Music: Sun Feb 17

Thoughts of deepest desire prompt this morning’s musical selections, which include two songs by African-American composer Jeraldine Saunders Herbison, performed by our own Mary Lane Cobb. The Centering Music includes excerpts from Robert Schumann’s Kreisleriana, a work written during years of yearning and frustration between the composer and his fiancĂ©e Clara Wieck. In a letter to Clara, Schumann writes of the Kreisleriana: ““I'm overflowing with music and beautiful melodies …You and one of your ideas play the main role in it, and I want to dedicate it to you – yes, to you and nobody else – and then you will smile so sweetly when you discover yourself in it.” Then, he dedicated the published work to Frederic Chopin.

Franz Schubert’s Sehnsuchts Waltzer takes its nickname from the deep desire it has communicated to generations of listeners, and Felix Mendelssohn himself subtitled his Song without Words in A-flat Major “Duetto,” an apt description of its intertwining, lyrically straining lines. Read on for programming details.

Centering Music: Adam Kent, piano
Kreisleriana, Op. 16
            I. Ausserst bewegt
            II. Sehr innig und nicht zu rasch
                                                Robert Schumann

Opening Music:
Sehnsuchts Waltzer, Op. 9, No. 2
                                                Franz Schubert

Song without Words in A-flat Major, Op. 38, No. 6  “Duetto”
                                                Felix Mendelssohn

Interlude: Mary Lane Cobb, soprano
From Five Art Songs for Voice and Piano
            “We Met By Chance”*
            “I’ll Not Forget”**
                                                Jeraldine Saunders Herbison

*”We met by chance this man and I.
He looking-seeking-straining to communicate
And finding few who cared to listen
I listened and found pleasure in his words.”
William Curtis

**”In a single file, my brain has set a list of things I’ll not forget.
A sudden rain on roof or barn,
The greyness on a bark of Beech,
Some cowbells heard through morning fog;
The barking of a country dog that knows no fright and
Yet must talk back to the night.
I’ll not forget the wood-smoke smell of pine,
Or the cowbarn when the hay was new.
I’ll not forget the thrill of Love or You!”
Max Ellision

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