The Mirror Visions Ensemble, a vocal trio featuring soprano Vira Slywotzky, tenor Scott Murphree and baritone Jesse Blumberg, presents "Aphrodite & Athena: A Portrait in Music of Isabella Stewart Gardner" at Paris' Les Arts Décoratifs - Salon des Boiseries on Saturday, October 15, 2011 at 3pm, Cambridge's Longy School of Music on Friday, October 21st at 8pm and in New York City at Merkin Concert Hall - Kaufman Center on Sunday, October 23, 2011 at 3pm.
Isabella Stewart Gardner (1840-1924), an avid collector and founder of the museum in Boston, was once described by her cousin T. Jefferson Coolidge in a letter: "You must have a double, one devoted to society, music, admiration and pearls, and the other sterner sister given to labor and duty; a kind of Aphrodite with a lining of Athene."
Both sides of Ms. Gardner are equally brought to life in a varied program featuring classic and contemporary compositions alike, opening with the World Premiere of Christopher Berg's setting of excerpts from Canto #2 of Dante's Inferno entitled Incominciam!, followed by a song of Duparc (Le galop) that further illustrates her Athenesque determination. Ms. Gardner's Aphrodite side of gaiety and charm is portrayed through songs by Nin (Malagueña), Monteverdi (Zefiro torna) and Rangström (Pan), and her wide friendships are shown through letters she received from friends such as famed writer Henry James, set to music in a second World Premiere: Scott Wheeler's Letters to Isabella.
Isabella Stewart Gardner's great love of music is expressed in Debussy's Musique, and her faith in God's heaven on earth in Schubert's Im Abendrot. Despite her friendships, her periods of intense loneliness are explored in songs by Brahms (Die Mainacht) and Sibelius (Norden), and the program closes in reflection upon her spirituality and long-sought harmony with life through a third World Premiere by Christopher Berg, En Paz, set to a poem by Amado Nervo.
"Aphrodite & Athena" also includes interludes of songs illuminating her love affair with Venice: back-to-back 'mirror vision' performances of Wenn durch die Piazzetta by Adolf Jensen and Robert Schumann, Souvenir de Venise by Jules Massenet and La Primavera by Reynaldo Hahn.
Tickets for the Paris concert are priced at 10 € and may be reserved by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. There will be free admission at the Longy School of Music. For more information, please call 617-876-0956 ext. 1500 or email email@example.com. Tickets for the New York concert are priced at $25/$15 for students and may be purchased by calling 212-501-3330 or by clicking here.
THE MIRROR VISIONS ENSEMBLE
Vira Slywotzky, soprano
Scott Murphree, tenor
Jesse Blumberg, baritone
Aphrodite & Athena: A Portrait in Music of Isabella Stewart Gardner
Saturday, October 15, 2011 at 3pm
Les Arts Décoratifs - Salon des Boiseries
111, rue de Rivoli
Friday, October 21, 2011 at 8pm
Edward M. Pickman Concert Hall
Longy School of Music
27 Garden Street
Sunday, October 23, 2011 at 3pm
Merkin Concert Hall - Kaufman Center
129 West 67th Street
New York, NY
Christopher Berg Incominciam! Dante (World Premiere)
Henri Duparc Le galop Sully Prudhomme
Adolf Jensen Wenn durch die Piazzetta Thomas Moore
Robert Schumann Wenn durch die Piazzetta Thomas Moore
Ture Rangström Pan Bo Bergman
Monteverdi Zefiro torna Ottavio Rinuccini
Joaquin Nin Malagueña Traditional Folk Song
Scott Wheeler Letters to Isabella (World Premiere)
"The Stairway of Jade" Poem by Kakuzo Okakura
Jean Sibelius Norden Johan Ludvig Runeberg
Brahms Die Mainacht Ludwig Hölty
Jules Massenet Souvenir de Venise Alfred de Musset
Reynaldo Hahn La Primavera Alvise Cicogna
THE CROWN OF LIFE
Schubert Im Abendrot Karl Gottlieb Lappe
Debussy Musique Paul Bourget
Christopher Berg En Paz Amado Nervo (World Premiere)
Mirror Visions Ensemble website
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