Richardson Chamber Players
ROCHELLE ELLIS NARRATOR, TOMOKO FUJITA CELLO, MARGARET KAMPMEIER PIANO, ANNA LIM VIOLIN, HALLE MITCHELL ’23 PIANO, BARBARA REARICK MEZZO-SOPRANO, SARAH SHIN FLUTE, MORAN KATZ CLARINET, WOMEN OF THE PRINCETON UNIVERSITY GLEE CLUB CHORUS, GABRIEL CROUCH CONDUCTOR
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
By Sophie Brady
Sophie Brady is a graduate student in musicology at Princeton University. Her research examines the history of the musical avant-garde in France and Francophone West Africa in the second half of the twentieth century, focusing on experimentation at radio stations and the philosophical ideas that shaped this musical production and exchange.
“March of the Women”
With a melody adapted from an Italian folksong, Dame Ethel Smyth’s (1858–1944) “The March of the Women” is a stirring anthem dedicated to the women’s suffrage campaign composed in 1910. While “The March” is Smyth’s most significant contribution to the women’s suffrage movement, her feminist ethos is evident throughout her entire career. Smyth was born into an upper middle-class British family and studied composition at the Leipzig Conservatory against the express wishes of her father, who believed that women should not study music as a professional career. Her diverse musical output—which was alternately praised and criticized for being “too masculine” during her lifetime— includes orchestral and chamber works, a Mass in D Major, six operas, numerous songs and choral pieces, and many compositions for piano and organ.
“The March of the Women” is the final movement of Songs of Sunrise, a three-movement work for chorus and orchestra. Her involvement in the campaign for women’s suffrage was galvanized by her unrequited love for Emmeline Pankhurst, the married charismatic leader of the Women’s Social and Political Union.
Princess Marie Elisabeth von Sachsen-Meiningen (1853–1923) was the only daughter of Duke George II of Sachsen-Meiningen and his first wife, Princess Charlotte of Prussia. Princess Marie Elisabeth grew up immersed in art and culture; her father was devoted to theater, and his court was known for its spectacular performances. She received a thorough musical education from a young age, and she even studied piano and composition with Johannes Brahms, of whom her father was a great patron. Other famous musicians who shaped Princess Marie Elisabeth’s musical development during this time included Richard Strauss and Hans von Bülow.
She wrote Romanze in F Major for Clarinet and Piano in 1892 for Richard Mühlfeld, a German clarinetist for whom Brahms also wrote several compositions. The one-movement piece is characterized by a song-like melodic line, led by the clarinet. The piano follows the clarinet in a dynamic duet, matching its energy and providing lush harmonic accompaniment.
Isabelle Aboulker (b. 1938) is a French composer who is especially known for her operas and vocal works. She has composed several works based on children’s literature. Pieces for adult audiences include an oratorio to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the ending of World War I, titled L’Homme qui titubait dans la guerre, as well as a comic opera about the life of French playwright and novelist Honoré de Balzac, Monsieur de Balzac fait son théâtre.
These four chansons are a study in contrast and reveal this talented composer’s range. “Escale à rio” employs jazzy, scat-like rhythms and syllables in a virtuosic vocalize that appears effortless. “Tenir” incorporates long, legato phrasing and a steady accompaniment of repeated chords, conveying an effect of restrained passion. But we are not left with this sentiment for long; the driving piano introduction of “Au marché Saint Paul, j’irai” quickly leads to a conversational vocal line that starts out feisty and ends reflective, with inflections of chromaticism throughout. The final song, “Le lion devenu vieux” is a setting of a fable by the 17th century French poet Jean de la Fontaine. The song’s lyrical vocal line complements the piano’s elegantly simplistic part, which culminates intriguingly with a climbing series of chords that do not resolve.
Jennifer Higdon (b. 1962) is a celebrated American contemporary composer. Her many accolades include the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Music and three Grammy Awards. Born in Brooklyn and raised in Tennessee, Higdon’s early influences included rock and folk music, as well as visual art, which was encouraged by her father, the painter Charles Higdon.
Higdon’s Piano Trio No. 1: Pale Yellow and Fiery Red premiered in 2003. Higdon wrote of the trio, “Can music reflect colors and can colors be reflected in music? I have always been fascinated with the connection between painting and music. In my composing, I often picture colors as if I were spreading them on a canvas, except I do so with melodies, harmonies, and through the instruments themselves.”
