

These petals of angels
    Through all the air,
Dancing around us,
    My darling dear; 
Why are we waiting
    For dreams to come true?
Here is my heaven
    With you.

(lyrics by Michael Dennis Browne, 2015)            

Voice 2:
In the air, everywhere,
    how your music wanders through.
On my own, not alone;
    listening for you. Just come
hold my hand,
    here, in the morning air, and
spin me into your

    …so my heart can sing along.
Everything caroling,
    carrying it on, and I’ll
dream it ever and
    always new. Do you
hear my song
    to you?

And I’ll dream it ever and
    dreams come true;
Here, my song
    with you.

(lyrics by Abbie Burt Betinis, 2015)

Lyrics © 2015 Michael Dennis Browne & Abbie Betinis. These lyrics are under copyright, but may be reprinted from this website for uses related to this particular musical work.

  PROGRAM NOTE (Click to view/hide)

Abbie, poet Michael Dennis Browne, pianist Anthony Healy, and vocalist Laura Betinis Healy at Minnesota Public Radio, Dec 2015
In 1922, my great-grandfather, Rev. Bates G. Burt, began composing an annual Christmas carol and sending it as a seasonal greeting card to his friends, family, and parishioners. In 1942, he passed the job of composing the music to his son, Alfred Burt, a jazz trumpeter and young composer. Alfred Burt went on to write a total of fifteen Christmas carols, including the popular “Caroling, Caroling,” and “Some Children See Him,” now recorded by artists all over the world.

Since 2001, I've been continuing this annual family tradition. For my 15th carol, Romance in Waltz Time, I've reimagined one of Uncle Al’s little-known, unpublished tunes (Voice 1: m.1-32), commissioning lyrics for it from my friend, poet Michael Dennis Browne, and interlocking the wistful waltz with my own countermelody and lyrics. My aim was to create a duet that speaks across the generations about transformation through the magic of love.

Romance in Waltz Time premiered on Minnesota Public Radio in December 2015 before being sent, as always, as the family Christmas card.

  PERFORMED BY (Click to view/hide)
Carre Henneman Shaw, Laura Betinis Healy, & Anthony Healy