I am in Need of Music
7:30 pm May 4th, 2019 at Shaughnessy Heights United Church
My days are spent either making music or planning for it to be made, and sometimes I forget because I am so close to it what a privilege it is to be surrounded by the beauty of voices, notes, and words on a daily basis. Our May 2019 program celebrated the ineffable mystery of music both with brand new pieces and also arrangements of songs that we hoped would connect our listeners to past experiences.
It was a treat to welcome our special guest, Canadian soprano Suzie LeBlanc , CM. This was our first-ever collaboration with her, although she and I have known each other for a long time. The concert wove together many of her passions – baroque music, Acadian music, and the poetry of Elizabeth Bishop. It was a rare insight into a consummate performer who was recently made a member of the Order of Canada for “contributing to the development of early-period music and Acadian culture as a singer and teacher”. Fiddler David Greenberg, who also performed in the concert, is a central figure in Suzie’s two Acadian CDs.
My greeting said, “Tonight you will hear music that I expect will be new to you and that which may evoke memories connecting you to earlier times, friends and family, and past performances. I hope you will find many moments that make you feel alive—I believe that’s music’s purpose.”
The choral repertoire you see listed here included world premiere compositions by Nicholas Ryan Kelly and Stephen Smith, and world premiere arrangements by Laura Hawley and Marie-Claire Saindon. Suzie and pianist Stephen Smith performed Purcell’s If Music Be the Food of Love in the first half. They opened the Elizabeth Bishop set with Kristos Hatzis’ solo songs I am in Need of Music and Insomnia, then gave the world premiere of an exuberant work by Smith for soprano and piano, Invitation to Miss Marianne Moore. In the Acadian set, Suzie, David, and Stephen performed a medley of Laridé / Jour de Mariage / reels. The choir accompaniments in the Acadian set were the premieres by Marie-Claire Saindon. All the music from the Acadian set (without choir) can be heard on Suzie’s two Acadian CDs: “Tout passe – chants d’Acadie” and “La mer jolie”.
- Muusika Pärt Uusberg
- I Thank You God Gwyneth Walker
- Harp of Wild Allan Bevan
- Music for a While Henry Purcell Gunnar Eriksson (arr)
- Scarborough Fair Traditional English Stephen Smith (arr)
- Chelsea Morning Joni Mitchell laura hawley (arr)
- Voices of the Universe Nicholas Ryan Kelly
- I am in Need of Music Stephen Smith
- En montant la rivière Marie-Claire Saindon (arr)
- La belle se promène Meghan Quinlan (arr)
- Avec un avocat Marie-Claire Saindon (arr)
- Tout d’travers Traditional French Canadian Marie-Claire Saindon (arr)