What Boston Singers' Resource Recital Series
Program All Music, All Delight: A Tribute to John Duke
Performers sopranos Leslie Holmes and Teresa Blume, mezzo soprano Holly Zagaria, tenor Brendan Buckley, and pianist Beverly Soll
Date Sunday, June 24
Time 3 p.m.
Place 10 North Street, Danvers, MA The Home of John Archer
Admission price donation suggested
To benefit The Boston Singers' Resource* and the Boston Singers' Relief Fund**
The second concert in the Boston Singers' Resource Recital Series is a tribute to Massachusetts composer, John Duke (1899-1984). Many of his over 250 songs are staples of the American art song repertoire and have been sung and recorded by the finest singers of the 20th and early 21st century. Duke's elegant songs with their sensitive text settings and beautiful piano parts have earned for the composer the title "the Schubert of American song." When asked why, as a pianist, he wrote almost exclusively for the voice, Duke replied, "I think it is because of my belief that vocal utterance is the basis of music's mystery."
Among the poets represented are the well known English poet, A.E. Housman, whose "Loveliest of Trees" is perhaps Duke's most famous song, and Americans, e.e. cummings and Mark van Doren. Eighty-seven of Duke's songs are set to texts by women, including "the belle of Amherst" Emily Dickinson, Elinor Wylie, Charlotte Mew, Jessica Jackson, and the composer's all-time favorite, Sara Teasdale, from whose work he set a total of 26 poems.
The recital is organized into groups of songs about trees, birds, bees, and other things of nature including clouds and rain; contemplation and nostalgia; and poems for "Those We Have Loved." In a lighter vein are poems about a merry go round, mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful spring, and a fanciful look at "Penguin Geometry." Two spoken interludes with brief personal anecdotes will be provided by Leslie Holmes, who knew John Duke and coached his songs with the composer at the piano.
John Archer's home, with its elegant performance room and superbly restored Mason and Hamlin concert grand piano, is the perfect setting for this BSR recital. Guests will enjoy the salon-like intimacy of the music and the beauty of the gardens which may be glimpsed through 10 sets of French doors surrounding the space. A little afternoon tea will follow.
We hope you can join us for this performance which will allow you to reside just for a little while in a gentler and more elegant time.
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