San Francisco Lyric Chorus Performs Modern American Voices
The last date listed for Modern American Voices was Sunday, Apr. 29, 2012 / 5:00pm.
San Francisco Lyric Chorus
Alamere String Quartet, Xiyan Wang, Piano
For the Spring 2012 trimester, Modern American Voices, the chorus presents a wonderful combination of words, music and poetry set by three distinguished American composers.
Between 1950 and 1952, Aaron Copland (1900-1990) arranged settings of eight different American folk songs at the request of his friend, Benjamin Britten. The chorus will sing four of these folk songs and ballads, ranging in mood from the jolly song of the Ohio River boatmen to the gentle lullaby of “The Little Horses.”
In “Fern Hill,” New York composer John Corigliano (1938- ) beautifully sets Welsh poet Dylan Thomas’ (1914-1953) reminiscences of his childhood visit to an aunt’s farm, and Thomas’ musings on his own life. The lush tonality of the music matches the richness of the words.
Eric Whitacre (1970- ) is one of the most well-known and successful contemporary American composers. His music has charmed and moved audiences all over the world. He composes in a variety of styles, and the ensemble has selected several works that demonstrate these styles. “Animal Crackers 1” is a setting of three poems by the American humorist, Ogden Nash (1902-1971). “Water Night” is a setting of a poem by the Mexican poet, Octavio Paz (1914-1998), created in Whitacre’s familiar cluster sound. Whitacre uses this composition as the subject of his “Virtual Choir 3”. In “Five Hebrew Love Poems,” Whitacre sets Hebrew poetry written by his wife, operatic soprano Hila Plitmann (1973- ).
The concert concludes with Aaron Copland’s “The Promise of Living,” a joyous Thanksgiving song from his opera, The Tender Land.