Though many of Benjamin Britten’s songs were inspired by tenor Peter Pears, the song cycle “On This Island” (op. 11) was dedicated to noted English soprano Sophie Wyss. This early work is comprised of five settings of poems from W.H. Auden’s collection “Look, Stranger.” Britten set several other poems by Auden as well, but “Nocturne” is arguably the most effective of welding of Britten’s music and Auden’s unique voice. Click here for a performance of “Nocturne” by ARIEL PISTURINO, from our recent “Britten in Song” concert. Krystof van Grysperre at the piano.
Now through night’s caressing grip
Earth and all her oceans slip,
Capes of China slide away
From her fingers into day
And th’Americas incline
Coasts towards her shadow line.
Now the ragged vagrants creep
Into crooked holes to sleep:
Just and unjust, worst and best,
Change their places as they rest:
Awkward lovers like in fields
Where disdainful beauty yields:
While the splendid and the proud
Naked stand before the crowd
And the losing gambler gains
And the beggar entertains:
May sleep’s healing power extend
Through these hours to our friend.
Unpursued by hostile force,
Traction engine, bull or horse
Or revolting succubus;
Calmly till the morning break
Let him lie, then gently wake.
Mark Abel (born 1948) is an American composer of classical music. His work – cast primarily as a flexible rethinking of the art song tradition — is marked by straightforward tonal language, striking vocal writing, and an avoidance of overtly modern compositional techniques. Mark has described his idiom as a post-modern synthesis of classical and rock styles. To learn more about Mark’s music, click here to go to his website.
The trio of our own ARIEL PISTURINO, soprano Janet Chamberlin, and pianist Victoria Kirsch are featured on the just released “Terrain of the Heart,” a new recording of Abel’s songs on the Delos label. It is available for streaming or download; click here to go to the Delos website.
Congratulations to all involved with this project!
“Britten in Song” is today! Nov. 10 at 5:00 at The Parish Church of St. Mark, Episcopal in Glendale, 1010 N. Brand Blvd. It will be a celebration of Benjamin Britten’s repertoire for the solo voice. Not only is the repertoire varied, but so are the voices! Sopranos Bianca Hall and Ariel Pisturino, tenor Arnold Geis, and baritone David Castillo are all uniquely compelling vocalists and performers. Add to this the talents of internationally acclaimed tenor Jonathan Mack and the pianistic finesse of Kristof van Grysperre, and the only possible result is an extraordinary recital.
This is a general admission event, and no tickets are
required. We don’t know what is in your hearts, or your budget, but we are counting on visitors to make some sort of donation to help us cover the costs of this event. We would gratefully accept cash or a check, as is convenient.
Parking is free in the church parking lot (behind the church on Dryden) and on adjacent streets. Refreshments or a light meal before or after the program are available at Recess, only a few steps away from the church on Brand Blvd.
There will be a brief pre-concert talk about Britten and his music at 5:00, and then it’s off to the races! We hope to see you.