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Voy Solo: 20th Century Poetic Narratives

Melinda Becker and Anne Rainwater

Melinda Becker and Anne Rainwater Voy Solo: 20th Century Poetic Narratives

Mezzo soprano Melinda Becker and
Pianist Anne Rainwater present
Voy Solo: 20th Century Poetic Narratives

Mezzo soprano Melinda Becker and pianist Anne Rainwater explore 20th century poetic narratives on Lewis Patzner and Derek Sup’s new Glenview Classical Series at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church of Oakland. Their program, VOY SOLO, spans different cultures and languages and includes Trois Chansons de Bilitis by Claude Debussy, Cuatro Canciones Andias by local composer Gabriela Lena Frank, and the Hermit Songs by Samuel Barber.

Trois Chansons de Bilitis, by Claude Debussy, (1894) are colorful in timbre and scope and entice listeners with a collection of erotic poetry by French poet Pierre Louys, who borrowed text for his vignettes from the Greek poet Sappho. The poems reflect the narrative of the main character Bilitis and her evolving life experience detailing her emotional and physical reactions to her newfound sensual and sexual exploration. Gabriela Lena Frank’s Cuatro Canciones Andinas (1999) is set to texts drawn from the poetry of Quechua Indians, the descendants of the ancient Incas. Her pieces reflect her studies of Latin American folklore, incorporating poetry, mythology, and native musical styles into a unique classical framework. The Hermit Songs, by Samuel Barber, (1952) provide a musical setting for texts written by monks and scholars in the margins of manuscripts they were copying from the 8th to 13th centuries. Translated from Old Irish, each poem describes a closeness to animals, nature, or god while idealizing the hermit's way of life. Barber's work relies equally on voice and piano to highlight meaning and paint distinct moods from piece to piece.

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Claude Debussy

Trois Chansons de Bilitis

Gabriela Lena Frank

Cuatro Canciones Andinas

Samuel Barber

Hermit Songs


Melinda Becker

Mezzo soprano