Brooklyn Art Song Society
Recital Hall, Ann E. Pitzer Center
Charlotte Mundy, soprano
Zach Finkelstein, tenor
Michael Brofman, piano and artistic director
Miori Sugiyama, piano
A program of post-war art song traditions, including a premiere by faculty composer and professor of music Kurt Rohde, Harrison Birtwistle, and Olivier Messiaen.
Harrison Birtwistle: Songs from the Same Earth (West Coast Premiere)
Kurt Rohde: It wasn’t a dream
UC Davis faculty composer Kurt Rohde’s song cycle It wasn’t a dream, for soprano, tenor, and piano four-hands, is commissioned by the Brooklyn Art Song Society and will also be included in the society’s new music series “New Voices.” The text is a setting of poet Diane Seuss’s Pulitzer Prize Finalist book of poetry Four-Legged Girl
Olivier Messiaen: Poèmes pour Mi
The Poèmes pour Mi, originally for soprano and piano or orchestra, is one of two cycles Messiaen wrote for his first wife, the violinist and composer Claire Delbos whom he nicknamed “Mi.” It also opens a series of works exploring love in its various forms that emerged between 1936–48. As with most of his vocal music, Messiaen himself wrote the text, adapting passages from the New Testament to surrealist poetry. The cycle, reflecting the composer’s Catholic devotion, is both rapturous and pious as it explores the tension between personal and divine will. The late Messiaen student Robert Sherlaw Johnson interprets the opening book of songs, culminating in the hellish “Épouvante,” as expressing the spiritual journey preceding marriage, while the final four songs depict the mysteries of the conjugal union (Rebecca Schmid, © 2017 Universal Music Publishing Group).
For a free opportunity to listen to the Brooklyn Art Song Society, come to the Ann E. Pitzer Center at 12 noon on Thursday, May 10, to hear a program of works by UC Davis graduate student composers, including Addie Camsuzu, Sam Clark-McHale, Sarah Wald, Ryan Suleiman, and Chris Castro.