Sweet Power of Song
Folk Songs from the British Isles in Arrangements by Haydn and Beethoven
Performed in Sprague Memorial Hall
Yale Voxtet, Led by James Taylor
Robert Mealy, classical violin
Katherine Rietman, classical violoncello
Ilya Poletaev, fortepiano
The Yale Voxtet will present an evening of Scottish, Irish and English folk songs for piano trio and voice. The program will include solo songs, duets, trios and quartets, commissioned by George Thomson of Edinburgh (1757-1851). Thomson’s primary goal in commissioning these works was to create a compendium of folksongs of the highest artistic quality. Therefore, he approached none other than the leading composers and poets of his day, including Haydn, Beethoven, Burns and Scott, in order that the genre might be properly preserved and enjoyed for generations to come. Although the folk song trios are perhaps the least familiar of Beethoven’s and Haydn’s prolific output, between the two of them they nevertheless produced some 350 such arrangements for Thomson. These multifaceted musical miniatures are by turn charming, sweet, elegant, funny and deeply moving. They offer the listener a unique perspective of Scottish and Irish culture viewed through the lens of the Viennese Classic.
The vocalists are all students in Yale’s graduate voice program in early music, oratorio, and chamber ensemble led by James Taylor, and include Abigail Haynes, Melanie Scafide Russell, Jay Carter, Sylvia Aiko Rider, Birger Radde, Steven Caldicott Wilson, Joshua Copeland, Jason Steigerwalt, and Douglas Williams.
The instrumental trio will consist of Robert Mealy, Katherine Rietman, and Ilya Poletaev, all playing on period instruments.
The free concert, presented by Yale Institute of Sacred Music, will be held on Sunday, April 22 at 8 pm in Sprague Memorial Hall of New Haven. No admission charge; no tickets are required. For more information, call 203-432-5062.