Concert film: Gerald Seminatore and Taro Wayama perform songs of John Dowland

On their April 2015 concert at the Pasadena Presbyterian Church, guitarist Taro Wayama and tenor Gerald Seminatore opened the program with three “ayres” by English lutenist John Dowland (1563-1626). These songs from the twilight of the Elizabethan era are wonderfully expressive examples of the conventions of courtly love in art music.

Gerald_Taro_portrait_PPC_1Awake, sweet love
Flow my tears
Can she excuse my wrongs?

Click here to view.

(YouTube will open in a new page.)

Two Villancicos, sung by Bernardo Bermudez and Anthony Moreno

pianoFor our 2014 program “Carols Rare and Bright,” Bernardo Bermudez and Anthony Moreno sang rarely performed villancicos (Spanish language Christmas songs). These wonderful songs deserve a wider audience, and here are two selections from our salon at Elise’s in Long Beach, CA. For this concert, Kristof Van Grysperre played a restored Hamburg Steinway grand piano from 1890.

JUAN PLAZA (1898-1965, Venezuela)

“Trinan las aves” (The Birds Sing)
Sung by Bernardo Bermudez

The birds sing with great joy;
They announce that
Jesus the Messiah is coming.
The prairie prepares itself,
Putting on a gallant dress of
Colorful flowers.


JOAQUÍN RODRIGO  (1901-99, Spain)

“Colplillas de Belen” (Carols of Bethlehem)
Sung by Anthony Moreno

If the palm tree knew that
A star had fallen from heaven
To light a child sleeping
In a stable, it would offer
Its green leaves to fan
The baby in its cradle.

The Virgin prays and sings,
And the baby smiles sweetly.
How sorrowful the palm tree
Would be, if it knew what was
Yet to come.


A playlist of selections from “Carols Rare and Bright” is available at the Spacious Vision channel on the SoundCloud music service. Videos from past programs may also be viewed at the Spacious Vision YouTube channel.

Upcoming Webcasts of “Carols Rare and Bright” on Jan. 1, 3

SV_Elises_Group_PhotoThe audience response to “Carols Rare and Bright” was so enthusiastic, we have decided to air a Webcast of the program on Jan. 1 and Jan. 3.

“Carols Rare and Bright” features rarely heard solo songs and carols from composers such as Benjamin Britten, Ralph Vaughn Williams, and Joaquin Rodrigo. A highlight of the concert are performances of carols by jazz musician Alfred Burt. This music is still very much in season; after all, Twelfth Night (the last of the Twelve Days of Christmas) does not fall until Jan. 5!

Singers for these concerts are baritones Bernardo Bermudez and Anthony Moreno, sopranos Ariel Pisturino and Susan Mohini Kane, and the critically acclaimed tenor Gerald Seminatore. Pianist Kristof van Grysperre, Associate Conductor at the Long Beach Opera, presides over the program. This is an extraordinary lineup of vocal and musical talent!

New Year’s Day broadcast: Jan. 1, 2015, 7:30 pm EST (4:30 Pacific)

Re-broadcast: Jan. 3, 2015, 10:30 pm EST (7:30 Pacific)

(The program is approximately 90 minutes, with an intermission.)

The printed program may viewed or downloaded by clicking here: SV_Carols_program_abridged

To view a broadcast online, you need a reliable Internet connection. Click on the link below, and then create a Concert Window login. It’s a quick and easy thing to do. This is a “pay what you want” event; the minimum ticket price of $1 allows us to track the number of visitors and viewers. However, we suggest a donation of at least $10 so that we might recoup some of the expenses involved with producing this program. You can also leave a “Tip” at any time during the concert.

We hope that you will stop by this event, so that we can share some heartfelt singing with you!

Charles Ives “The Things our Fathers Loved,” performed by Gerald Seminatore

SV_Taso_Gerald_animated_singing_color_webFor the final video installment from our recent AMERICAN PILGRIMAGE concert, here is Gerald Seminatore performing “The Things our Fathers Loved,” with Mark Salters at the piano.

(Photo courtesy of Taso Papadakis)

Charles Ives (1874-1954) was one of twentieth century America’s most original composers. In more than 100 songs, Ives wove together original melodies, fragments of popular songs and hymns, and harmonies of sweet simplicity or crashing dissonance. There is a pronounced nostalgia in many songs, and often a humorous or ironic note.

“The Things our Fathers Loved” is a small masterpiece, with echoes of popular tunes such as “Dixie,” “Nettleton (Come thou, fount of every blessing),” and “In the Sweet By and By.” The song is a musical memory of a July 4 weekend in New England.

I think there must be a place in the soul
All made of tunes from long ago.

I hear the organ on the Main Street corner;
Aunt Sarah humming gospels, summer evenings;

The village cornet band playing in the square,
The town’s red, white and blue.

Now, hear the songs!
I know not what are the words,

But they sing in my soul
Of the things our fathers loved.

Click here to view Gerald’s performance of “The Things our Fathers Loved.” (The original key has been transposed for high voice.)


Arnold Geis performs Richard Hundley’s “Lions”

SV_Taso_Arnold_portrait_webOn our recent AMERICAN PILGRIMAGE concert, tenor Arnold Geis offered several songs by composer Richard Hundley. “Lions” (1971) is an energetic setting of Jame’s Purdy’s poem “Lions have lain in grasses before.” Arnold’s performance captured the vitality of the song, while Mark Salters rhythmically prowled at the piano.

Click here for Arnold’s performance of “Lions.”

(Photo courtesy of Taso Papadakis)

Katie Martin performs Lori Laitman’s “If I…”

SV_Taso_Katie_portrait_2_color_webLori Laitman is recognized today as one of the America’s most successful and creative living composers. She has composed three operas, an oratorio, and other choral works. In more than 250 songs, she is revitalizing the fusion of poetry and music in song, and helping to continue the tradition of of American art song in the twenty-first century.

For our recent AMERICAN PILGRIMAGE concert, soprano Katie Elizabeth Martin offered Laitman’s tender Dickinson setting “If I…”

EMILY DICKINSON (American, 1830-86)

If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.

View Katie’s performance by clicking here.  Mark Salters is at the piano.

(Photo courtesy of Taso Papadakis)