c;:Jttinois ()1Jesleyan o/Aniversity presents
~ibby ~a'C8en Sponsors: School of Music Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Delta Omicron Sigma Alpha Iota
ILLINOIS WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY
February 9 & 10, 2000
ne of the most important and celebrated composers working today, Libby Larsen (b. 1950) has created an immense catalog of works that spans virtually
every genre and has established a permanent place in the concert repertory. Equally
adept at composing for instruments and voices, she has been called "a mistress of orchestration" (The Times Union) as well as "the only English-speaking composer since Benjamin Britten who matches great verse with fine music so intelligently and expressively (USA Today). "Dr. Larsen was awarded a 1994 Grammy award as producer of the CD The Art ofArleen Auger, an acclaimed recording which features Larsen's Sonnets flom the Portuguese. Her opera, Frankenstein, the Modern Prometheus, . was selected as one of the eight best classical music events of 1990 by USA Today. The recipient of over forty commissions, Larsen's current and upcoming projects include commissions from the Library of Congress, the Ravinia Festival, and the Turtle Island String Quartet. Other commissions have come from the Minnesota Orchestra, the St. Louis Symphony, the King's Singers, the Cleveland String Quartet, the American Guild of Organists and the universities of Wisconsin and Nebraska. She has received grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Opera Institute, and the Ford, Bush, Japan and Jerome foundations. Her works are published by Oxford University Press and E. C. Schirmer. Larsen's compositions are recorded on such labels as Angel/EM!' Koch Inter national (including recordings of her orchestral music by the London Symphony), Nonesuch and Decca. Upcoming CD's on Koch International include orchestral! vocal works performed by soprano Benita Valente with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra conducted by Joel Rezven, and Larsen's fifth symphony, Solo Symphony, recorded by the Colorado Symphony. Larsen's strong affinity for multi-media has led to wide recognition for her numerous operas (including two video operas), and she has composed the soundtracks to three films and two radio documentaries.
USA Today, regarding her use of electronics in Frankenstein, the Modern Prometheus, remarked that " her use of synthesized sound points to options that could help opera survive into the 21st century." Larsen is a vigorous, articulate advocate for the music and musicians of our time. In 1973 she co-founded the Minnesota (now American) Composers Forum, which has been an invaluable aid for composers in a difficult, transitional time for American arts. The first woman to serve as a resident composer with a major orchestra, Larsen has held residencies with the Minnesota Orchestra, the Charlotte Symphony and the Colorado Symphony. She is currently a member of the American Symphony Orchestra League's Board of Directors, the Minnesota Orchestra's Executive Board, Meet the Composer's National Board of Advisors, and the Board of Review of the American Society of Composer, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). Larsen is a past vice-president of the American Music Center, and has served on
panels for the National Endowment for the Arts and the Camargo Foundation. In great demand as a panelist and speaker, Larsen has given keynote addresses for conferences of the American Symphony Orchestra League, the American Choral Directors Association, the National Association of Schools ofMusic, the American Society of UniversityWomen and the American Orff-Schulwerk Association.
� note 6tom the eymposiuln �itectot
Wcolonies of Europe share: how to take the rich cultural traditions we e in the United States have had the same problem which all former
inherited from that continent and make them our own. In interviews, our guest Libby Larsen has described her compositional mission as refreshing the concert ("classical") music tradition with the American vernacular. This can involve incor porating the syncopations and driving rhythms of popular music or the distinctive harmonies of blues and jazz into concert music compositions; and as we will learn about in depth atWednesday's panel discussion, it can also lead to setting texts in ways which derive from the distinctive cadences of English as spoken in the United States. In its broadest and perhaps most important manifestation of the American vernacular, Libby Larsen's music speaks to us with the clarity and directness which Americans as a people have always valued. Her compositions don't put on fancy airs or apologize for themselves but say what needs to be said in a manner which is honest, straightforward and eloquent, like the poems of Dickinson and Frost or the oratory of Lincoln and King. The generosity of spirit which such a creative impulse suggests is also manifest in the civic-mindedness of Larsen's service to American musical life. As a creative artist and a musical citizen, Libby Larsen embodies what is most admirable in the American character. -DavidVayo
c9Joetry, �u.sic an() �eto()y Dr. Larsen Robert Bray,
R. Forest Colwell Professor of English J. Scott Ferguson,
Associate Professor ofMusic and Director of Choral Activities James McGowan,
Professor of English Carren Moham,
Assistant Professor ofMusic Dan Terkla,
Associate Professor of English DavidVayo,
Associate Professor of Composition and Theory,
oliowing the panel discussion, the audience is invited to a reception
in the Presser Hall reception room, sponsored by Delta Omicron.
