Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Official Program (Revised)

Saints and Sirens: Women Through Music History - A Graduate Recital

Pulling together all my possibilities into a cohesive whole, while taking into consideration time limits and other realities, I present my program in its finalized format.

NOTE: Additional changes have occurred since the original posting of this article over a month ago. Most significantly, the date is now SATURDAY, JUNE 6th, at 11am; same location of Winifred Smith Hall in the School of the Arts on the University of California, Irvine campus. Admission and parking are both FREE on this day. Parking recommended in the Mesa Parking Structure.
Directions and maps to UCI are here.

An updated program appears below.

This recital is an exploration of Women Through Music History, "Saints and Sirens" - a project that in itself can barely touch the surface of a subject that runs very deep, but one that attempts profundity and fun at the same time, while retaining the possibility of expanding into future explorations. Women have a story that needs to be told, and their story has been told from countless perspectives and in innumerable ways, but much is still waiting to be heard in today's world. There is so much beauty to be found in rarely-performed gems from many periods of music history, and I have found some that fit well into this exploration, weaving a narrative concept out of many disparate bits and pieces.

The earliest composers we know of by name were women, and Hildegard von Bingen was one of these. It is her voice we hear first, speaking to us from almost a thousand years ago. Over the course of the recital, we will hear from both men and women, as composers and poets, speaking about women and the journeys they and their legends have taken, while exploring the possibilities of the future, until we realize that we're part a continuous cycle in life, and that we can make the choice to be forces of unity and growth in the gardens of Earth and eternity. This is an exploration of truth and stereotypes, of faith and frolic, the duality of sacred and secular, traveling over the course of time from some of the earliest written music (and even earlier saintly subjects) through the course of many centuries to the present day. Since it makes sense historically and thematically, the first half of the concert is sacred (Saints) and the second half secular (Sirens). The conclusion of the concert will hopefully inspire the propagation of this continued exploration and encourage others to share woman's story in music, while revealing the cyclic nature of the program's construction (and of history itself). The last piece heard is based on a chant by Hildegard, transcribed and set to an Anne Sexton text by contemporary composer, friend, and CSUF faculty member, Dr. Pamela Madsen. The concepts used in this final presentation bring together the whole program, with a final concept that encourages the dissemination of these ideas and ideals to the world.

And now, here is the program. Keep in mind, you may not have heard of some of these composers - one of my intents in this recital is to expose the beauty that can be found outside the typical mainstream repertoire in largely unknown works (that should be known). In fact, two of the pieces, written by Alessandro Della Ciaia for the nuns of Siena, haven't been heard for over 300 years, only recently having been transcribed by musicologist and member of the UCI facutly, Dr. Colleen Reardon, from the original manuscript (they are in essence "World Premieres" as such). Over the course of the weeks leading up the recital, I will post descriptions of each set as extended program notes here on this blog. Stay tuned.


Hodie aperuit
Selections from In matutinis laudibus
(Antiphons for St. Ursula and the 11,000 Virgins)
~ Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179)

Ecce venio ad te Domine
~ Alessandro Della Ciaia (1600-c.1678)
Maria, dolce Maria
~ Francesca Caccini (1587-c.1641)
Dolcissimo Signore
~ Giovanni Girolamo Kapsberger (c.1580-1651)

Donne, voi ricercate... Se per colpa di donna infelice
from La Resurrezione
~ George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)
Gaudens gaudebo
~ Alessandro Della Ciaia (1600-c.1678)


Les Filles de Cadix
~ Leo Delibes (1836-1891)
Non, la fidelite
~ Germaine Tailleferre (1892-1983)
~ Pauline Viardot (1821-1910)

~ Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel (1805-1847)
Getauscht hat mich ein Schimmer
~ Josephine Lang (1815-1880)
~ Clara Schumann (1819-1896)

~ Cecile Chaminade (1857-1944)

Prayer II
from Politics of Quiet
~ Meredith Monk (b. 1944)
From the Garden
from We Are All Sibyls
~ Pamela Madsen

Note on Performers: Charles Welling will play the organ in the first half of the program, and Lukas Swidzinski will accompany on piano in the second half. Peter Fisk will also be joining me on lute in the Caccini and Kapsberger pieces. Rachel Bittner is flautist in the Chaminade "Portrait."

Image above depicting one of Hildegard's visions, "Werk Gottes," illustrated in her visionary written work, Liber Divinorum Operum (1163-1173), depicts the Earth in its constant cycle of seasons, with images of planting, harvesting, and the forces of nature. Hildegard understood circles and cycles as integral to understanding life and its divine source.

Copyright © 2009. All textual and conceptual materials are the sole property of Lorraine Joy Welling and may not be reproduced, copied, or used in any way without permission.

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