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UMS Concert Program, Tuesday Apr. 18 To 22: University Musical Society: Winter 2006 - Tuesday Apr. 18 To 22 --

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University Musical Society
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Season: Winter 2006
Hill Auditorium

Winter 2006 Season
127th Annual Season
General Information
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Children of all ages are welcome at UMS Family and Youth Performances. Children under the age of three will not be admitted to regular, full-length UMS performances. All children should be able to sit quietly in their own seats throughout any UMS performance. Children unable to do so. along with the adult accompanying them, will be asked by an usher to leave the auditori?um. Please use discretion in choosing ;o bring a child.
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Event Program Book
Tuesday, April 18 through Saturday, April 22, 2006
Nrityagram Dance Ensemble 3
Tuesday, April 18, 11:00 am (One-Hour Family Performance) Wednesday, April 19, 8:00 pm Power Center
Chanticleer 11
Thursday, April 20, 8:00 pm
St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church
Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and 17
Anne-Marie McDermott Friday, April 21, 8:00 pm Hill Auditorium
Sweet Honey In The Rock 25
Saturday, April 22, 8:00 pm Hill Auditorium
Dear UMS Family,
Do you remember the last time you felt goosebumps at a UMS concert As I write this the morning after the Vienna Philharmonic's performance in Hill Auditorium, I only need to think back 12 hours, to the incred?ible performance of Richard Strauss's Death and Transfiguration. For an hour after the perform?ance, my rib cage was vibrating from the stag?gering sound that hit me full-force in my seat in
the balcony at Hill. Notwithstanding getting less than two hours of sleep the night before the concert because of a five-hour delay out of O'Hare, my body and mind felt utterly refreshed when it was over.
That experience is one of many I've had at UMS. I remember hearing Jessye Norman singing Strauss's Four Last Songs with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra during my time as a UMS work-study student in the late 1980s. Mariss Jansons conducting the Oslo Philharmon?ic in Shostakovich's Symphony No. 7 in 1991 was transforming, the Takacs Quartet and Andreas Haefliger performing the Dvorak Piano Quintet sublime. Last year's presentation of Robert Lepage's Far Side of the Moon is one that I still think about on an almost weekly basis, and I will never forget the excited buzz in the lobby after Martha Clarke's Vienna: Lusthaus (revisit?ed), as people commented that they had no idea what they had just seen but that they found it utterly astonishing.
Such is the power of the live performing arts. Each season, several performances stand out as nothing short of extraordinary...and as one of our board members notes, when the extraordi?nary becomes the ordinary, it's easy for us to lose perspective.
"UMS takes me to a place where imagination is thriving." UMS Audience Member As part of a national research project in which UMS is a lead partner, nine teams of UMS staff and board members interviewed 41 audience members over a two-day period in February about why they attend UMS performances. The values that you, our audience members, articulated were heart-warming, moving, and deeply inspiring.
"It makes me rich without being materially rich."
For some people, art is an antidote to commer?cialism, a way of simply appreciating the beauty that exists in this world. For others, it connects us to the community both locally and globally, opening our eyes to a world view. Several peo?ple noted their desire to create memories-memories for their children, memories with their spouses or close friends--that they can relive years into the future. And, perhaps not surpris?ing for a community like Ann Arbor, several peo?ple expressed a desire to be pushed to the edge of what they can feel and think, motivated by the idea of exploring something unfamiliar.
As you reflect upon the events that you've attended during the past seasons and look ahead to the next, we at UMS hope that you will take a moment to connect those live perform?ance experiences to the underlying values that drive you in all of your life's pursuits. You may use the arts to escape to a special place, or per?haps to escape from the daily grind. In eithei case, the power of the performing arts to trans?form remains one of life's great mysteries--and one of life's greatest gifts.
Sara Billmann
UMS Director of Marketing and Communications
Nrityagram Dance Ensemble
Artistic DirectorChoreographer Surupa Sen
Music Composer
Pandit Raghunath Panigrahi
Rhythm Composition
Shri Dhaneshwar Swain, Surupa Sen
Technical Director Lynne Fernandez
Manasi Tripathy, Rasmi Raj, Ayona Bhaduri, Pavithra Reddy,
Bijayini Satpathy, Surupa Sen
Surupa Sen, Manjira and Voice
Ranjan Kumar Beura, Violin
Parshuram Das, Flute
Sampada Marballi, Vocal
Budhanath Swain, Mardala and Voice
Tuesday Morning, April 18, 2006 at 11:00 (One-Hour Family Performance) Wednesday Evening, April 19, 2006 at 8:00 Power Center, Ann Arbor
Sacred Space
Wednesday's performance will contain one intermission.
50th and 51st Performances of the 127th Annual Season
15th Annual Dance Series
The photographing or sound recording of this concert or possession of any device for such photographing or sound recording is prohibited.
Funded in part by the National Dance Project of the New England Foundation for the Arts, with lead funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Additional funding provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and The Ford Foundation.
Funded in part by the James A. & Faith Knight Foundation. Educational programs funded in part by the Whitney Fund.
Funded in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.
Media partnership for these performances provided by Michigan RadioMichigan Television.
Nrityagram Dance Ensemble is a member of Pentacle (Danceworks, Inc.) a non-profit service organization for the performing arts. New York, NY. For more information, please see or contact Sophie Myrtil-McCourty at 212-287-8111 x313,
Media and General Consultation Services for Nrityagram provided by William Murray Better Attitude Inc.,
For more information on Nrityagram-The Dance Village, please see
Large print programs are available upon request.
Choreographer's Note
Temples make me think of traditions. Sacrosanct. Immovable. But traditions are not divided by impermeable membranes. They interflow into one another. It is often diffi?cult to isolate elements as belonging exclusively to one tradition.
The osmosis between cultures, religions, and races at various time intervals is a continuum. The story of Odissi dance began with the conse?cration of young maidens in the temples of Oris-sa and the relationship between the dancer and the "sacred space" in which she offered herself evolved over several centuries.
Like a home that reflects the individual that inhabits it, it bears upon us to enlighten our?selves further of this unique connection between the dance and the temple, that sur?vived many social and cultural transformations in the region, remaining inextricably linked.
We traveled through Orissa, searching. And our findings followed as close a pattern as we had imagined. Both the temples and the dance are but a medium for the "pilgrim soul" search?ing for its mate, in boundless spaces.
The religious, political and cultural changes in Orissa have directly impacted both the architec?ture of the temples and the dance, which it housed. But essentially, the metaphor of the body in Odissi and the building in the Orissan temples seek the same conclusion.
The repertoire of the dance and the con?struction of the temple lead one from the outside to the inside.
The temple encompasses "many" to "one" as it gradually builds into its sanctum sanc?torum, as we believe, does the dance.
In both there is a ritualistic offering of the self in a bid to attain an elevation of the spirit, to unite with the "Higher Source."
