Fri Dec 8, 2017 7:30pm – 9:00pm

Songs of Longing and Solitude

Sponsored by: The Second Movement

Whether in the literal sense, such as the physical isolation of separated lovers, or the more subtle, social separation that grows around those in great power, this loneliness is in some way familiar to everyone.  In either case, it is something felt as deeply, intensely personal regardless of the greater surrounding circumstances, making it an important component of the greater arch of our 2017/18 season, titled At the Edge of Society.  Pianist Yevgeny Yontov, audience favorite in this year’s Arthur Rubinstein Competition and Artistic Director of The Second Movement, is the architect behind this season’s programming, designed to explore the resilience of the human spirit through the lens of exile, oppression, and in this case, solitude. 
  When asked about the title of this program, Yontov responds, “the program is bracketed by two pieces whose narrators long to be with their loved ones.”  Speaking of Beethoven’s To the Distant Beloved and Franz Schubert’s Shepherd on the Rock, Yontov continues that these feelings of solitude and longing differ drastically from those of a man forced out of his home country by war or a woman brought into close proximity of great power, such as the wives of King Henry VIII of England.  The latter are the subject of American composer Libby Larsen’s song cycle Try Me, Good King, to be sung by soprano Nola Richardson, who describes the cycle and the program as “a striking mixture of music and text that remains extremely relevant, especially given recent revelations of sexual power and abuse in our society.”
  Also featured on the program is Polish composer Mieczysław Weinberg’s Sonata for Clarinet and Piano, to be performed by Yontov alongside clarinetist David Perry, who describes the piece, written while the composer was in exile in Moscow in 1945, as “relentless in its pace and persistence, but also its honesty and integrity.  It tells me how crucial these qualities were to the survival of this man’s spirit.”

Admission: $20/10, Gen/Student
First Presbyterian Church
704 Whitney Ave
New Haven
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