Gravel Road into the Forest

FINDING HOME, FINDING SELF

For the first time in the 21st century, we are proud to present a recital of the music of Elizabeth Rudolph. This recital features some of Chicago's best classical musicians, such as Meghan Guse, Rachael Long, Samantha Attaguile, Katherine Dalin, Antoni Scarano, Theresa Lams, Alex Norris, Taylor Anapol, and Jordan Crice. With lyrics by William Shakespeare, August Strindberg, Yvonne Strumecki, and Julie Ann Ball, there's truly something for everyone in this intimate concert of contemporary classical music.

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Finding Home, Finding Self: A recital of new music by Elizabeth Rudolph

"Ms Rudolph's lyrical style of composing is well-suited to the human voice, and her settings are evocative and accessible. Her communicative music draws you in, leading you through a journey to find meaning in our often difficult world. "

 

finding self

Me Gustaría Hablar*

  (2018) Yvonne Strumecki

 

Paletero Bells

Garden Apartments

Twin Terrors

Six Pops

 

Meghan Guse - Soprano

Alex Norris - Violin

Jordan Crice - Piano

Sickness*

  (2016)

 

Taylor Anapol - Cello

Jordan Crice - Piano

 

Sonata*

  (1997, arr 2009)

 

Alex Norris - Violin

Jordan Crice - Piano

Family Relations

  (1997) Julie Ann Ball

 

Orange Elevators

Suddenly Summer

 Mother’s Shoes

 

Samantha Attaguile - Mezzo

Jordan Crice - Piano

 

-PAUSE-

The Third Night

  (2012) August Strindberg

 

Thirsting Spirit

Sprawling City

 

Antoni Scarano - Baritone

Theresa Lams - Bass Clarinet

Jordan Crice - Piano

4Nov2002

  (2014) Julie Ann Ball

 

Rachael Long - Soprano

Jordan Crice - Piano

 

Perfect Fog* 

  (2014) Julie Ann Ball

 

Rachael Long - Soprano

Katherine Dalin - Contralto

Theresa Lams - Clarinet

Taylor Anapol - Cello

Richard’s Women

  Shakespeare(Richard III)

 

Lady Anne* (2018)

Queen Margaret (2017)

 

Rachael Long - Soprano

Katherine Dalin - Contralto

Jordan Crice - Piano

*=premiere performance

 

featuring

 
Green Forest
 

Program Notes

Me Gustaría Hablar

Poem by Yvonne Strumecki

I have been friends with Meghan Guse for many years and have luckily had the opportunity to sing with her dozens of times. Her voice’s clarity and her musicality have always impressed me and so I have long wanted to compose something for her. Our mutual friend Yvonne Strumecki’s poetry grabbed my attention the first time I read it. I thought it would be especially meaningful to create a piece of art which is a collaboration between the three of us. I have broken this four part poem into four short songs for a cycle. Each song is built around a different short musical motif, a form of composition that is very natural to me. This poem about finding a home in a new place really spoke to me, as my life hasn’t always taken me where I thought I wanted to go. Somehow, luckily, I found myself at home here in Chicago.

Sonata

By Elizabeth Rudolph

When I first began composing at age 14, I thought that every moment of every piece needed to be “new” to the listener. This style of composition is called “through composed” and can be very difficult for the audience to understand (not to mention how time and energy consuming it is for the composer!) As I matured as a composer (with some rather emphatic guidance from my early composition instructors) I began to understand how form and especially repetition in music allows the human ear to more fully appreciate what it is hearing. Think of Beethoven’s 5th. The first movement is in sonata form. How many times in a single performance do you hear that first motif? The sonata is a musical form which is an elaboration on the simple ABA form which has endured for centuries and has been used by most of the great European composers throughout history. This piece was written while I was studying composition and theory at St. Olaf College when I was 21. I felt it was time to add my voice to the chorus of composers who used the sonata form to express themselves. Originally written for classical guitar and viola (1997), I re-scored it in 2009 for piano and violin.

Sickness

By Elizabeth Rudolph

This piece was written in November 2016.

Family Relations

Poem by Julie Ann Ball

Julie Ball is my father’s sister and these three poems deal with the relationships between my father, his sisters, and their parents. The time comes in every child’s life when they find that they are no longer the child. The torch is passed. Adulthood looms. These poems and songs were written soon after the passing of my paternal grandmother, and while my paternal grandfather was transitioning into the later stages of life. The poetry is direct, unflinching in the face of major emotional upheaval, and I tried to allow the music to take a backseat in the first and third songs, providing a foundation but minimal commentary on the lyrics. The second song is acapella (without accompaniment) and not easy for the singer as it is relatively chromatic. I gave myself permission in this second song to do some text-painting, trying to convey with the music what my imagination perceived in the poetry.

The Third Night

August Strindberg (translation: Lotta Löfgren)

These pieces were commissioned by Brian von Reuden for VOX3 Collective and the Swedish American Museum. I, admittedly, do not speak Swedish, so I have not read Strindberg’s original poems. Lofgren’s translation is sparse, but full of innuendo. I chose a more minimalist compositional style for these settings in order to convey the eternal struggle of faith and doubt in the human heart (Thirsting Spirit) and the fluctuating but constant and inescapable racket of the city (Sprawling City). The musical seeds for both pieces are taken directly from Scandinavian traditional music.

4nov2002 and Perfect Fog

Poems by Julie Ann Ball

These two songs were not written as a set, as they have very different instrumentation. However, the poems do have similar thematic material so I am programming them together here. Julie Ball’s poetry is often inspired by nature and especially by the nature of the upper Midwest and the Great Lakes, as she grew up in northern Wisconsin and raised her children in Duluth, Minnesota. As an artist, I appreciate the idea of changing seasons as a metaphor for the cycles of history and of life. Both pieces feature a great deal of text-painting, trying to mirror the meaning of the words within the music. 4nov2002 is written in a more traditional ABA form and Perfect Fog, while not completely through-composed, is more flexible in its form.

Richard's Women

Adapted text from William Shakespeare

Some of my first forays into more dramatic vocal writing, these 2 songs are an incomplete set based on the female characters from the play Richard III. Of course we know Richard is a villain (or anti-hero), and the women of the play have many interesting responses to his villainy, but these characters are also all fallible humans and don’t always place the blame for their suffering where it belongs. I see this project in some ways as an exploration of the internalized misogyny that the women themselves express. (The patriarchy hurts everyone.) The first song I wrote I intended to be a stand alone song. It was Margaret’s Curse, which was written in 2016 (immediately before “Sickness”) and also served as an outlet for some of my frustration at that time. I plan to expand on this set to include songs and ensembles including the characters of Queen Elizabeth and the Duchess of York.