Both are born of the Hindu religious way of life and celebrate the attributes and various manifestations of several different belief sys?tems with a common unifying idea.
Bosomed within their forms lies the intimate connection between the design principles of the plastic and performing arts of Orissa.
Sacred Space grew from foundation to shikhara (pinnacle of a temple), gathering layers upon itself in physical and emotional spaces.
Odissi and temple architecture are traditions. But they have grown, transformed, absorbed, and integrated with their environment, without losing their essential seed: one of impossible beauty and powerful selflessness. These per?haps, are "little" traditions that became "great" ones.
-Surupa Sen
Sacred Space
In Indian thought, a network of "power lines" divides cosmic space, charging the universe with the energy of the godhead. Hindu temples were built to achieve a purpose: to bring the devotee into the world of God. On its most basic sym?bolic level, the temple is a network of power lines. When a devotee enters the temple, he is actually entering into, and participating in the power field created therein. In addition, rituals were planned with the object of engendering religious emotion in the mind of the devotee. Traditionally, most Indian Classical dance forms were temple rituals that have only recently become performance arts.
Odissi is a temple dance that became a per?formance art in the 20th century. If an energy grid can be created in temple architecture using a network of "power lines" to create sacred space, can Odissi be based on the same princi?ples Is it possible that the dance can be con?structed to reflect and create energy in much the same way as other temple rituals Can Odis?si dance become a journey to a higher source
The second half of Sacred Space is based on poems from the Geef Govind, interpreted through facial expressions (bhava) and gestures (mudra) or Abhinaya, which is the gestural Ian-
guage of Indian dance and theater. A very important part of temple worship in Orissa is the singing and performance of the Geet Govind. Written in Sanskrit in the 12th century by the saint poet Jayadeva, the Geet Govind is a romantic ballad about the immortal love of Radha and Krishna. It is a song of love and long?ing that reflects the Vaishnava belief, that all of humankind is a feminine energy (Radha) con?stantly seeking union with the one male god?head (Krishna).
From time immemorial, Radha, the symbol of the soul, and Krishna, high symbol of infinity yearn to become part of one another. In reality, Radha and Krishna are one indivisible whole. But for some mystical reason, perhaps to nurture the endless ceaseless play of creation, a sense of perpetual separation exists between Radha and Krishna...until a magical moment is realized. A moment, where both the individual and the infi?nite unite in consciousness, and disappear into the void...
The temple looks out at a turbulent sea. For cen?turies, its walls have danced a prayer to the ris?ing sun. Magnificent ruins like these are evidence that the ancient dance form known as Odissi was performed in Orissa as far back as the second century BC--a sacred ritual dedicated to the gods. This makes it one of the oldest dance traditions in the world. Sinuous forms, lan?guorous limbs, and rapt expressions frozen in stone tell tales of a past filled with dance, music, myth, and legend.
Odissi is characterized by sensuousness and lyricism. With movements that reflect the motifs of Orissa temple sculpture, it captures drum rhythms and melodies, as well as the poetic meaning of songs taken from the vast canon of Oriya music. It speaks of love and union, between human and divine, transporting view?ers to enchanted worlds.
Notes on the Program
Sankirtanam (A Prayer)
Wandering minstrels sing and dance in praise of
Lord Krishna:
The lotus-eyed lord
with the flute in his hands.
and peacock feather in his hair
The eternal lover,
the yogi.
the last refuge.
Protector of the universe,
He is the purest of all beings.
The only truth.....
Manasi Tripathy, Rasmi Raj, Ayona Bhaduri,
Pavithra Reddy, Bijayini Satpathy
A submission to the inherently lyrical form of Odissi, this dance explores the various dimen?sions of its abstract vocabulary.
Rasmi Raj, Ayona Bhaduri, Pavithra Reddy,
Bijayini Satpathy
Nirvritti harks back to the roots of Odissi, in Tantric and tribal cultures. Exploring patterns and forms found in yantra (geometric represen?tation of deities) like those of the 64 yoginis (local cult goddesses), it pays homage to the tribal and other indigenous cultural expressions that govern Odissi. The dancers attempt to inhabit the spirit bodies of these powerful female energies as they appear--and disap?pear--during their magic ritual. They seek entry into ethereal spaces, and union with the divine.
Manasi Tripathy, Rasmi Raj, Ayona Bhaduri,
Pavithra Reddy, Bijayini Satpathy
Dheera Sameerey
Annoyed with Krishna, who lingers with other women, Radha is in a state of jealousy and yearning. The Sakhi (friend) brings a message to Radha, that Krishna awaits her. She says:
In the dark of the night on the banks of the yamuna river... adorned with wildflowers and jewels, Krishna waits.
His flute calls out your name,
as he wanders through the forest caressing
the breeze for your touch.
He prepares a bed of love, and his eyes search anxiously at every stir of a leaf.
Do not linger any further, oh sensuous-hipped
cast away the traitorous bells from your ankles and drape yourself with the night. Hasten to your beloved, he awaits you.
Rasmi Raj, Ayona Bhaduri, Pavithra Reddy,
Bijayini Satpathy, Surupa Sen
Yaami He'
Impassioned too long, powerless to leave, Radha remains in a desolate state. Seeing her thus, her friend hastens to bring Krishna. But, Krishna does not come. Lonely Radha cries out her pain:
Yaami He'
To whom will I turn now
My loved ones have deceived me.....
I followed him
into the darkness of the forest
where he pierced my heart with
sweet arrows of passion
To whom will I turn now
My beloved has deceived me.
What is this fire
that burns within
Only death can set me free....
Barren is my beauty,
my efforts futile
To whom will I turn now
My bangles are manacles
my jewels a burden.
I am weighed down,
by the pain of separation
To whom will I turn now
My loved ones have deceived me.....
Dancer Surupa Sen
Priye Charusheele
When Krishna finally arrives the next morning, Radha sees signs of him being with another woman. She asks him to leave. Separated, they suffer. Finally, a repentant Krishna returns to her:
Priye Charusheele
Beloved mine,
abandon this baseless pride.
Let me kiss your lotus face,
oh beautiful one
and appease the fire in my heart.
Your slightest word,
like a moonbeam,
dispels the darkness of my heart.
Like the Chakora bird
waiting for the moon,
my longing eyes,
to your glowing face.
You are my adornment
my breath
the most precious gem
in the ocean of life
Nourish my heart, I beseech you
Place your tender lotus feet upon my head and quell this burning fire, Beloved mine
Bijayini Satpathy
Kisalaya Shayana
Soothing her thus, Krishna claims Radha:
There is but this moment. I belong to you. Make me yours!
Leave your footprints upon this bed
decorated with flowers
and fill me
with your loving words
of nectar
I bare myself to your sweet embrace.
Make me yours...
I yearn for you, oh Radha Awaken me with your kiss Rekindle my heart I am bereft without you.
There is but this moment. I belong to you. Make me yours!
