Oct. 12: Recital Features Vorhes, Svenningsen, Lodine and Reid
Members of the Augustana Music Department will present a Faculty Recital at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 12, in Kresge Recital Hall. The event will feature performances by Dr. Russell Svenningsen, assistant professor of music and conductor of the Collegiate Chorale, Emily Lodine, voice instructor, Anna Vorhes, harp instructor/non-western music instructor, and pianist Debra Reid.
Tickets are $15 for the general public, $10 for seniors, and free for Augustana students, faculty, and students K-12 with a valid ID. They can be purchased in advance at augietickets.com or by calling the Box Office at 605.274.5320.
The production will include Three Sephardic Songs by Mario Castenuovo-Tedesco (1895-1968), performed by Svenningson and Vorhes.
Svenningson and Reid will be performing Roger Quilter's (1877-1953) song cycle To Julia, on poems by Robert Herrick. Quilter's melodic sense is at once very lyrical yet quite disjointed. Harmonically, Quilter employs dense, yet richly tonal music. He makes demands on the singer with regard to range, duration, phrase length and dynamic. Quilter requires an accomplished and smart pianist, one who remains undaunted by the amount of ink on the page. In all, it is a beautiful 15 minutes of music about an enigmatic woman, Julia, with whom the poet has fallen deeply in love.
Svenningson and Reid will also present Samuel Barber's (1910-1981) Melodies Passageres, Op. 27. The song cycle consists of Puisque tout Passe (Since All Things Pass), Un Cygne (A Swan), Tombeau dans un Parc (A Grave in a Park), Le Clocher Chante (The Clock Sings), and Depart (Leaving). The texts are composed by Rainer Marie Rilke (1875-1926), a towering literary figure of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. While Rilke was of Bohemian-Austrian blood, the texts for these songs come from his collection Poemes Francaise (French poems). Barber made use of poetry from many French poems and poets; however, it is in these songs that we find the only example of his having used them in their original, French form.
The poems themselves are densely and somewhat quixotic, that is, they have an impact that is not singular but rather quite variable and subtle. The poems are more symbolic and translucent, but hit on familiar themes of love, death, ecstasy and loss. Barber's music lies not necessarily in the vocal or piano music, but in the confluence of the two — that is to say that the musical/poetic experience arises more from the complete presentation.
Finally, Lodine, Reid and Svenningson will present Benjamin Britten's (1913-1976) Canticle II: Abraham and Isaac. Scored for mezzo soprano, tenor and piano, this piece relays the Biblical story of Abraham and Isaac and God's testing of Abraham's devotion. The text comes from the Chester Miracle Plays, which evolved between the 10th and 16th centuries. One can easily discern the masterful way Britten brings to life the tension inherent in the story of Abraham and Isaac. What is not easily depicted, however, is its impact — one must hear it to understand. The colors Britten is able to evoke are not ancient nor are the modern, they are instead, timeless.