One of the foremost pianists and teachers of the nineteenth century, Clara Wieck Schumann (1819–1896) was a German composer and child prodigy. She was also the wife of composer Robert Schumann. Prior to her marriage, she was a celebrated concert pianist who toured extensively throughout Europe. Early compositions for accompanied song and solo piano reflected the budding talent that would mature in her later works.
Her Piano Trio in G Minor, Op. 17, composed in 1846, immediately attracted favorable reviews. The opening movement, “Allegro moderato” reflects her mastery of sonata form as it sets its lyrical opening subject over a restless accompaniment.
The program is rounded out with a tour de force of compositions with diverse instrumentation, sounds, and inspiration. Amanda Harberg (b. 1973), who is a professor of composition at Rutgers University, says of her Hall of Ghosts: “in the first section, the silence of rests and pauses creates an expressive background for the searching and plaintive phrases of the solo piccolo. The lively middle section is a contrapuntal dialogue between the ticking of time and an instrument striving to make itself heard.” Meanwhile, multi-award winning British-Belizean composer Errollyn Wallen’s (b. 1958), Woogie Boogie for piano and violin is a whimsical reimagining of the classic boogie-woogie blues dance. Finally, Valerie Coleman’s six-movement Portraits of Langston for piano, clarinet, and flute is a suite based on the poems of Langston Hughes, specifically his memories of Harlem and Europe. Taking the form of a musical sketch, each short movement develops a distinct musical idea, forming a harmonious and engaging whole.
texts and translations
DAME ETHEL SMYTH The March of the Women (1911)
Cicely Hamilton (1872–1952)
Shout, shout, up with your song! / Cry with the wing, for the dawn is breaking;
March, march, sing you along, / Wide blows our banner, and hope is waking.
Song with its story, dreams with their glory, / Lo! they call, and glad is their word!
Loud and louder it swells, / Thunder of freedom, the voice of the Lord.
Long, long, we in the past / Cowered in dread from the light of heaven.
Strong, strong, stand we at last, / Fearless in faith and with sight new-given.
Strength with its beauty, Lift with its duty, / (Hear the voice, oh hear and obey!)
These, these beckon us on, / Open your eyes to the blaze of day.
Comrades, ye who have dared / First in the battle to strive and sorrow,
Scorned, spurned, nought have ye cared, / Raising your eyes to a wider morrow.
Ways that are weary, days that are dreary, / Toil and pain by faith ye have borne;
Hail, hail, victors ye stand, / Wearing the wreath that the brave have worn.
Life, strife, these two are one, / Nought can ye win but by faith and daring;
On, on that ye have done / But for the work of today preparing.
Firm in reliance, laugh a defiance, / (Laugh in hope, for sure is the end).
March, march, many as one. / Shoulder to shoulder and friend to friend.
ISABELLE ABOULKER Chansons
“Escale à Rio” (2018) [“Stopover in Rio”]
As a vocalise, this song is without text.
“Tenir” (1996/7) [“Holding”]
Eugène Guillevic (1907–1997) [English translation by Thomas Adès]
All that we once have held / In hands united close:
Little stones, wilted grasses, / The insect that will live,
To speak to them a while, / To bestow friendship
With our own selves, / On whatever our palms were holding,
That we desired to keep, / With which to journey on,
Along this point in time / Which never seemed to end.
All that we once have held / In hands assembled close:
The sand grains, the petals, / A leaf, another hand,
That which weighed heavily, / That which could never weigh,
The bright shaft of the sunlight, / The power of the wind,
We will have held all this / In our hands joining close.
“Au marché Saint Paul, j’irai” (2011) [“I am off to the market day”]
Germain Nouveau (1851–1920) [English translation by Thomas Adès]
I am off to the market-day / I’ll be bargaining you away
I’ll be selling your shameless eyes / One hundred pounds, good merchandise.
Next I shall sell your fingers sly / Those untamed birds that love to fly
And your lip that brazenly lies / For eighty roubles, what a prize.
And I shall sell your fine long arms / And your heels with their rosy charms
And your soft breasts, your lovely knees / For sovereigns from the Sicilies.
It’s market day and I shall float / The pretty furrow at your throat
And every lovely fleshy fold / One million: it’s fairly sold.
Your twist of hair that’s tightly rolled / And flashes in the sun like gold,
Your kisses too will all be sold / In the auction that I will hold.