Bijayini Satpathy, Surupa Sen
At Nrityagram dance village, Odissi is a way of life. Following an impossible dream, the founder, Protima Gauri--an exquisite Odissi dancer herself--converted 10 acres of farmland into an ideal setting for the study, practice, and teaching of classical dance. Reminiscent of ancient ashrams where gurus imparted not only technique but also a philosophy of being, it is a creative space where dancers, musicians, and choreographers live together, sharing their skills and developing their art. The dancers study yoga, meditation, and the martial arts, as well as Sanskrit, mythology, and litera?ture. As knowledge passes from guru to disciple, the continuity of the classical arts is ensured.
The outside world, too, is an integral part of Nrityagram. Choreographers, movement spe?cialists, sculptors, painters, writers, musicians, and theater people from all over the world fre?quently visit the village to perform and give workshops and seminars on their art. Nritya-gram's proudest achievement is its annual spring festival, Vasantahabba, an all-night performance
of music and dance, the roster of which includes some of the greatest names in India, attended by over 40 thousand enthusiastic spectators streaming in from surrounding villages and beyond.
The Nrityagram Dance Ensemble is regard?ed worldwide as one of the foremost dance companies of India. Since 1996, the year of their life-changing New York debut, they have toured the US annually. In New York they have per?formed at the Danny Kaye Playhouse, Sympho?ny Space, Central Park, and the Joyce Theater. In the 0304 season, their soloists were invited to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (at Dance Base--National Center for Dance).
Although steeped in and dedicated to ancient practice, Nrityagram dancers are also at the forefront of carrying Indian dance into the 21st century. Thanks to grants from the Nation?al Dance Project of The New England Founda?tion for the Arts, they not only develop new work, which explores creative ways to expand on tradition, but also are able to commission music from leading composers of Indian classical music, like Pandit Raghunath Panigrahi of Oris-sa, and the brothers Ganesh Kumaresh from south India.
Their first full-length production, Sri-ln Search of the Goddess, premiered in New Delhi in 2001 and toured the US extensively in 0203 to great critical acclaim. The next production, which premiered in Denver in 2005, consisted of a re-conception of a typical Odissi recital, which normally progresses from mangalacharan (an invocation), through pallavi (pure dance) and traditional abhinaya (interpretive verses), to moksh (dance of liberation). Included in the 2005 US tour was a week-long run at the Joyce Theater in New York.
Sacred Space premiered in India in December 2005, and was awarded the best production of the season by the prestigious Music Academy Chennai.
These performances mark Nrityagram Dance Ensemble's UMS debut.
Surupa Sen (Artistic Director, Choreographer, Dancer) was the first student at Nrityagram, where she began her Odissi training with the late body language genius and major architect of Odissi, Guru Kelucharan Mahapatra. She also studied with Protima Gauri, founder of Nritya?gram, and took workshops in abhinaya (narra?tive dance or mime) with Smt. Kalanidhi Narayanan. As a child, she studied the temple dance form of South India, Bharatanatyam, to which she attributes her preoccupation with form and line. Attracted to choreography from her first exposure to western dancemakers, she participated in the International Choreographer's Residency at the American Dance Festival in 2000. Over the years she has worked on movement with Theater der Klaenge, Rob McWilliams, Maggie Sietsma, and Wolfgang Hoffman, as well as Ramli Ibrahim, Ranjabati Sircar, and Mahesh Mahbubani.
Ms. Sen has performed in solo recital and ensemble all over India, the US, Canada, Europe, the UK and the Middle East. Her evening length work, Sri-ln Search of the Goddess (2000), con?sisted of both a non-traditional suite (Night, Fire, Dialogue with Death) and a re-working of tradi?tional dance (Srimati, Srimayi, Sridevi).
Tonight's program includes new repertoire using an expanded traditional Odissi vocabulary. For Sacred Space, Surupa received the award for "Best Choreography" and "Best Dancer of the Season" from Music Academy Chennai.
Bijayini Satpathy (Director of Odissi Gurukul, Dancer) joined the Orissa Dance Academy in Bhubaneshwar, Orissa, at the age of seven, where she trained under Guru Gangadhar Prad-han and Guru Kanduri Charan Behara for 13 years. An insatiable thirst for knowledge led her to Nrityagram in 1993 where she flourished under the guidance of Protima Gauri and through her collaboration with Surupa Sen. In Nrityagram, she gained from the intense con?centration on dance, as well as from interaction with other practitioners of performing arts, to which she attributes her own artistic growth. Ms. Satpathy has performed alone and with the
ensemble all over the world and has received national and international recognition, including the 2003 Mahari Award given to the best Odis-si dancer of the year. As Director of the Odissi Gurukul, she is creating new techniques for Odissi dance training, and works on extending the vocabulary of the traditional form.
Pandit Raghunath Panigrahi (Composer) is one of the foremost singers of Orissa. With his wife, the legendary dancer Sanjukta Panigrahi, and her guru, the late Kelucharan Mahapatra, he has developed compositions that are the mainstay of Odissi dance. Surupa Sen says that "his understanding of Sanskrit and Oriya music is so profound, that the very way in which he puts words to melody leads me to the move?ments I choreograph."
Pavithra Reddy (Dancer) came as part of the outreach program in 1990, from a village near Nrityagram. She learned Odissi under the tute?lage of Surupa Sen and Bijayini Satpathy and been a part of the ensemble since 1993. She had her solo debut in 2003 and now teaches dance in the village and city outreach program.
Ayona Bhaduri (Dancer) came all the way from Bengal to learn Odissi at Nrityagram. She has been a student of Surupa Sen and Bijayini Sat?pathy since 1998. She has performed with the ensemble since 2001.
Rasmi Raj (Dancer) studied at Orissa Dance Academy in Bhubaneshwar for five years before she came to Nrityagram for advanced training. She now studies with Surupa Sen and Bijayini Satpathy.
Manasi Tripathy (Dancer) is from Bhubanesh?war, where she trained for 10 years under Guru Kelucharan Mahapatra before coming to Nrityagram. Now she trains under Surupa Sen and Bijayini Satpathy and this is her first tour with the ensemble to the US.
Lynne Fernandez (Lighting Designer, Director) has been with Nrityagram since 1993. Among the first practicing light professionals in India, she has worked as an actress and light designer with leading directors like Barry John, Joy Michael, Ranjit Kapoor, and Lillete Dubey. Her work in theater has also been featured interna?tionally--at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, West-end in London, and New York (in the acclaimed US premiere of Mahesh Dattani's "Dance Like a Man").
Of her work with the ensemble, Surupa Sen says "she understands dance intuitively and is able to create the visual space that enhances our work. Her contribution is the luminosity, the look that has become characteristic of the ensemble."
