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East coast premiere of Pierrot composed by Larry Lipkis, Moravian College professor
Bethlehem, Pa., September 21, 2007—Moravian College will present an evening of music featuring classics from Bach and Beethoven along with contemporary pieces composed by Larry Lipkis and Chuck Holdeman. An array of talented musicians will join Lipkis and Holdeman on Thursday, October 4, at 7:30 p.m. to perform in Peter Hall located on the Priscilla Payne Hurd campus in Historic Bethlehem.
The contemporary works include Pierrot, by Larry Lipkis, composer-in-residence at Moravian College. Pierrot was premiered in 2002 by the Houston Symphony Orchestra and its principal bassoonist Ben Kamins. The chamber version for bassoon, cello, and piano will debut its east coast premiere at Moravian. The cello represents Columbine, Pierrot’s love interest in the tales of the Commedia del Arte.
Holdeman’s “The Three Hamill Songs,” for tenor, bassoon and harp, are Sonnet, The Orchid Flower, and The Calling Across Forever. The first evokes desire and the feminine character of the ocean on the Pacific Northwest coast. The second poem depicts the surprise bloom of a houseplant, and a reflection on domesticity, love and death. The third poem, both longer and wilder, reflects the passionate response of youth to the force and imagery of nature, again with reference to the Northwest coast. Holdeman has chosen to set this poetry in a post-French-impressionist musical idiom; there is a liquid quality to both the poetry and the music.
Holdeman will participate as bassoonist and the other performers will be pianist Lotus Cheng, tenor Dana Robertson, harpist Anne Sullivan, and cellist Elizabeth Thompson.
Tenor Dana Robertson will sing music by J. S. Bach, the simple and touching Bist du bei mir, If you are with me, included in the Anna Magdelena Bach Notebook though possibly by Stölzel; and Er freue dich, Seele, a song of the soul’s rejoicing from Bach’s Cantata 21. While observing the formal conventions of the 18th century, this music is full of emotion, flowing in the endless river of words inspiring song.
Cellist Elizabeth Thompson and pianist Lotus Cheng will perform Beethoven’s C Major Sonata, his opus 102, no. 1. This opus is called Free sonatas for clavier and violoncello in the composer’s manuscript. They come from a mature and freely experimental period of the composer’s life, having a rhapsodic and episodic nature, not unlike Lipkis’ very free handling of Pierrot’s impulsive, though unspecified adventures.
The performers joining together to present this unique concert come from a variety of roles and locales. Three are prominent musicians in Delaware, where Holdeman is principal bassoonist for the Delaware Symphony and Robertson and Cheng perform in many settings from chamber music to opera. Anne Sullivan, who resides in State College, is a founder and member of the popular flute-harp duo SPARX, for which she serves also as arranger. Elizabeth Thompson is a member of the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia and principal cellist of the Princeton Pro Musica.
General admission is $15; and $10 for senior citizens, students, and children 12 and under. .Peter Hall is located on the Pricilla Payne Hurd Campus in historic downtown Bethlehem. For tickets & additional information, contact: Rose Panik, 610-861-1650 or email, music @moravian.edu
The concert is supported by the Arts and Lectures Committee at Moravian College.