Thursday, February 10, 7:30
�u.sic 06 �ibby �ar.sen Aubade (1982)
Pro( WilliamWest,jlute Comments by Dr. Larsen Cowboy Songs (I 994)
Bucking Bronco LiftMeI ntoHeaven Slowly Billy the Kid Prof. Hallie Coppedge, soprano Pro( David Vayo, piano
Songs of Youth and Pleasure (1986)
1. Song for a Dance 2. Pluck the Fruit and Taste the Pleasure 3. Kisses 4. Hey Nonny No!
Chamber Singers Prof. J. Scott Ferguson, conductor -pause-
from String Symphony (1998) III. Ferocious Rhythms IllinoisWesleyan Camerata Prof. VadimMazo, conductor By arrangement with Oxford University Press, Inc. 198Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016 Sonnets from the Portuguese (1989)
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
"I thought once how Theocritus had sung" "My letters!" "With the same heart,I said, I'll answer thee" "I fI leave all for thee" "Oh, yes!" "How doI love thee?"
Chris Karl,jlute Jimi Tarnowski, percussion Jessica Bicknell, oboe TinaMenken, harp Lianne Carr, KimWorkman, clarinet Sharon Chung, Corinn Brooks, violin JasonMondello, bassoon Andrew Ladendorf, viola Betsy Frick, LauraWsol, horn April Guthrie, cello Erwin Vreeman, contrabass Prof. CarrenMoham, soprano Sylvanus A. TylerIII, conductor By arrangement with Oxford University Press, Inc. 198Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016
ollowing the concert, the audience is cordially invited to a reception
in the Presser Hall reception room, courtesy ofPhi Mu Alpha and Sigma Alpha Iota.
My love is a rider, my true love is a rider, wild broncos he breaks,though he promised to quit for my sake. It's one foot in he stirrup and the saddle put on with a swing and a jump he is mounted and gone. The first time I met him it was early one spring, a-riding a bronco, a high headed thing. The next time I saw him 'twas late in the fall, a-swinging the girls at Tomlinson's ball. He gave me some presents, among them a ring, the return that I gave him was a far better thing; a young maiden's heart, I'd have you all know, that he won it by riding his bucking bronco. Now all young maidens, wheree'er you reside, beware of the cowboy who swings rawhide, he'll court you and pet you and leave you to go in the spring up the trail on his bucking bronco. -Belle Starr Lift Me Into Heaven Slowly
Lift me into heaven slowly, cause my back's sore and my mind's thoughtful and I'm not even sure I want to go. -Robert Creeley Billy the Kid
Billy was a bad man. Carried a big gun. He was always after good folks and he kept them on the run. He shot one ev'ry morning to make his morning meal; let a man sass him he was sure to feel his steel. He kept folks in hot water, stole from ev'ry stage, when he was full of liquor he was always in a rage. He kept things boilin' over, he stayed out in the brush, when he was full of dead eye, other folks'd better hush. Billy was a bad man, but one day he met a man a whole lot badder and now he's dead and we ain't none the sadder. -Anonymous
eonflS oďż˝ J/-outh ana 8lJteasut:e Texts from Renaissance Poetry
Shake off your heavy trance and leap into the dance! Fit only for Apollo to play to, for the moon to lead and the stars to follow. Pluck the Fruit and Taste the Pleasure
Pluck the fruit and taste the pleasure youthful lordlings of delight. While occasion gives you seizure, feed your fancies and your sight. After death when youth is gone, joy and pleasure there is none. Here on earth, nothing is stable, fortune's changes are well-known. While as youth doth then enable, let your seed of joy be sown. Kisses
My Love bound me with a kiss that I should no longer stay; When I felt so sweet a bliss, I had less power to part away. Alas! That women do not know kisses make men loathe to go. Yes, she knows it all too well, for I hear Venus' dove in her ear did softly tell that kisses were the seals of love. Oh, muse not though it be so, kisses make men loathe to go. Wherefore did she thus inflame my desires, heat my blood, instantly to quench the flame and starve whom she had given food? Aye, the common sense can show kisses make men loathe to go. Had she bid me go at first, it never would have grieved my heart. Hope delayed had been the worst but ah, to kiss and then to part! How deep it struck! Speak, gods, for you know kisses make men loathe to go. Hey Nonny No!