As Director of Nrityagram, Ms. Fernandez is responsible for administration, fund raising, and project development. Her recent projects include building a dance facility with a studio, auditori?um, exhibition space, and physiotherapy unit. She has also overseen the emergence of the ensemble onto the international arena.
ums University Musical Society
Joseph Jennings, Music Director
Soprano and Alto
Eric S. Brenner, Dan Cromeenes, Dylan Hostetter, Justin Montigne,
Benjamin Rauch, William Sauerland
Ben Johns, Thomas McCargar, Matthew D. Oltman
Baritone and Bass
Eric Alatorre, John Bischoff, Mark Sullivan
Philippe de Monte
Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina
Michael East John Wilbye Thomas Vautor Claudio Monteverdi Clement Janequin
Chen Yi
Thursday Evening, April 20, 2006 at 8:00
St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, Ann Arbor
Domini est terra a 6
Surge, propera
Descendi in hortum meum
Jubilate Deo omnis terra a 12
To be selected from the following:
Hence, Stars, Too Dim of Light Sweet Honey-Sucking Bees Sweet Suffolk Owl Quel augellin che canta Le Chant des oyseaux
To be selected from the following:
from Tang Poems
Written on a Rainy Night Wild Grass
Spring Dreams
Camille Saint-Saens
Paul Hindemith
Gustav Mahler, arr. Clytus Gottwald
Eric Whitacre Sarah Hopkins
To be selected from the following:
Deux choeurs, Op. 68
Calme des nuits
Les Fleurs et les arbres
Zwei Manner-chore Uber das Fruhjahr Eine lichte Mitternacht
Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen
A Boy and a Girl
Past Life Melodies
A Selection of Traditional English, Irish, Scottish, Spanish,
Japanese, and American Folk Songs
Popular songs and spirituals to be announced
52nd Performance of the 127th Annual Season
A Cappella Series
The photographing or sound recording of this concert or possession of any device for such photographing or sound recording is prohibited.
Media partnership for this performance provided by Observer & Eccentric Newspapers.
Chanticleer is a non-profit organization, governed by a volunteer Board of Trustees, administered by a professional staff with a full-time professional ensemble, and is a recipient of funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Grants for the ArtsSan Francisco Hotel Tax Fund.
Chanticleer appears by arrangement with ICM Artists, New York, NY.
Chanticleer recordings are available on the Warner Classics and Chanticleer Records labels.
Musical Resources is the printed-music source for Chanticleer.
Large print programs are available upon request.
Domini est terra a 6
Philippe de Monte
Born 1521 in Mechelen, Flanders
Died July 4, 1603 in Prague
The city of Prague has a distinguished history as a musical center. Its golden age was in the late-16th and early17th centuries when it was the capital of the vast Hapsburg realm and the seat of government of the Holy Roman Empire. Emperor Rudolf II moved his court there in 1576 and the city remained the center of authority until the outbreak of the Thirty Years War in 1618. Although enjoying mixed success on the political side, Rudolf was a generous patron of the arts and sciences.
The musical chapel of the court was headed by Philippe de Monte, who continued as kapellmeister until his death in 1603. He was born in Mechelen in 1521 and made his way to Naples, Rome, and Antwerp. One of the century's most prolific composers, he excelled in all gen?res, particularly in fiveand six-voice motets.
Surge, propera
Descendi in hortum meum
Jubilate Deo omnis terra a 12
Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina
Born 1525 in Palestrina, Italy, near Rome
Died February 2, 1594 in Rome
Like Bach, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina has come to represent the quality of perfection in the polyphonic music of his time. As such, he was the first composer to be stylistically emulated by suc?ceeding generations up to our own time. Palest?rina composed the Motettorum Liber Quartus Ex Canticis Canticorum (Fourth Book of Motets from the Song of Songs) in 1584, offering a copy to the Duke of Mantua on August 1 of that year. These texts from the Old Testament are attributed to King Solomon and concern themselves with sexual love and courtship. The Christian interpre?tations are therefore allegorical in character. Though most of Palestrina's music is reserved in nature owing to the strict modifications in liturgi-
cal music brought about by the Counter-Refor?mation as set down during the Council of Trent, these first two pieces are, in the words of the composer, genere alacriore (of a more animated spirit). These settings show a personal and deeply emotional quality among Palestrina's work and were received with great success.
Jubilate Deo is one of only a few 12-part motets in Palestrina's catalogue of works. The celebratory nature of the text is well-represent?ed by the fanfare-like writing and the dense, rich texture. Unlike most pieces written for multiple choirs (this is for three four-voice choirs), Palest-rina consistently employs all twelve parts simul?taneously, rather than alternating the choruses.
Madrigals were the popular songs of the Renais?sance. They were sung by amateurs and profes?sionals alike in a variety of settings. The texts often dealt with everyday matters, including food and drink, the pursuit of love, and death. The madrigal developed in Italy and quickly spread north through Europe to England. In France, madrigals were known as chansons. Some French composers developed a programmatic style, using nonsense syllables to imitate everyday sounds. The first English madrigals were nothing more than "borrowed" Italian madrigals with newly-written English texts. Eventually, English composers developed their own descriptive style for writing these short, entertaining pieces.
from Tang Poems
Written on a Rainy Night
Wild Grass Spring Dreams
Chen Yi
Born April 4, 1953, in Guangzhou, China
The composer writes: "Beginning in soft unison with alto and tenor, the pan-tonal melody of 'Written on a Rainy Night' takes its folk-song elements from southwestern China. When the theme moves to the soprano voice, the continuing motive in the dense bass part frames the entire
piece, bringing it into an endless mood of nos?talgia. 'Wild Grass' features a constant motif formed by two parts with irregular downbeats and vivid padding syllables. It suggests the poet's sorrow at being apart from a friend, liken?ing it to the grass growing and extending. The melodic material is mixed from the folk story?telling song styles in southeastern China."
Spring Dreams was commissioned by the Ithaca College School of Music, where it pre?miered in 1997. In the beginning of the piece, several groups of ostinati are brought in gradu?ally in various tempi, imitating the vivid pulse of birds singing. There is a turning point in the mid?dle, when a bird's song awakens the poet and he realizes that many flowers must have been ruined by a night of wind and showers. He sym?pathizes with the fallen petals as he treasures the beautiful springtime.
Deux choeurs Op. 68
Calme des nuits
Les Fleurs et les arbres Camille Saint-Saens Born October 9, 1835 in Paris Died December 16, 1921 in Algiers
The prolific Saint-Saens left works in virtually every major compositional form. Many remem?ber him ironically for Carnival of the Animals, a private joke dashed off during a vacation, which he did not want performed. In fact Saint-Saens was an assiduous worker and a rigorous thinker: he avidly followed and wrote about develop?ments in other disciplines, such as science and aesthetic thought.
These Deux choeurs reflect a Parnassian ethic of "art for art's sake" to which this neo-classicist composer subscribed. This view ran counter to the prevailing Romantic movement and, more markedly, to the Impressionism that flourished at the end of the century. But Saint-Saens was not removed from passion, especially the kind of passion achieved through love for nature. "Calme des nuits" and "Les Fleurs et les arbres" (written years apart but published together in
1883 as opus 68) are good examples of that restrained passion, showing his economy and focus. The two pieces are on texts written by Saint-Saens and are dedicated to his fellow com?poser, Charles Gounod.
