Words and the Night

leaves.jpg Dear reader, Words and the Night is going to be absolutely amazing. Mozart opens the evening with the perfect aperitif: Divertimento #3. Beautiful operatic melodies, perfect structure and balance, and a great sense of humor provide the ideal backdrop for an elegant evening soiree. Suddenly, the mood shifts...a cloud passes in front of the moon with two songs from 16th-century master John Dowland lamenting loneliness and elusive love. These are the same songs that inspired Benjamin Britten in the early 20th century to compose Lachrymae, a haunting, gorgeous conversation with Dowland, featuring the incomparable Roger Tapping on viola. The cloud passes, though, and the party resumes with two motets from the 16th-century Italian Palestrina, who (although separated by centuries) speaks the same language as Mozart.

The second half of the concert leaves the festive gathering and explores the night in isolation. Gesualdo, the 16th-century nobleman, musician and murderer, wrote some of the most tortured, chromatic and wildly emotional music one could imagine--truly the nighttime of the soul. The concert concludes with a kindred spirit, Arnold Schoenberg, exploring from his vantage point 300 years in the future the same issues of guilt, betrayal and loneliness, but also transformation and redemption. Verklarte Nacht (Transfigured Night) tells the story of two lovers wandering in the moonlight. She makes a shocking confession, and he grants a transcending forgiveness, in one of the most beautiful works ever written for string orchestra. Don't miss these concerts - they are going to be our best yet!