The Art of Song: Musical Pairs was part of a community concert series at the First Presbyterian Church of Pittsford and we had a great time sharing this program with an enthusiastic audience of over 50 people this past Sunday afternoon.
Our inspiration for this program was the idea of musical pairs, specifically between art songs. An art song is a musical setting of a poem, written for voice and accompaniment, which usually appears as part of a collection of songs. Finding connections between art songs–connections of composer, text, musical features, historical context, among other possibilities–provides insight into the compositional process of how these songs came to be. These songs have stories to tell: stories that help us appreciate the wealth that this genre has to offer.
The concert program included the following:
"There's nae lark" and "The Daisies" (Samuel Barber) Christiana Reader, viola and Derek Remeš, piano
"Mondnacht" (Robert Schumann) and "Mondnacht" (Johannes Brahms) Steve Danyew, saxophone and Ashley Danyew, piano
"Bei dir ist es traut" (Alma Mahler) and "O ihr Zärtlichen" (Peter Lieberson) Caroline O'Dwyer, mezzo-soprano and Heather McEwen Goldman, piano
"Sure On This Shining Night" and "Nocturne" (Samuel Barber) Dr. Jared Chase, trumpet and Dr. James Douthit, piano
In between each duo, Steve and I led the audience in an interactive game of "Musical Memory"* using the board pictured above. This was a fun way for everyone present to discover musical pairs, even across genres! Thanks so much to the First Presbyterian Church of Pittsford for inviting us to share this concert program, to all of our friends who performed, and to all who attended and shared in the experience!
*Musical Memory was first seen at the Westminster Chamber Music Workshop in June 2011
Image Credit: personal