Zwei Mannerchore
Uber das Fruhjahr
Eine lichte Mitternacht Paul Hindemith
Bom November 16, 1895 in Hanau, Germany Died December 28,1963 in Frankfurt am Main,
"Uber das Fruhjahr" is based on a sardonic and appallingly modern text by Bertolt Brecht: it casu?ally presents a dead world without spring, with?out birds, even without storms. The opening is in properly Brechtian declamation; the main body of the piece, however, offsets Brecht's satire and cru?elty with rich, melancholic music, full of imagina?tive touches. Hindemith has not written a setting of this poem, but a reaction to it; the music itself becomes the beauty that is being destroyed. At the end is desolation, as the lower voices aban?don the tenors to a single, forlorn image.
Composed on a translated poem by Walt Whitman, "Eine lichte Mitternacht" is idiomati?cally similar to its above contemporary; both employ numerous expressive devices, including a sensual array of seventh and fourth chords, "fanning out" melodies and hypnotic repeated notes. The extraordinary intensity peaks with unexpected chords on the words, "sleep, night, death and the stars."
Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen
Gustav Mahler
Born July 7, 1860 in Kalischt, Bohemia
Died May 18, 1911 in Vienna
Austrian composer and conductor Gustav Mahler was one of the last in a long line of great composers of the Austro-German tradition, reaching back as far as Heinrich Schutz. Mahler's
achievements include the revitalization of the symphonic form with song, creating new melodic, tonal, and formal methods to expand the resources of the orchestra. Although his out?put was relatively small, Mahler almost exclu?sively composed extended works, including nine symphonies and several orchestral song cycles. He was also one of the leading conductors of his day, highlighted by 10 years at the Vienna State Opera. Although not reflected in his composi?tion, as a conductor Mahler proved to be an exponent of the emerging Viennese school led by Arnold Schonberg.
This song from Mahler's ROckert-Lieder, com?posed between 1901 and 1902, displays his indebtedness to the orchestral writing of Debussy. It also points to a new direction in his song writ?ing, which culminated in Das Lied von der Erde, where the voice becomes essentially another instrumental line. As the title implies, the texts are all by Friedrich Ruckert (1788-1866), a favorite choice among 19th-century composers, including Schubert and Schumann. Originally for voice and piano, Ruckert-Lieder is usually performed in its orchestrated form. The darkly romantic "Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen" was arranged for chorus by Clytus Gottwald in 1983.
A Boy and a Girl
Eric Whitacre
Bom 1970 in Nevada
Eric Whitacre received his M.M. in composition from The Juilliard School of Music, where he studied composition with Pulitzer Prize-winner John Corigliano. A Boy and a Girl is a setting of a poem by Nobel laureate Octavio Paz.
Past Life Melodies
Sarah Hopkins
Born 1958 in Lower Huff, New Zealand
The melodic ideas of Past Life Melodies, like those in all of Sarah Hopkins's music, are simple in structure and reach deep into the soul. The
first melody was one which haunted the com?poser for many years--a melody which came to her at moments of deep emotion. The second melody reflects her considerable interest in the music of various world cultures, and in this par?ticular case her eight years in Darwin in the north of Australia, where she had much contact with Australian Aboriginal art and music. The third section of the work utilizes a concept called harmonic-overtone singing, which is as ancient a technique as singing itself. Here the separate harmonic voices weave and dart like "golden threads" above the earthy drone sus?tained by the main body of the choir. The rich?ness and subtlety of colors along with an inner rhythm of simple ideas and materials offers the listener a communication with the heart and soul of the music itself.
Program notes by Paul Attinello, Kip Cranna, Joseph Jennings, Stephen Leek, Andrew Morgan, Matthew D. Oltman, and Neal Rogers.
Hailed by the New Yorker magazine as "America's favorite choral ensemble," the Grammy Award-winning vocal ensemble Chanticleer performs over 80 con?certs in 16 states across the US this season, and also tours to Europe and Japan. The ensemble's 29th CD conceived by Music Director Joseph Jennings, Sound in Spirit, debuted in September 2005 and is a powerful exploration of transcen?dent chant and other primal vocal expression.
Chanticleer, based in San Francisco, has developed a remarkable reputation for its vivid interpretations of vocal literature, from Renais?sance to jazz, and from gospel to venturesome new music. With its seamless blend of 12 male voices, ranging from countertenor to bass, the ensemble has earned international renown as "an orchestra of voices."
Chanticleer's 26-concert Bay Area season includes EarthSongs, a program of music inspired by the beauty and power of nature, which they will also perform on tour. In addition, Chanticleer returns to its roots in early music with concerts of
a rarely-performed Renaissance marvel, Antoine Brumel's Earthquake Mass. This season's Euro?pean tour encompasses the ensemble's debut in Vienna's Musikverein and return appearances in Amsterdam, Paris, and the three Baltic capitals of Tallinn, Vilnius, and Riga, along with a premiere visit to mainland Spain.
Since 1994, Chanticleer has recorded exclu?sively for Warner Classics, making the group's recordings available worldwide. Colors of Love won the Grammy Award in 2000 for "Best Small Ensemble Performance (with or without Con?ductor)" and the Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award for "Best Classical Album." The world-premiere recording of Sir John Taven-er's Lamentations and Praises was released in January 2002 to high praise, and garnered two Grammy Awards.
In addition to extensive Bay Area educational
activities, the ensemble conducts masterclasses while on tour, and in 0506 will conduct Chanticleer Youth Choral Festivals in San Francisco, Fresno, Min?neapolis, and New Canaan, CT. Chanticleer's long?standing commitment to developing the choral repertoire has led the group to commission works from an ever-growing list of important composers.
Named for the "clear-singing" rooster in Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, Chanticleer was founded in 1978 by tenor Louis Botto, who sang with the group
until 1989 and served as Artistic Director until his death in 1997. Music Director Joseph Jennings joined the ensemble as a countertenor in 1983, and shortly thereafter assumed his current title. A prolific composer and arranger, Mr. Jennings has provided the group with some of its most popular repertoire, most notably spirituals, gospel music, and jazz standards.
Chanticleer Administrative Staff
Christine Bullin, President and General Director
Russ Walton, Director of Administration and Development
Nancy Roberts, Director of Marketing and PR
Jess G. Perry, Business Manager
David Weingarden, Operations and Tour Manager
Joe Ledbetter, MarketingDevelopment Associate and
Information Systems Manager Matthew D. Oltman, Assistant Music Director John Bischoff, Tour Road ManagerStage Manager
For more information, please see
Chanticleer made their UMS debut in October 1989, and this appearance marks their fifth under UMS auspices. Chanticleer's most recent appearance with UMS was as a part of the Hill Re-Opening Gala concert, January 17, 2004, along with Midori, Measha Brueggergosman, and David Daniels.
Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg
Anne-Marie McDermott
Friday Evening, April 21, 2006 at 8:00 Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor
Violin Sonatas of Johannes Brahms
Sonata No. 1 in G Major, Op. 78
Vivace ma non troppo
Allegro molto moderato
Sonata No. 2 in A Major, Op. 100
Allegro amabile Andante tranquillo: Vivace Allegretto grazioso (quasi andante)
Sonata No. 3 in d minor. Op. 108
Un poco presto e con sentimento
Presto agitato
53rd Performance of the 127th Annual Season
127th Annual Choral Union Series
The photographing or sound recording of this concert or possession of any device for such photographing or sound recording is prohibited.
Support for this performance provided by the William R. Kinney Endowment Fund. Tonight's pre-concert Prelude Dinner was sponsored by TIAA-CREF.
Special thanks to Alan Aldworth and ProQuest Company for their support of the UMS Classical Kids Club.
Media partnership for this performance provided by WGTE 91.3 FM and Observer & Eccentric Newspapers.
The Steinway piano used in this evening's performance is made possible by William and Mary Palmer and by Hammell Music, Inc., Livonia, Michigan.
Special thanks to Tom Thompson of Tom Thompson Flowers, Ann Arbor, for his generous contribution of floral art for tonight's performance.
Ms. Salerno-Sonnenberg and Ms. McDermott are managed exclusively by ICM Artists, Ltd.
Ms. Salerno-Sonnenberg has recorded for Nonesuch and AngelEMI. Ms. McDermott has recorded for GMN and Arabesque.
Large print programs are available upon request.
The three violin sonatas of Johannes Brahms are cornerstones of the instru?ment's repertoire. In them, the concept of chamber music receives an entirely new mean?ing. While other composers of the 19th century sought to build bridges between music and other art forms (poetry, theater, visual arts) and to increase performing forces and work dura?tions, Brahms preferred an "internal" develop?ment to an "external" one: in his chamber music in particular, he showed how the classical forms, inherited from Beethoven and Schubert, could be invested with new content. A poignant and intensely personal melodic style and a peer?less mastery of musical structure make Brahms's sonatas unique. This is music where one feels that every single note matters.
Sonata No. 1 in G Major, Op. 78, "Regenlied"
Johannes Brahms
Born May 7, 1833 in Hamburg, Germany
Died April 3, 1897 in Vienna
The first of the three surviving violin sonatas by Brahms (we know that he destroyed the first three he had written), Op. 78 followed hot on the heels of the Violin Concerto (Op. 77). British musicologist Malcolm MacDonald has called it "a gentler appendix to that work." Like the con?certo, it was written for Brahms's old friend, the great violinist Joseph Joachim, and completed at Portschach, Brahms's favorite retreat on Lake Worth, during the summer of 1879.
For the last 127 years, this sonata has been widely admired for its melodic richness and its masterful use of a few minuscule building blocks to generate a high level of unity throughout the entire work. The rhythm of the first three notes of the violin part recurs audibly in all three movements, yet the same figure takes a multi?tude of different melodic, harmonic, and textur-al shapes, changing from one appearance to the next. After a serene and lyrical opening, the first movement grows more and more impassioned and becomes downright dramatic in the devel-
opment section. The slow movement, which begins with a heartfelt and introverted melody, includes a second theme reminiscent of a funer?al march. When he sent the sonata to Clara Schumann, Brahms noted that the slow move?ment was written to "tell you, perhaps more clearly than I otherwise could myself, how sin?cerely I think of you and Felix." (Felix Schumann, Robert and Clara Schumann's youngest child, had died of tuberculosis in January 1879 at the age of 24. He had been a budding poet; Brahms composed three Lieder based on his verse.)
In the third movement, Brahms quoted the melody he had used in two interrelated songs, "Regenlied" (Rain Song) and "Nachklang" (Echo) from 1873. The songs were written on poems by Klaus Groth, a poet from Brahms's native Hamburg. (The first lines of "Regenlied" read: "Pour down, rain, reawaken in me the dreams I dreamed in childhood.") This song was a particular favorite of at least two of Brahms's close friends. One of them was Clara Schumann, who wrote of her "rapture" at discovering "my passionately loved melody" in the sonata. (She added: "I say 'my,' because I do not believe that anyone feels the rapture and sadness of it as I do...") The other friend was the prominent Viennese surgeon Theodor Billroth, to whom Brahms dropped a subtle hint: "It's not worth playing through more than once, and you would have to have a nice, soft, rainy evening to give the proper mood." Billroth responded: "You ras?cal!...To me the whole sonata is like an echo of the song." In his sonata finale, Brahms expand?ed on the melody significantly, incorporating not only echoes of the song, but also a striking quote from the second-movement "Adagio."
Sonata No. 2 in A Major, Op. 100
If the first sonata was an "appendix" to the Vio?lin Concerto, the second, written in 1886, can be seen as a "prelude" to his Double Concerto. The opus numbers reveal a most remarkable sequence of works: Sonata for cello and piano
in F, Op. 99--Sonata for violin and piano in A, Op. 100--Trio for violin, cello and piano in c minor, Op. 101--Double Concerto for violin, cello and orchestra in a minor, Op. 102. It seems as though Brahms was systematically exploring the various combinations of the violin and the cello first with piano and then with orchestra.
To an earlier generation of musicians, the opening motif of the Sonata No. 2 was symbol-
ic of the fact that the gulf between Brahms and Wagner was not as deep as a still earlier gener?ation had believed. The resemblance between this theme and Walther's "Prize Song" from Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg is in fact too great to go unnoticed. Still, some modern commenta?tors prefer to point to another allusion, this time to one of Brahms's own songs, "Wie Melodien zieht es mir leise durch den Sinn" (It goes softly through my mind like music), in the second theme that follows soon after the first. What cannot be doubted are the song-like melodies that constantly evoke vocal memories (real or putative). A contrast in character is finally pro?vided by the third theme, a striking rhythmic idea. These themes presented in the exposition (plus a fourth one that grows organically from the opening) dominate the development section and the recapitulation.
The second movement is really two move?ments in one: it starts with a tender "Andante tranquillo," only to be disrupted early on by a "Vivace" that plays the role of a scherzo. The
Andante returns in a modified form, followed by an even more playful variant of the scherzo (the violin plays pizzicato and the piano matches that sound with its own short and light staccato notes). A brief recall of both the slow and the fast themes concludes this unusual movement. The finale returns to the singing lyricism of the opening. Remarkably understated for a finale, it is all dolce and espressivo, and even the
tempo is on the slow side ("Allegretto grazioso quasi Andante"). Some people have speculated that the warm intimacy of this music has some?thing to do with the warm feelings Brahms had for the young singer Hermine Spies at the time. This is of course pure conjecture, just like the Wagner connection in the first movement--but like that connection, it provides food for thought and an intriguing associative frame?work for the sonata.