Highest bidders will take control / When I sell you, body and soul.
And your heart, if some folk enquire? / Held back: its worth is much, much higher.
“Le lion devenu vieux” (2018) [“The lion in old age”]
Jean de la Fontaine (1621–1695) [English translation by Thomas Adès]
The Lion, the wild’s dreaded lord, / The Lion, in old age, and lamenting his long-vanished greatness,
The Lion was at long last attacked by his own common herd: / What made them brave? It was his weakness.
So the Horse came up close and fetched him quite a kick, / The Wolf gave him a bite, / The Bull struck with his horn.
The unhappy Lion, in distress, all forlorn, Couldn’t muster a roar, too aged, and too sick. / He awaited his doom without expostulation,
Till the Donkey came right into his cave: / “Ah! too much!” he murmured, “I’m ready for my grave;
But I’ve two deaths to die, what with your ministration.”
about the artists
Rochelle Ellis Narrator
Rochelle Ellis is a member of the Performance Faculty at Princeton University and is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Voice at Westminster Choir College of Rider University. She has distinguished herself in both the concert hall and opera stage, making her New York City Opera debut as” Serena” in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, and her Carnegie Hall debut in Schubert’s Mass in G and Bach’s Cantata 140. Internationally, she has performed at the National Opera of China in Beijing, the Prague (Czech Republic) Autumn Music Festival, and has performed solo recitals in Japan. Dr. Ellis stays active in community outreach in music, serving as a Teaching Fellow with the Trenton Arts in Princeton program and Trenton Youth Singers. She teaches at the Westminster Conservatory Summer High School Vocal Institute and works as a vocal coach with Princeton Girlchoir. Ellis received her DMA in Voice from Rutgers University Mason Gross School of the Arts and her Master of Music Education degree at Westminster Choir College.
Tomoko Fujita Cello
Hailed as “first-rate” by The Boston Globe, cellist Tomoko Fujita enjoys an active musical life as a performer and educator. As a founding member and the cellist of the Bryant Park Quartet for ten years, she presented numerous concerts and interactive outreach performances nationally and internationally, and released a CD album entitled BPQ. She collaborates regularly with pianist Luba Poliak, and has performed with esteemed artists such as Itzhak Perlman, members of the Cleveland, Emerson, and Juilliard String Quartets, dancer Wendy Whelan, and the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company. Currently, she is a member of the Benzaiten Trio, and the New York Chamber Music Co-Op. She is on faculty at Montclair State and Princeton universities, and the Kinhaven Music School, and coaches at the New York Youth Symphony Chamber Music Program.
Margaret Kampmeier Piano
Margaret Kampmeier enjoys a varied career as soloist, collaborative pianist, and educator. Equally fluent in classical and contemporary repertoire, she has concertized and recorded extensively. She has performed with the St. Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic Ensembles, Kronos Quartet, and Mirror Visions Ensemble. As orchestral keyboardist, she performs regularly with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and has subbed in the New York Philharmonic, American Composers Orchestra, and Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra. Ms. Kampmeier teaches piano and chamber music at Princeton University where she is also Coordinator of Piano Studies. In addition, she has been Chair of Manhattan School of Music’s Contemporary Performance Program since 2014. Ms. Kampmeier earned degrees from the Eastman School of Music and SUNY Stony Brook, and is deeply grateful for the shared wisdom of her mentors, Barry Snyder, Jan DeGaetani, Julius Levine, and Gilbert Kalish.
Moran Katz Clarinet
First Prize winner of the 2013 Ima Hogg Competition, clarinetist Moran Katz performs extensively throughout the United States, Europe and Asia as a soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician. She has appeared as soloist with such orchestras as the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, China Philharmonic, SWR sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden and Freiburg, Houston Symphony, Brooklyn Philharmonic, Ensemble ACJW, New Juilliard Ensemble, Haifa Symphony Orchestra, Israel Sinfonietta and the Tel Aviv Soloists Ensemble. Her performance credits include recitals for the Phillips Collection in Washington D.C., the Dame Myra Hess Recital Series in Chicago, and the Detroit Institute of Arts; a NY debut recital at Merkin Concert Hall as part of the Tuesday Matinee Recital Series and a Debut at the Chamber Music Hall of the Berlin Philharmonic. Chamber Music appearances at the United Nations Hall (Switzerland), France’s “Les Musicales” Festival in Colmar, Les Invalides in Paris and Palais des Fetes in Strasburg, Marlboro Music Festival, Canandaigua’s Lake Music Festival, Cooperstown Music Festival, New York’s Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, MoMa, Symphony Space, Miller Theater, and Bargemusic, among others. She has collaborated with the Ariel, Carmel, Contemporary, Tesla, Aeolus, Dover, Benaim and Vogler String Quartets, as well as with artists such as Zubin Mehta, David Robertson, Sylvain Cambreling, Richard Goode, Vera Beths and Arnold Steinhardt.
