From the live concert "Alma Mahler in the Mediterranean" on August 20, 2015 at Denver Classic Pianos.
On our road-trip to the Tetons, my sister Daniella had the idea to put together a special concert in Denver. During her time in Israel, she had been working on songs whose poetry was connected with the Mediterranean. We wanted to bring people together to experience these cultures through vibrant art song. The result was an evening of music, community, warmth and joy.
Please help us continue to spread the message of embracing differences, and having the courage to stand up for what you love.
Daniella Theresia Teodoro-Dier, Mezzo-Soprano
Adriana Teodoro-Dier, Piano
Program Notes for the CD:
We begin our Mediterranean journey in Israel.
Hinakh yafa takes its text from The Song of Songs (also known as the Song of Solomon and Canticles), which is a book from the Old Testament and includes some of the most sensual texts ever written. Here, a young man describes his beloved.
After our brief visit to the ancient land of Israel, we travel on to sunny Spain.
García-Lorca was a Spanish poet and playwright who was murdered during the Spanish Civil War in 1936. Poulenc’s “Three Songs of Federico García-Lorca” set French translations of García-Lorca’s texts from three separate books of poetry.
From the land of oranges, we continue to Greece.
In 1904, Ravel’s friend Michel Dimitri Calvacoressi asked him to set some Greek folksongs that he had translated into French. Tonight, they will be sung in Greek.
George Gershwin (arranged by William Daly)
What would a Mediterranean journey be without visiting France?
The following text is taken from the very first performance of “An American in Paris” in 1928.
'You are to imagine an American, visiting Paris, swinging down the Champs-Elysees on a mild, sunny morning in May or June.'
The tone poem follows the American's walk around the iconic city, with sounds of taxi horns, locals' 'charming attempts at broken English,' and so on. Eventually our American becomes homesick and literally gets the blues. Luckily, a fellow American traveler is close by and the two walk together happily. 'It will be great to get home; but meanwhile, this is Paris!’
We finally come to the namesake of our concert, Alma Mahler. She was born Alma Schindler in 1879 in Vienna. Her first husband, the composer Gustav Mahler, demanded that she give up composing, but when she became depressed and had an affair after the death of their young daughter, he changed his mind. Vier Lieder (Four Songs) was published in 1915, taking texts from three different German poets. Tonight we will be performing three of them.
Pedro de Alcantara
Transforming Sea is written by our friend, Pedro de Alcantara, a cellist, composer, Alexander Technique teacher, author, and all-around Renaissance guy.
You may be asking yourself how Russian pieces can be Mediterranean. The path is a complicated one, and begins in Germany.
In the late 1700s, the celebrated German poet Goethe published Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship. In the story, Wilhelm meets the mysterious Mignon and learns that she was stolen by gypsies from her homeland—Italy. Mignon still dreams of that land of lemon trees and strangely familiar halls filled with marble statues.
Mignon’s haunting story has inspired many composers, including Tchaikovsky. He uses texts from two Russian poets, Strugovshchikov and Mey, who created new Russian poems based on Goethe’s original German.
We return again home with Hinakh yafa.
Thank you so much for joining us on our Mediterranean journey.
We hope that you will be inspired to visit these lands again!
© Daniella and Adriana Teodoro-Dier 2015