Click play on the audio player above to listen to the full episode, or watch the performance in the video player above. You can listen to the Summer Concert Series live Fridays at noon through July 23 on CapRadio Music 88.9 FM in Sacramento, 91.7 FM Groveland/Sonora, or 88.7 FM Sutter/Yuba City. And subscribe to the CapRadio YouTube channel to see videos of the performances as well!
A beautiful juxtaposition of the old and the new, the young rising star and the established veteran performer: the second performance in CapRadio's Summer Concert series features soprano Carrie Hennessey, tenor Taylor Thompson and pianist Jennifer Reason. Poetry in motion with the powerful vocal lines of Schumann, Amy Beach and Puccini, familiar and comforting melodies from African American Art song, and contemporary text and music capturing the melancholy of history repeating itself through all of humanity.
In the words of Carrie Hennessey:
To me, this concert feels like poetry in motion! From the familiar and moving melodies of Robert Schumann and Giacomo Puccini to crystalline and powerful vocal lines Amy Beach. Singing the Beach, feels like singing into rich possibility. What a gift she is to our musical landscape! A woman so gifted in her craft as a concert pianist and composer who could write so beautifully for the voice … what if her husband had encouraged her to fully unleash her creativity to our world? So much possibility. In the third movement of Portraits of Disquiet, contemporary composer Julia Seeholzer captures the melancholy of history repeating itself through all of humanity. It haunts us in memory of things left unsaid, surface conversations of white noise had so as not to delve too deeply, and in the face of it all, humanity continues to treat each other inhumanely. Text written so poignantly by transgender woman Kendall A, we explore the great need for discomfort in order to inspire change. Time carries over.
In the words of Taylor Thompson:
Starting with the Schumann, Germany’s most prolific Romantic composer (and this opus contributed greatly to that fact), I sing the first seven selections from “Dictherliebe.” This opus was written in a period of Schumann’s life historians would refer to as, “yahr der Lieder.” The year was 1840, in which Schumann completed over 140 songs in just one week. Furthermore during this time in his life he was courting a young Clara Wieck, another well known composer of her time. Their relationship was not approved of by her father, yet they persisted. Schumann mentions Clara one time in the Opus by referring to her only as “Blonde Kopfchen”; this struggle and battle for love is a constant theme through the opus. The very interactive piano accompaniment is always in a state of conversation with the singer; either being the voice by replying melodically or showing the building frustration as the line chromatically rises and falls with the vocal line. From there, I move to two African American Art songs arranged by Jacquline Hairston; Ms. Hairston is a living composer from Julliard whom I met at a young age, and that makes this more special. Ms. Hairston wrote “Guide my Feet” for soprano Leontyne Price, and the piece was performed by Ms. Price at Carnegie Hall. The arrangement of “Give me Jesus” is unique: Ms. Hairston often starts pieces a cappella, or by using “ooh” or “hmm.” She goes beyond her classical roots and gives her music a gospel feeling by adding reprises and often having the singer repeat phrases, but differently each time, which gives the music a very free and expressive feel.