Hey Nonny No!Men are fools that wish to die. Is it not fine to dance and sing when the bells of death do ring? Hey Nonny No! Is it not fine to swim in wine and turn upon the toe, and sing hey nonny no, when the winds do blow and the seas do flow. Hey Nonny No!!
eonnets jtorn the ePottuftuese I thought once how Theocritus had sung Of (he sweet years, the dear and wished-for years, Who each one in a gracious hand appears To bear a gift for mortals, old or young: And, as I mused it in his antique tongue, I saw, in gradual vision through my tears, The sweet, sad years, the melancholy years, Those of my own life, who by turns had flung A shadow across me. Straighrway I was 'ware, So weeping, how a mystic Shape did move Behind me, and drew me backward by the hair; And a voice said in mastery, while I strove,"Guess now who holds thee?" -"Death," I said. But, there, The silver answer rang, -"Not death, but Love. " My letters! all dead paper, mute and white! And yet they seem alive and quivering Against my tremulous hands which loose the string And let them drop down on my knee to-night. This said,-he wished to have me in his sight Once, as a friend: this fixed a day in spring To come and touch my hand . . . a simple thing, Yet I wept for it!-this, ... the paper's light ... Said, Dear, I love thee; and I sank and quailed As if God's future thundered on my past. This said, I am thine-and so its ink has paled With lying at my heart that beat too fast. And this . . 0 Love, thy words have ill availed If, what this said, I dare repeat at last! .
With the same heart, I said, I'll answer thee As those, when thou shalt call me by my nameÂ La, the vain promise! is the same, the same, Perplexed and ruffled by life's strategy? When called before, I told how hastily I dropped my flowers or brake off from a game To run and answer with the smile that came At play last moment, and went on with me Through my obedience. When I answer now, I drop a grave thought, break from solitude; Yet still my heart goes to thee-ponder howÂ Not as to a single good, but all my good! Lay thy hand on it, best one, and allow That no child's foot could run as fast as this blood.
If I leave all for thee, wilt thou exchange And be all to me? Shall I never miss Home-talk and blessing and the common kiss That comes to each in turn, nor count it strange, When I look up, to drop on a new range Of walls and floors, another home than this? Nay, wilt thou fill that place by me which is Filled by dead eyes too tender to know change? That's hardest. If to conquer love, has tried, To conquer grief, tries more, as all things prove; For grief indeed is love and grief beside. Alas, I have grieved so I am hard to love. Yet love me-wilt thou? Open thine heart wide, And fold within the wet wings of thy dove. Oh, yes! they love through all this world of ours! I will not gainsay love, called love forsooth. I have heard love talked of in my early youth, And since, not so long back but that the flowers Then gathered, smell still. Mussulmans and Giaours Throw kerchiefs at a smile, and have no ruth For any weeping. Polypheme's white tooth Slips on the nut if, after frequent showers, The shell is over-smooth, -and not so much Will turn the thing called love, aside to hate Or else to oblivion. But thou art not such A lover, my Beloved! thou canst wait Through sorrow and sickness, to bring souls to touch, And think it soon when others cry "Too late." How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight For the ends of Being and ideal Grace. I love thee to the level of everyday's Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light. I love thee freely, as men strive for Right; I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise. I love thee with the passion put to use In my oid griefs, and with my childhood's faith. I love thee with a love I seemed to lose With my lost saints, -I love thee with the breath, Smiles, tears, of all my life!-and, if God choose, I shall but love thee better after death. -Elizabeth Barrett Browning
J. Scott Ferguson, Director Soprano
Jenifer Cowgill Elizabeth Kensek Christina Kingen Julie Pusch Lauren Sopocy Erin Tchoukaleff
John Betz T. J.McLaughlin Jacob Palmer Brent Smith
Megan Blodgett Christine Printz Suzanne A. Shields Sarah Sipll JoannaWernette
Landon Alvey Jeremy Coffman MatthewM. Lorz BrianWilliams
cr3amel:ata VadimMazo, Director Violin I
LukeHerman, co-concertmaster Sharon Chung, co-concertmaster TomMagarian Melanie Clevert
DeannaHerman, principal Andrew Ladendorf
Corinn Brooks, principal Deborah Cha Laurie Clark
LoriMorgan, principal April Guthrie Bass
Erwin Vreeman, principal Jeremy Nicholas
e)1;Lrnp-osium o� crgonternp-otaty- �usic Guest Composers
Courtney Cox, PhilWilson
Robert Palmer Wallingford Riegger,
Lou Harrison, Ezra Sims
M. William Karlins
Leonard B. Meyer
George Rochberg 1960:
Robert Erickson, George Rochberg,
1981: Walter S. Hartley 1982:
George Crumb Concert
Glenn Glasow 1963:
Michael Schelle Jean Eichelberger Ivey
E. J. Ulrich,
(Spring) Alexander Aslamazov (Fall) Leslie Bassett,
Louis Coyner, Edwin Harkins, PhilipWinsor, Edwin London
R. Bedford Watkins
Alabama String Quartet 1964:
John Crawford (Society of
Composers, Inc. Region 5
George Crumb 1968:
The Loop Group, DePaul University
Robert Bankert, Abram M. Plum,
Halim El-Dabh, OllyWilson
Stravinsky Memorial Concert
Morton Gould Memorial Concert
Presented by the Illinois Wesleyan University School of Music. With one of the most important and celebrated composers, Libby Larsen, as the...