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Performance  |  A Musical Feast Takes a Deep Breath

Friday, May 8, 2015, 8–10 pm

Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Auditorium  

A Musical Feast, the resident musical ensemble at the Burchfield Penney Art Center, dedicates the Friday May 8 concert to the memory of the poet Robert Creeley (1926 – 2005) a longtime resident of our city. A setting of electronic sound by composer David Felder of Creeley's poems So Quite Here in 2006, incorporates the voice of Robert Creeley reading his work.

Kaplan Harris who edited Robert's Collected Letters will introduce the concert.

Mezzo-soprano Julia Bentley, pianist Kuang-Hao Huang and Moshe Shulman, accordion will present the music of George Crumb, Artur Schnabel and Ruth Wiesenfeld. Dancer Melanie Aceto, who just received a rave review from the New York Times for a recent New York City performance, will join A Musical Feast in the Tickets: $20 general public / $10 Burchfield Penney members and students. Call 716-878-6011 for tickets.


The final concert in this season’s “A Musical Feast” series takes place in the group’s home, the acoustically superior and intimate Peter and Elizabeth Tower Auditorium of the Burchfield Penney Art Center on Friday May 8 at 8pm.

The concert is dedicated to, and inspired by, the memory of the poet Robert Creeley, a longtime resident of our city. Mezzo-soprano Julia Bentley, a Buffalo audience favorite, will be joined by pianist Kuang-Hao Huang in a highly innovative program, which will include a solo selection by modern dancer Melanie Aceto, who just received a rave review from the New York Times for a recent New York City performance.

The program includes a recording of Creeley reading one of his best know poems, as well as So Quiet Here , an electronically-enhanced work by UB composer David Felder that incorporates the voice of Creeley reading several of his other poems, including the subtly lyrical “Buffalo Evening”.

Breath is all-important, of course, both in spoken poetry and in song, and rather more unexpectedly to many people, also in dance, and the rest of this highly original program examines these intriguing connections.
The Burchfield Penny hosted several events in the wonderful, just-concluded citywide, week-long festival devoted to the composer Charles Ives, the unchallenged titan of 20th century American music, so it is somehow very appropriate that this concert includes an additional work by Ives, namely his Four French Songs, written while he was a student at Yale, that demonstrate his remarkable ability to compose in the traditional French chanson 19th century style.

The Berlin-based German composer Ruth Wiesenfeld has been concerned with exploring the quality of presence in performance, and she employs a compositional approach that originates from the question of what might lead a person to seek musical or sounding utterance, exploring these themes in her two brief works for solo voice, Air - like murmuring winds and Ruins. She is also represented by her work open – close, for accordion and voice, inspired by her reading of “Un Coup De Dés” by the French symbolist poet Stéphane Mallarmé.

Apparition, a 1979 work for soprano and amplified piano by the American composer George Crumb, consists of elegiac songs and vocalizes on texts by Walt Whitman. The songs are from “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d”, an extended elegy that Whitman wrote shortly after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln in 1865 as a testament to the slain leader.

Choreographer and performer Melanie Aceto, inspired by her collaborations with the extraordinary young Turkish vocalist and composer Esin Gündüz, composed Vent, an exploration of our vulnerable and expressive relationship with breath. Using consonant sounds, Melanie uses her breath as propulsion and restriction, creating a score that both accompanies and drives her movement.

The Austrian pianist and composer Artur Schnabel is perhaps best remembered in this country for the profundity, vitality and spirituality with which he imbued his interpretations of the master pieces of the greatest Austrian and German composers. Schnabel was also an active composer who very unexpectedly composed a sizable body of works that are almost exclusively atonal, perhaps reflecting his lifelong friendship with his fellow countryman Arnold Schonberg. Schnabel’s works are now very rarely ever performed, including his work on this program, Seven Early Songs, Op. 14 composed in 1899-1902 for medium voice and piano.

Tickets: $10 general public / $5 Burchfield Penney members and students. Call 716-878-6011 for tickets.

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    May 8

    Special Event  |  M&T Second Friday

    Friday, May 8, 2015, 5:30–8 pm

    From openings and happy hours, programs, concerts, screenings or other special events, visitors experience the best of the Burchfield Penney on M&T Second Friday!