Sonata No. 3 in d minor. Op. 108
The third violin sonata, written between 1886 and 1888, is the only one to contain four move?ments rather than three. It was published in 1889 with a dedication to Brahms's friend Hans von Bulow, the great pianist and conductor.
The first and last movements of this sonata are highly dramatic and impassioned, framing an "Adagio" of intense emotionality and a lively
In his chamber music in particular, Brahms showed how the classical forms, inherited from Beethoven and Schubert, could be invested with new content. A poignant and intensely personal melodic style and a peerless mastery of musical structure make his sonatas unique.
and sparkling Scherzo-type movement (Brahms did not call it a Scherzo).
Brahms had no sooner finished this sonata than he sent it off to his close friends, the pianist Heinrich von Herzogenberg and his pianist wife Elisabet. After playing through the sonata with violinist Amanda Rontgen (and, indeed, commit?ting the whole piece to memory in just a few days), Elisabet wrote three long letters to Brahms in which she described her reactions to the new work almost measure by measure. Instead of attempting a new commentary, it will be best to look at the sonata through the eyes of the first person to open the score, who hap?pened to be a musician of rare sensitivity and intelligence. Her comments can inspire us to hear this now-familiar masterpiece as if it were for the first time.
My dear Friend,
This 30th of October will long be green in my memory. I cannot tell you how I felt when the dear, fat roll of music was brought in this morning. We were still at breakfast, and my heart beat fast as I cautiously extracted the kernel from its shell. Heinrich wanted to tear the manuscript from me; but I held it tight, and ran straight up to Amanda's room, where--more or less mal coiffees [unkempt] but full of joyous expectancy-we sat down to play it at once.
We got into the spirit of it immediate?ly, feeling your spell upon us. Our eyes flew from bar to bar, our zeal and delight grew from page to page, our fingers tackled every difficulty with such success that I hardly knew myself. We grasped each successive beauty, feeling quite at home in spite of the startling sense of novelty which a first movement invariably produces.
At the opening of the development we quite caught our breath. How new it is, with that exquisite pedal-note absorb?ing everything! How our surprise and
delight grew and grew as the A showed so sign of giving way, but held its own through all the glorious tissue woven above it! How my left thumb reveled in the pressure it had to exert!...How happy, how happy this piece makes me!...
It is still too new to write quite fully, but I must dwell on one or two points: the delicious tranquillo of the coda [in the first movement], and the shorter pedal-note at the end, emphasizing the struc?ture of the sonata-form and welding the two pedal-notes, A and D, into a golden ring...How it vibrates with emotion, how it grows in intensity and the ritenuto, reaching its climax where the pedal-note ends and the violin becomes chromatic! When we reached that point we exchanged knowing looks, we three, and our looks would have told you much that you would like to hear...What delights me so in this sonata is its wonderful unity. The four movements are so unmistakably members of one family. One purpose dominates them, one color scheme embraces them all; yet their vitality finds expression in such various ways.
Program notes by Peter Laki.
Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg's 0506 orchestral appearances include the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, and Toronto Symphony Orchestra. She continues her highly successful collaboration with the duo guitarists the Assads, and performs Sergio Assad's Con?certo Originis, written for her and the two brothers, with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. With pianist Anne-Marie McDermott, she tours in recital, with appearances at Ithaca College, Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall, Philadelphia's Kimmel Center, Finney Chapel in Oberlin, Jesse Auditorium in Missouri, Hill Audito?rium in Michigan, and Lund Auditorium in Illinois. Considered a groundbreaker in the recording
field, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg continues to remain on the cutting edge with the creation of her own record label, NSS MUSIC (nssmusic. com). With over 20 recordings to her credit, Nadja has also recorded for the Nonesuch and AngelEMI Classics labels. In addition to stan?dard classical repertoire, she has received critical acclaim for several "crossover" discs: a self-titled recording of gypsy music from Eastern Europe with the duo guitarists the Assads (Nonesuch 2000) and It Ain't Necessarily So (AngelEMI 1995) which includes works by Gershwin, Kreisler, and Scott Joplin. An admirer of all musi?cal genres, she has made guest appearances on recordings by Mandy Patinkin, Joe Jackson, and Keith Jarrett, and has also collaborated with such artists as Judy Blazer, Roger Kellaway, Bob James, Regina Carter, Eileen Ivers, and Janis Siegel.
On camera, Ms. Salerno-Sonnenberg has been featured as the subject of a 2000 Acade?my Award-nominated documentary film, Speak?ing In Strings, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. She has also hosted PBS' Back?stageLive from Lincoln Center, along with mak?ing numerous other guest appearances on talk and news programs. In 1989, Crown Books published Nadja: On My Way, an autobiography written for children in which she shares her experiences as a young musician building a career. In 1999, Ms. Salerno-Sonnenberg was featured in a book on celebrities entitled The Virtuoso.
Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg's professional career began in 1981 when she won the Walter W. Naumburg International Violin Competition. In 1983 she was recognized with an Avery Fisher Career Grant, and in 1988 was Ovations Debut Recording Artist of the Year. In 1999 she was honored with the prestigious Avery Fisher Prize, awarded to instrumentalists who have demon?strated "outstanding achievement and excel?lence in music." In May of that same year, Ms. Salerno-Sonnenberg was awarded an honorary Masters of Musical Arts from the New Mexico State University, the first honorary degree the University has ever awarded. An American citi?zen, Ms. Salerno-Sonnenberg was born in Rome and emigrated to the United States at the age of eight to study at The Curtis Institute of Music. She later studied with Dorothy DeLay at The Juil-liard School. For more information, please visit:
During the 0506 season, Anne-Marie McDermott will appear with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and the Signature Symphony among other ensembles, and continue her association with violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg. As an artist member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, she will be the curator and featured performer of a three concert Centennial Shostakovich Celebra?tion. In recital, Ms. McDermott will be present?ing Bach's Goldberg Variations, in conjunction
Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg
with a planned recording of the work.
Ms. McDermott debuted with the New York Philharmonic in 1997 under Christian Thiele?mann and has since appeared with the orches?tras of Atlanta, Baltimore, Dallas, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, and Seattle. She has also toured the Unit?ed States with the Australian Chamber Orches?tra and Shostakovich's Concerto No. 1. Other notable engagements include the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the Brandenburg Ensemble at the
Kennedy Center, the Moscow Virtuosi with Vladimir Spivakov at Boston's Symphony Hall and New York's Avery Fisher Hall, and the New York Pops at Carnegie Hall. Recital engagements have included New York's 92nd Street Y, Town Hall and Alice Tully Hall, the Kennedy Center, and San Francisco's Herbst Theatre and the Schubert Club. She has participated in such fes?tivals as Mostly Mozart, Ravinia, Aspen, Bravo Vail Valley, Santa Fe, Spoleto, Chamber Music Northwest, Newport, the Dubrovnik Festival in the former Yugoslavia, and the Festival Casals in Puerto Rico. A passionate champion of the music of Prokofiev, Anne-Marie McDermott has performed the complete cycle of sonatas many times, most recently during the Lincoln Center Festival in July 2003.
