Tue Aug 6 12:00

Love, Loss, and Exile: Elizabeth Polese, Beth Silver & Jenna Richards

We don’t often think of poetry as rebellion, but the women of Afghanistan have built a tradition out of artistic defiance by speaking in rhyme words forbidden in prose. In the Pashtun culture from the mountainous regions near Pakistan, girls and women share, compose, and speak landays – an oral tradition of short poems by and for women, passed down for generations from woman to woman and tribe to tribe. The anonymous nature of these poems allows them to speak the unspeakable; they give voice to sensual love and desire, of yearning to make choices, and of girls wanting to be more than an adjunct to their fathers, brothers and husbands.

Long-time collaborators Beth Silver and Jenna Richards join forces with alma mater colleague and soprano to watch Elizabeth Polese in the rare chamber combination of cello, piano, and voice for this special noon hour concert. While set for classical soprano with western instruments, the music pays homage to the origins of the poetry by calling for each musician to use a variety of timbres, modes, and ornamentation that come from this style. The texts chosen for the Love, Loss, and Exile song cycle represent only the tiniest smattering of a powerful tradition, highlighting recurrent themes of love and desire, grief, exile, war, and yearning.


Gabriel Fauré (1845 – 1924)
Après un rêve, Op. 7, No. 1

Franz Schubert (1797 – 1828)
Auf dem Strom, D.943

Juhi Bansal (b. 1984)
Love, Loss, and Exile
The Stoning Ground

Richard Strauss (1864 – 1949)
Morgen!, Op. 27, No. 4

R. Strauss
Zueignung, Op. 10, No.1

Leonard Bernstein (1918 – 1990)
Dream With Me

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