11 November, 2019, 7:30PM, Old Dominion University
As the 51st season of the Norfolk Chamber Consort continues, Andrey Kasparov and Oksana Lutsyshyn, Artistic Co-Directors of the Consort since 2009, spoke recently with Rebecca Evans of WHRO Public Media to discuss their inspiration for a unique concert program they are calling “Traversing the Americas.”
“We tried to maintain the same idea of introducing some pieces which are not well-known in the area or in the world. It’s our main focus — to emphasize pieces which are unique, and these pieces deserve to be in front of the audience.”
Appearing at Old Dominion University’s Chandler Recital Hall, the Chamber Consort will present an assortment of Pan-American keyboard works resplendent with the colors and cultures of countries stretching from the northern climes of Canada to the southernmost islands of Tiera del Fuego.
“We start with ‘Cinco Canciones Populares Argentinas’ by Alberto Ginastera. These are actually very, very influential songs because [Ginastera] wrote them as a protest against Juan Perón’s policy of giving a small group of authorized officials the power over music in Argentina. They are strongly influenced by Argentine folk music and genres and tunes.”
Featured in the performance of Ginastera’s “Cinco Canciones Populares Argentinas” (1943) will be tenor Brian Nedvin and pianist Stephen Coxe. The program continues with “Canções típicas brasileiras” by the Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos, sung in Portuguese and various indigenous tongues by soprano Elizabeth Hogue. She will be accompanied at the piano by Dr. Andrey Kasparov:
“We are very fortunate to have Elizabeth Hogue as a soloist, because of her Portuguese heritage, so that does help with the language and also her research skills. For the life of me, I could not find the translations of those songs in those native indian tongues. And she found a dissertation that was recently written with a person who went to Brazil, traveled around the country, and found the translations…. We learn together. That, by the way, is another feature of the Consort. We’re always educating.”
Monica Rose Slater, soprano and prizewinner of the Lisa Relaford Coston Voice Competition (2018), continuing the Brazilian theme, will perform the aria “Diga em quantas” from the opera Domitilla by João Guilherme Ripper; as well as the song “Dengues da mulata desinteressada” by Marlos Nobre, with Kasparov at the keyboard. To conclude the first half of the program, Dr. Kasparov will lead the Old Dominion University New Music Ensemble in the “Folk Suite No. 4” by African-American composer William Grant Still.
Following a brief intermission, pianist Oksana Lutsyshyn will perform the “Suite Cubana” (1916) of Mexican composer Manuel Ponce.
“These concerts are very educational, not only for the audience but for me personally. I never played any compositions by Manuel Ponce, and this time I will play his ‘Suite Cubana’ which contains three movements: Serenata marina, Plenilunio, and Paz de ocaso. I can hear some Romanticism in this composition, and some [French] Impressionism in the last movement…. It’s very educational for me…. I’m learning a lot of music for the Norfolk Chamber Consort.”
To round out the evening, as Invencia Piano Duo, Lutsyshyn and Kasparov will perform selections for piano duo by American composer Louis Moreau Gottschalk. The program will close with the Virginia premiere of Paul Bowles’ “Little Suite” (1939). A piano work heretofore unknown to Invencia, they will be joined by soprano Elizabeth Hogue.
The program will begin at 7:30PM, with a pre-concert discussion by Dr. Kasparov from 7:15PM.
Tickets at the door $25.00, Students $10.00.
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Click here for the Norfolk Chamber Consort’s 2019-2020 performance schedule.
Click here for the complete 2019-2020 F. Ludwig Diehn Concert Series schedule of events.
© Norfolk Chamber Consort, Invencia Piano Duo, Old Dominion University, WHRO Public Media