Close-Up: Two wonderful song cycles from both ends of art-song history
Ensemble Artists Ethan Taylor (tenor) and Hayden Barrington (baritone) spread their vocal wings in this Close-Up program of two works from both ends of art song history – Beethoven’s majestic An die ferne Geliebte (“To the distant beloved”), the first narrative song cycle, and Gabriel Kahane’s astonishing 2018 work, Book of Travelers, a fusion of classical, jazz, and pop that weaves a musical tapestry of stories collected during the composer’s 6000-mile train journey across the USA.
The live performances in Wollongong, Blackheath and Sydney of Book of Travelers in our Close-Up series have been postponed until COVID-related restrictions are lifted. We intend to reschedule these performances as soon as we are able. In the meantime...
BOOK OF TRAVELERS filmed at Phoenix Central Park Behind Doors
Ethan Taylor, tenor Hayden Barrington, baritone Francis Greep, piano
Book of Travelers (2018), Gabriel Kahane
3. Model Trains
5. Friends of Friends of Bill
7. Little Love
8. What if I told you
9. October 1, 1939 / Port of Hamburg
10. Singing with a Stranger
An die ferne Geliebte (1816), Ludwig van Beethoven
(To the distant beloved)
i. Auf dem Hügel sitz’ ich (I sit on the hill)
ii. Wo die Berge so blau (Where the mountains so blue)
iii. Leichte Segler in den Höhen (Light clouds sailing on high)
iv. Diese Wolken in den Höhen (These clouds on high)
v. Es kehret der Mainen, es blühet die Au’ (May returns, the meadow blooms)
vi. Nimm sie denn, diese Lieder (Accept then, these songs)
Cabaret and Theater Songs, Ben Moore
1. See How a Flower Blossoms (1994)
2. Lonely Room (1992)
3. Where Has Summer Gone (1990)
In the first video, Ethan and Francis perform one of the newest song-cycles in the repertoire, American singer/songwriter Gabriel Kahane’s epic Book of Travelers from 2018, written when Kahane embarked on an 8980 mile rail journey throughout the US to escape (what he considered) the hopelessness of Donald Trump’s inauguration as President. These songs are his stories and the stories of people he met along this journey, a personal insight into the breadth of America.
The second video is in honour of the 250th anniversary of the birth of Beethoven. Hayden and Francis perform the first ever narrative song-cycle, where the distance from the poet’s beloved is great and his longing intense. He is no longer satisfied with merely the sound of his lover’s name, but frustrated by the pain that physical separation by mountains and plains causes.
Hayden and Francis end the recital with three theatre songs by American composer Ben Moore, written as one-off pieces added to different stage shows he was working on.
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