Music from the Heart
On Tuesday, February 18th, Electric Earth Concerts presents “Music from the Heart”, a broad and breathtaking view of the classical music realm, heard up-close in a chamber music setting. Electric Earth’s Artistic Directors Laura Gilbert, flute, and Jonathan Bagg, viola, share the program with two frequent guests: guitarist Oren Fader and soprano Ilana Davidson. Music of Bach, Schubert, Villa-Lobos, Rorem, and Roussel, and David Garner, ranging from the 18th to the 21st centuries, will be played. Describing the concert, Bagg says, “What all the works on the program have in common, I think, is that they wear their heart on the sleeve”.
The concert starts with a solo — but not quite: Bach’s partita in A minor (originally for flute) becomes a conversation when shared between Gilbert’s flute and Bagg’s viola. “We each perform two movements, highlighting our individual takes on Bach, and also how the music’s essence is refracted differently by our different instrumental timbres and techniques” says Bagg. This is followed by Schubert’s soulful “Arpeggione” sonata, with the piano part recast to Oren Fader’s guitar. Bagg calls it “a gentler, more intimate version of the famous virtuoso piece.”
Soprano Ilana Davidsion sings three works. Albert Roussel’s Deux Poemes du Ronsard (1926) is a duo with flute, set to love poems by the French poet Pierre de Ronsard. Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-lobos’ “Bachianas Brasilieras No. 5”, with guitarist Fader, contains among the 20th century’s best-known vocal melodies. “It tends to leave few dry eyes in the house,” according to Gilbert.
A new setting of an old Appalachian ballad by David Kirkland Garner, a young composer with an interest in fiddle, banjo, and folk styles, employs a close transcription of “Awake, Awake’ as sung by North Carolina ballad singer Dillard Chandler. Garner says: “I was struck by both Chandler’s performance and the specific lyrics that his version utilizes.”
Finally, Gilbert and Fader will present “Romeo and Juliet” a major work by American composer Ned Rorem for flute and guitar. “I can’t wait to play it in that room” says Gilbert. The clear acoustic of the Jaffrey church allows us to play with real pianissimi, and other subtle effects, but when there is drama and passion, the audience can feel it in their bones.”
The concert is at the First Church in Jaffrey Center, and begins at 7:00 p.m.
Admission to all Electric Earth concerts is free to middle school and high school students.