This Saturday, May 20 I will be collaborating with the extraordinary pianist, Nathan Carterette, in a recital of love songs - “Love, Loss & Liberation”- at the Church of the Redeemer in Squirrel Hill in Pittsburgh at 2:00 PM. The program - just over an hour - also features Nathan in solo piano works by Ravel and Medtner and will be followed by a reception, as a farewell to Nathan, who is moving from Pittsburgh this summer - ALAS! If you are going to be in the area, I hope that you can join us for this concert. Admission is free.
Love, Loss & Liberation
What a joy it has been to live in this glorious music by Gioacchino Rossini, Claude Debussy, Gustav Mahler, Nikolai Medtner, David Stock and Judith Shatin.
I am privileged to have worked closely with David Stock, performing under his baton with the Pittsburgh Jewish Music Festival and singing the premiere of his “Rumi Sings of Love” with the Duquesne Contemporary Ensemble and “Solomon Songs” with the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble last summer. He also conducted a performance of Judith Shatin’s “Akhmatova Songs”. Judith has been a dear friend since we met in Aspen Music Festival as students and shared an apartment in NYC… and she was in “both” my weddings (-: We are pictured here together after the performance of her work in Pittsburgh… a precious memory as David passed in 2015. David’s smile says it all. I’ve become very close to his family - and teach his two daughters and grand daughter voice lessons.
On Saturday, Nathan and I are performing songs that look at the gamut of love - from young love in Rossini’s “The Venetian Regatta” as Anzoletta cheers on her Momolo in a race to the rapturous love of Goethe’s poem, “I Think of You” by Nikolai Medtner and the mature love of “A Line-Storm Song” as lovers are reunited after a storm by composer Judith Shatin on poetry by Robert Frost.
Nothing is more powerful than the love of one’s child or grandchild - and the late composer David Stock has written achingly beautiful love songs about one's young son and daughter in his "Three Yiddish Songs”, originally scored for mezzo soprano and string quartet (which I was privileged to perform in its entirety with a string quartet of Pittsburgh Symphony musicians in a memorial concert in November, 2016).
The poignancy of a mother’s loss of her son - in Lia’s Aria from Debussy’s “The Prodigal Son” based on the biblical story - touches the heart and soul as the mother cries out to her lost son. Medtner’s “A Winter Night”, setting a Pushkin poem, in the midst of a Russian blizzard invokes one’s long time friend and childhood nanny to drink to one’s wasted youth and lost love so that the heart may rejoice.
You might ask about the “Liberation” songs. I might have better called them songs of “Spiritual transcendence” but - no alliteration. Nothing is more beautiful than Mahler’s “I am lost to the world” (perhaps my most favorite song to sing, resembling the slow movement from Mahler’s Fifth Symphony) - where one has left the world behind to live in one’s quiet refuge, and in one’s heaven, love and song. Also about transcendence, Medtner’s Night Song in three minutes encapsulates Wagner’s Immolation Scene and Love/Death as lovers are drawn into the mystery and power of the blazing starry night and the VOID… musically ecstatic.
I hope you can join us - or send us your thoughts as we perform this gorgeous love music.
Sending warmest wishes for a wonderful summer,