July 25, 2007

Music@Main

Summer Serenade

  Lindsey Tuller soprano
  Clinton Weinberg baritone
  Timothy Tuller piano
 
PROGRAM SELECTIONS
 
ROBERT SCHUMANN Ich bin dein Baum, o Gärtner
FRANZ SCHUBERT Klärchens Lied
Wonne der Wehmut
FERNANDO OBRADORS Aquel sombrero de monte
El vito
R. VAUGHAN WILLIAMS Five Mystical Songs
SAMUEL BARBER The Monk and His Cat (Hermit Songs)
Sure on This Shining Night
PAUL BOWLES Heavenly Grass
Cabin

Music@Main concerts are presented in the Main Library's Hicks Auditorium, located on the Conference Level of the Library near the Main Street entrances. The concerts are free and open to the public, and reservations are not required.

PROGRAM NOTES by Ed Lein, Music Librarian

Fernando J. Obradors (1897-1945) was a self-taught Catalan composer and conductor. Although he wrote orchestral music and music for the stage, he is most remembered for his songs which perfectly capture the essence of the classic Spanish poetry on which they are based. In El vito, for example, one can easily imagine a fiery señorita dancing on a tavern table before an audience of appreciative bullfighters!

Paul Bowles (1910-1999) was an American composer and author who is perhaps best known for his best-selling novel, The Sheltering Sky. He studied composition with Aaron Copland in Paris during the 1930s, and during the 1940s Bowles and his wife, playwright Jane Auer, became prominent members of the New York literary community before moving permanently to Tangier in 1947. The songs Heavenly Grass and Cabin (1979), on poems by Tennessee Williams (1911-1983), are included in Bowles’ Blue Mountain Ballads and have an appropriate folklike quality.

Samuel Barber (1910-1981) was a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize for music, and his art songs are among the finest written by any American composer. In Barber’s The Monk and His Cat (op. 29, no. 8, 1953) a medieval friar compares his own scholarly pursuits with the antics of his feline companion, as translated by W.H. Auden (1907-1973) from an anonymous Old Irish verse discovered in the margins of an illuminated manuscript. Barber ranks with Copland and Gershwin as the Americans whose concert music is most frequently performed, and his luminous Sure on this Shining Night (op. 13, no.3, 1938), on a poem from Permit Me Voyage by James Agee (1909- 1955), probably has had more performances than any other American art song.

In addition to numerous symphonies, chamber works, masses, and solo piano music, the Austrian composer Franz Schubert (1797-1828) composed over 600 songs in his short life, and has remained unsurpassed in his ability to marry poetry with music. Although his music was regularly performed in private concerts for Vienna’s musical elite and his genius was touted by no less than Beethoven, Schubert was never able to secure a publisher for the bulk of his masterworks so he depended on his devoted circle of friends for maintaining his finances. After his death (probably from medicinal mercury poisoning) Schubert’s wish to be buried next to Beethoven was honored.

The quintessentially English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) received extensive musical training at the Royal College of Music and at Cambridge, and he also studied privately with Max Bruch and Maurice Ravel. But it wasn’t until he began collecting English folksongs and studying hymnody that he developed the personal style that has made him arguably the most popular British composer since Henry Purcell (Benjamin Britten being his only real rival). Although he was a “cheerful agnostic,” this didn’t stop Vaughan Williams from composing some of the most spiritually charged music in the English language, including these Five Mystical Songs (1911, four of which also have optional parts for chorus) on texts drawn from George Herbert’s The Temple: Sacred Poems and Private Ejaculations (1633).

The hopes of the great German Romantic composer Robert Schumann (1810-1856) to become a concert pianist were dashed in his early twenties when he permanently damaged his hand, so he redirected his energies to both composing and music criticism. From childhood he was torn between literature and music, but he managed to combine these two loves even in some of his purely instrumental music by using poetry and dramatic narrative to color and direct the musical discourse. Although his taste in texts sometimes seems questionable by today’s standards, Schumann’s keen literary sensibilities nonetheless made him one of history’s greatest songwriters, and his finest Lieder rival those of Schubert.

About the Musicians

Lindsey S. Tuller hails from Chelsea, Alabama, and is the director of the Cathedral Choristers at St. John's Cathedral, as well as a soloist and member of the Cathedral Choir. She was the soprano soloist in recent performances of Faure's Requiem with the Orange Park Chorale, and has sung with the Jacksonville Symphony Chorus. Prior to moving to Jacksonville, Lindsey was featured soloist with the Birmingham Concert Chorale and with The University of Alabama at Birmingham Concert Choir, and her solo performances included Mozart's Requiem and Solemn Vespers. Her stage roles have included "Peep-Bo" in Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado, "Mother" in Gian Carlo Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors, "Monica" in Menotti's The Medium, and "Lucy" in Menotti's The Telephone. Composer K. Lee Scott selected Ms. Tuller as the soprano soloist for the world-premiere recording of his Requiem, a non-liturgical choral work composed in 2006. A recent transplant from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Lindsey is continuing her studies in vocal performance at the University of North Florida.


Clinton M.H. Weinberg, a native Floridian, began his musical training learning to play brass instruments before gravitating to the flute. His potential as a singer was discovered while still a freshman in college and was nurtured by Dr. Carole Clifford, and now he holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Voice Performance from the University of North Florida. Mr. Weinberg is the former director of music for children’s programs at Theatre Jacksonville, has taught music in public and private schools in Duval and Nassau Counties, and maintains a private teaching studio as well. He is a frequent oratorio and concert soloist throughout Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia where he has been featured in numerous large-scale choral works, including Handel's Messiah, Schubert's Mass in G, Dubois' The Seven Last Words of Christ, Beethoven's Mass in C, and Fauré's Requiem. As an instrumentalist Mr. Weinberg has performed with the United States Army Field Band and frequently performs with members of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra. He has played in pit orchestras for numerous musicals, including A Little Night Music, South Pacific, OKLAHOMA!, Once On This Island, How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying!, and the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical review, A Grand Night for Singing. On the not-so-classical side Clint paid his dues as a singing waiter!


In January, 2007, Timothy Tuller became the Canon for Music at Jacksonville's St. John's Cathedral, having been selected after an international search to fill the position. In addition to his duties at St. John's, Mr. Tuller is taking an active role in the broader musical life of the First Coast. In March, 2007, he participated in the area's first Community Choral Festival, and in April he served as accompanist for the Orange Park Chorale's spring concerts, including the complete Fauré Requiem. A summa cum laude graduate of Ithaca College, Mr. Tuller received the valedictory prize upon earning his Master of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music. Before moving to Jacksonville, Tim was the Music Associate at the Episcopal Cathedral Church of the Advent in Birmingham, Alabama, and prior to that he was Assistant University Organist and Music Intern at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee.


Program Description:
Summer Serenade: Songs for a Summer Evening

When:
Wednesday, July 25, 2007, 6:15 p.m.

Where:
Main Library
Hicks Auditorium (Conference Level)
303 North Laura Street
Jacksonville, Florida 32202

Contact Info:
Call (904) 630-2665 for more information.

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