A winner of the Young Concert Artists Audi?tions, Ms. McDermott was also the recipient of the Avery Fisher Career Development Award, the Andrew Wolf Memorial Chamber Music Award, the Joseph Kalichstein Piano Prize, the Paul A. Fish Memorial Prize, the Bruce Hungerford Memorial Prize, and the Mortimer Levitt Career Development Award for Women Artists.
Ms. McDermott began playing the piano at age five. By 12 she had performed the Mendelssohn Concerto in g minor with the National Orches?tral Association at Carnegie Hall. She studied at the Manhattan School of Music as a scholarship student with Dalmo Carra, Constance Keene, and John Browning, and participated in master classes with such highly respected artists as Leon Fleisher, Menahem Pressler, Misha Dichter, Abbey Simon, Rosalyn Tureck, Michael Tilson Thomas, and Mstislav Rostropovich.
Tonight's performance marks Ms. Salerno-Sonnenberg's third appearance under UMS auspices. She made her UMS debut in the 1988 May Festival playing the Mendelssohn Concerto in e minor for Violin and Orchestra with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra under Zdenek Macal. Anne-Marie McDermott appears for the second time in Ann Arbor, following her April 2000 UMS debut with the Australian Chamber Orchestra.
Anne-Marie McDermott
ums University Musical Society
University of Michigan
Credit Union
Sweet Honey In The Rock
Ysaye Maria Barnwell
Nitanju Bolade Casel
Aisha Kahlil
Carol Maillard
Louise Robinson
Shirley Childress Saxton
Saturday Evening, April 22, 2006 at 8:00 Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor
Tonight's program will be announced by the artists from the stage and will contain one intermission.
54th Performance of the 127th Annual Season
A Cappella Series
The photographing or sound recording of this concert or possession of any device for such photographing or sound recording is prohibited.
Tonight's performance is sponsored by University of Michigan Credit Union. Funded in part by the James A. & Faith Knight Foundation.
Media partnership for this performance provided by WEMU 89.1 FM, WDET
101.9 FM, Observer & Eccentric Newspapers, and Michigan ChronicleFront Page.
Sweet Honey In The Rock appears by arrangement with ICM Artists, New York, NY.
Large print programs are available upon request.
Artist Statement
Who could have imagined in 1973, that after 33 years Sweet Honey In The Rock would still be standing proud and strong as a voice for change. In the early days, whether performing at a political rally, a church, festival, concert hall, or college cam-
pus, we sang our beliefs, our passions, and our stories, grateful for each opportunity to do so. We understood that being socially conscious, politically involved, and fearlessly vocal women might not land us a lucrative recording contract or a chart-topping hit. What mattered were the messages in our music, which remain deeply rooted in African American vocal traditions.
Sweet Honey In The Rock
Nitanju Bolade Casel's rap history of Sweet Honey In The Rock, "TRIBUTE," lays it out:
Great Black music is what we sing -a cap-pella style with a political ring. Using work songs, spirituals, gospel and blues, the styles of African, jazz and love songs too; there is no limit to the sounds that we produce in a social commentary to express our views. Rock the rock in the rock, honey in the rock. Sweet Honey in the Rock.
As our founder Bernice Johnson Reagon retired from performing with the ensemble in January 2004, we moved into a new era as a sextet, welcoming founding member Louise Robinson, and Arnae, who had worked with us as a substitute since 1994. As always, we are delighted to be joined on stage by Shirley Chil-dress Saxton, American Sign Language inter?preter. Sweet Honey in the Rock's vision for the future continues to grow and expand.
With Grateful hearts we offer these songs as a healing light, a Balm in Gilead for Trying Times. May your hearts be touched and your resolve strengthened.
In Song and Spirit,
Sweet Honey In The Rock
Founded by Bernice Johnson Reagon in 1973 at the D.C. Black Repertory Theater Company, Sweet Honey In The Rock, internationally renowned a cappella ensemble, has been a vital and innovative presence in the music culture of Washington D.C. and in com?munities of conscience around the world. Now entering her fourth decade, the Grammy Award-winning ensemble moves forward, fol?lowing Bernice Johnson Reagon's retirement in February 2004. Sweet Honey is now a sextet, welcoming to the group two singers, Louise Robinson and Arnae, both of whom had been part of the Sweet Honey family in the past.
From Psalm 81:16 comes the promise to a people of being fed by honey out of the rock. Honey--an ancient substance, sweet and nur?turing. Rock--an elemental strength, enduring the winds of time. The metaphor of sweet honey in the rock captures completely these African American women whose repertoire is steeped in the sacred music of the Black church, the clarion calls of the civil rights movement, and songs of the struggle for justice everywhere. Rooted in a deeply held commitment to cre?ate music out of the rich textures of African American legacy and traditions, Sweet Honey In The Rock possesses a stunning vocal prowess that captures the complex sounds of blues, spir?ituals, traditional gospel hymns, rap, reggae,
"...I have always believed art is the conscience of the human soul and that artists have the responsi?bility not only to show life as it is but to show life as it should be...Sweet Honey In The Rock has withstood the onslaught. She has been unprovoked by the 30 pieces of silver. Her songs lead us to the well of truth that nourishes the will and courage to stand strong. She is the keeper of the flame." --Harry Belafonte
African chants, hip-hop, ancient lullabies, and jazz improvisation. Sweet Honey's collective voice, occasionally accompanied by hand per?cussion instruments, produces a sound filled with soulful harmonies and intricate rhythms.
In the best and in the hardest of times, Sweet Honey In The Rock has come in song to commu?nities across the US and around the world raising her voice in hope, love, justice, peace, and resist?ance. Sweet Honey invites her audiences to open their minds and hearts and think about who we are and what we do to one another and to our
fellow creatures on this planet.
In May 2004, Sweet Honey In The Rock was the recipient of the prestigious Ford Honors Award from the University Musical Society of the University of Michigan. Sweet Honey began her 32nd year with a new release, Sweef Honey In The Rock: Raise Your Voice!, the live soundtrack recording of the Stanley Nelson film which aired on PBS' American Masters during the summer of 2005. The film received voluminous praise from critics and audiences everywhere, and is now available on DVD.
Tonight is Sweet Honey In The Rock's seventh appearance under UMS auspices. Most recently, they performed at the ninth annual Ford Honors Program in May 2004, where they received UMS's Distinguished Artist Award. Sweet Honey not only has a performance history with UMS in Ann Arbor extending back to 1993, but also performed in Washington D.C. prior to and in support of U-M's oral argument on affirmative action at the Supreme Court.

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