Wednesday, December 2 at 7 pm (Eastern)
From Her Voice
Diana Charlop, soprano, with Chris Fecteau, piano
Songs of Amy Beach, Florence Price, and Clara Schumann
PROGRAM NOTES by Diana Charlop
My recital ‘The Nature of Her Voice’ celebrates strong women who’ve created music and art through the last 100 years. Their message speaks to me: that women are to be empowered and heard. By being mindful of these composers and their works, I hope that we can create the space for female composers, artists, and performers to be heard. These three women helped to pave the way for other women to share their art, and we can continue to work towards equality and equal representation to allow women the space that they have always deserved.
Three songs of Clara Schumann on poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke
– Er ist gekommen in Sturm und Regen (Op.12 No. 2)
– Liebst du um Schöheit (Op. 12 No. 4)
– Warum willst du and’re fragen (Op. 12 No. 11)
For Christmas in 1841, Clara Schumann had given her husband Robert a Christmas gift of some songs that she had written herself. This inspired Robert to want to collaborate with her on a songbook – : “The idea of producing together with Clara a book of songs inspired me to this work. From Monday to Monday nine songs from Rückert’s Liebesfrühling were written, in which I think again I have found a special voice.” He urged Clara to write songs to the three texts “Warum willst du and’re fragen,” “Er ist gekommen in Sturm und Regen,” and “Liebst du um Schönheit.” The songs were published in the fall of 1841 and show that Robert viewed Clara as an equal, encouraging her to showcase her writing and her voice in this work. In Clara’s three Ruckert settings, she emphasizes her independent and strong perspective onto both character and storyline.
Three songs of Amy Beach on poetry of Robert Browning
– The Year’s at the Spring
– Ah, Love, But a Day
– I Send My Heart Up To Thee
Amy Beach (1867 – 1944) is sometimes referred to as a “modern” Clara Schumann. She writes beautifully for both singer and pianist individually, and in how they play off of one another. Her clear and evocative score markings indicate her understanding of the voice. To these texts written by Robert Browning, Amy Beach brings a complex palate juxtaposing lightness and levity with darkness and despair.
Three songs of Florence Price
– An April Day (text by Joseph S. Cotter, Jr.)
– Night (text by Louise C. Wallace)
– The Glory of the Day Was in her Face (text by James Weldon Johnson)
Florence Price (1887 – 1953) is one of the best-known female African American composers, well-established as a composer with a multitude of symphonies, concertos and songs. She is the first female African American composer to have her symphony performed at a major American orchestra. The present trio of songs features texts by two male poets and one female poet. One of the lines that touches me most in the poetry of this program is found here, “Sufficient is it just to live.” (Joseph Seamon Cotter, Jr.) Especially in this time, this speaks to gratitude for the simple act of living.
TEXTS AND TRANSLATIONS:
|Er ist gekommen in Sturm und Regen
Er ist gekommen
Er ist gekommen
Er ist gekommen
|He came in storm and rain,
|Liebst du um Schönheit, o nicht mich liebe!
Liebst du um Schönheit,
Liebst du um Jugend,
Liebst du um Schätze,
Liebst du um Liebe,
|If you love for beauty, oh, do not love me!
If you love for beauty,
If you love for youth,
If you love for treasure,
If you love for love,
|Warum willst du and’re fragen
Warum willst du and’re fragen,
Glaube nicht den fremden Leuten,
Schweigt die Lippe deinen Fragen,
|Why will you question others?
Why will you question others,
Believe not strange people;
Are my lips silent to your questions,
| The Year’s at the Spring
The year’s at the spring,
|Ah, Love, But a Day
Ah, Love, but a day,
Look in my eyes!
Thou art a man,
|I Send My Heart Up To Thee
I send my heart up to thee, all my heart
The very night is clinging
|On such a day as this,
On such a day as this I think,
And balmy zephyrs gently waft
Night comes, a Madonna clad in scented blue.
|The glory of the day was in her face,
The glory of the day was in her face,
And in her voice, the calling of the dove;
And now the glorious day, the beauteous night,