Friday, March 27, 2009

CONCORA in Recital: “Mendelssohn and Friends”

Each spring, CONCORA artists present a song recital with a theme that illuminates or complements the CONCORA season program. The annual recital, which is a benefit for CONCORA, draws a large and enthusiastic audience. The CONCORA singers donate their time and talent (we are paid for all other CONCORA engagements) and we have a good time together.

This year, in a continuation of CONCORA’s celebration of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Felix Mendelssohn, about a dozen CONCORA singers will offer “Mendelssohn and Friends,” a recital of songs, duets, arias, and more from the pen of the great German composer, who was born in 1809.

The program, which will be held this Sunday, March 29, 2009 at 4:00 p.m., at St. John's Episcopal Church in West Hartford, will also include music by several of Mendelssohn’s friends and contemporaries, such as Clara Schumann, Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel, Anton Rubenstein, and Hector Berlioz. We’ll also hear music of J.S. Bach and Franz Schubert, two composers whose music Mendelssohn was instrumental in promoting and performing.

I’ll be performing a duet with my friend Sarah Potter, whose clear voice I love and whose intelligent approach to collaborative singing is really refreshing. We will sing “O wie selig ist das Kind,” a duet for two sopranos from Mendelssohn’s setting of Racine’s Athalie (1845). Oh, it’s beautiful.

In January, I had a lot of fun reading through dozens of sources to identify “Friends of Felix,” composers (and a few other luminaries) who were associated with Felix Mendelssohn. The list includes 38 composers (9 of them close acquaintances) and 6 others of interest (Goethe, Lind, Victoria!) Mendelssohn traveled extensively and had a large acquaintance which included many prominent composers and performers in Italy, Germany, and England. I hope the list was helpful to the singers as they considered repertoire for this recital.

Singing at this recital are CONCORA artists Claudia Ayer, Imelda Franklin Bogue, Salli-Jo Borden, Julie Gregorio, Stacey Grimaldi, Sarah Hager Johnston, Christine Laird, Michael Linert, Heather Petrie, Sarah Potter, and Margaret Tyler. Natasha Ulyanovsky, a skilled and sensitive pianist and vocal coach, will accompany the singers at the piano. You can read more about Ms. Ulyanovsky HERE.

All are welcome to attend a free post-concert reception with the artists.

WHAT: CONCORA Recital, “Mendelssohn and Friends”
WHEN: Sunday, March 29, 2009 at 4:00 p.m.
WHERE: Hubbard Hall, St. John's Episcopal Church, 679 Farmington Avenue, West Hartford. Travel directions and a map may be seen HERE.
WHO: CONCORA artists, accompanied by pianist Natasha Ulyanovsky
TICKETS: $35 for Preferred Seating/$20 for General Admission/$10 Students
INFO: Call (860) 224-7500 or visit

1 comment:

  1. I've enjoyed reading your blogs! Even though I don't know much about music, your enthusiasm for and appreciation of the music itself, your fellow artists and director, and the composers shine through each sentence. I have learned a great deal and have been entertained along the way. Thanks for sharing your special talents.


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