Electric Earth Concerts
Friday, February 14, 2014
East Duke 201 (Nelson Music Room) (map)
105 Mary Duke Biddle Music Building
Durham, NC 27708
Music from the Heart
Electric Earth Concerts presents â€œMusic from the Heartâ€, a broad and breathtaking view of the classical music realm, heard up-close in a chamber music setting. Electric Earthâ€™s Artistic Directors Laura Gilbert, flute, and Jonathan Bagg, viola, share the program with two frequent guests: guitarist Oren Fader and soprano Ilana Davidson. Music of Bach, Schubert, Villa-Lobos, Rorem, and Roussel, and David Garner, ranging from the 18th to the 21st centuries, will be played. Describing the concert, Bagg says, â€œWhat all the works on the program have in common, I think, is that they wear their heart on the sleeveâ€.
The concert starts with a solo â€” but not quite: Bachâ€™s partita in A minor (originally for flute) becomes a conversation when shared between Gilbertâ€™s flute and Baggâ€™s viola. â€œWe each perform two movements, highlighting our individual takes on Bach, and also how the musicâ€™s essence is refracted differently by our different instrumental timbres and techniquesâ€ says Bagg. This is followed by Schubertâ€™s soulful â€œArpeggioneâ€ sonata, with the piano part recast to Oren Faderâ€™s guitar. Bagg calls it â€œa gentler, more intimate version of the famous virtuoso piece.â€
Soprano Ilana Davidsion sings three works. Albert Rousselâ€™s Deux Poemes du Ronsard (1926) is a duo with flute, set to love poems by the French poet Pierre de Ronsard. Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-lobosâ€™ â€œBachianas Brasilieras No. 5â€, with guitarist Fader, contains among the 20th centuryâ€™s best-known vocal melodies. â€œIt tends to leave few dry eyes in the house,â€ according to Gilbert.
A new setting of an old Appalachian ballad by David Kirkland Garner, a young composer with an interest in fiddle, banjo, and folk styles, employs a close transcription of â€œAwake, Awakeâ€™ as sung by North Carolina ballad singer Dillard Chandler. Garner says: â€œI was struck by both Chandlerâ€™s performance and the specific lyrics that his version utilizes.â€
Finally, Gilbert and Fader will present â€œRomeo and Julietâ€ a major work by American composer Ned Rorem for flute and guitar. â€œI canâ€™t wait to play it in that roomâ€ says Gilbert. The clear acoustic of the Jaffrey church allows us to play with real pianissimi, and other subtle effects, but when there is drama and passion, the audience can feel it in their bones.â€