A clarinetist for the internationally acclaimed new music ensemble “Continuum”, a member of Carnegie Hall’s Affiliate Ensemble “Decoda,” and a co-founder of the innovative “Ensemble Melange” (previously known as “SHUFFLE Concert”), Ms. Katz recorded for Albany Records, Naxos, Tzadik and Innova labels and premiered music by Mario Davidovsky, Roberto Sierra, Huang Ruo, Avner Dorman, Richard Wilson, Virko Baley, Joseph Bardanashvili, and Jonathan Keren. She often plays with the Copland House Ensemble and NOVUS NY. Ms. Katz received her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in 2006 and 2008 and an Artist Diploma in 2010 as a student of Charles Neidich and Ayako Oshima at The Juilliard School, New York. She was an adjunct faculty at Vassar College (2016-19) and coached chamber music groups at Juilliard’s Pre College Division.
Anna Lim Violin
Violinist Sunghae Anna Lim is a devoted chamber musician and member of the Manhattan String Quartet. She founded the Laurel Piano Trio, winner of the Concert Artists Guild competition, and is the violinist of the Naumburg Award-winning New Millennium Ensemble, dedicated to the music of living composers. Ms. Lim has been on the violin faculty of Princeton University since 2000. She is the faculty advisor for the Trenton Youth Orchestra, a division of Trenton Arts at Princeton. Ms. Lim received a BA from Harvard University in History and Literature and completed her Diplom at the Mozarteum in Salzburg under Sandor Vegh.
Barbara Rearick Mezzo-soprano
Mezzo-soprano Barbara Rearick whom Opera News singles out for her “tonal beauty” and Gramophone Magazine for her “charm and finesse,” has performed with orchestras throughout the U.S. and abroad including Chicago, Houston, Baltimore, American, Buffalo, Pasadena Pops, Hallé, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional, Costa Rica, and the Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester, Berlin, where she performed the world-premiere performance and recording of Kurt Weill’s The Eternal Road under Gerard Schwarz.
A sought-after recitalist, she has performed at Weill Hall and the Norwich, Aldeburgh, Buxton, Spitalfields (London), and Killaloo festivals in the United Kingdom, as well as at London’s Wigmore Hall where she sang A History of the Thé Dansant—a song cycle written for Barbara by the late Sir Richard Rodney Bennett with the composer at the piano. She is a founding member of the Britten-Pears Ensemble, a London-based chamber group specializing in contemporary music. She has enjoyed performances at the Virginia Arts Festival, Spoleto, the Chicago Symphony’s MusicNow series and at Winter Park, Northwest, and Shenandoah Bach Festivals. Recent engagements include Berlioz’s Les nuits d’eté and Mozart’s Requiem with the Louisiana Philharmonic and Handel’s Messiah with Charlotte Symphony. She is a native of central Pennsylvania.
Sarah Shin Flute
Dr. Sarah Shin is the Lecturer of Flute at Princeton University and on flute faculty at Rutgers Community Arts. Some of Sarah’s upcoming solo highlights include performing with Budapest Symphony Orchestra in Salzburg, Austria, performing Mozart’s Concerto for flute and harp with the Istanbul Symphony Orchestra and Mirjam Schröder at The Große Musikvereinssaal, and performing in Prague, Czech Republic at Smetana Hall with the North Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. Sarah has performed in Symphony Hall in Boston, Carnegie Hall in NYC, Gewandhaus Theatre in Leipzig, Lotte Concert Hall in Seoul, and more. She received her BFA at Carnegie Mellon, her MM from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, as a Jacobs Scholar Fellow, and her DMA from Rutgers University. Sarah is grateful for her teachers Jeanne Baxtresser, Alberto Almarza, Bart Feller, Thomas Robertello, and Judy Grant. Sarah is a William S. Haynes Artist and performs on a handmade custom Haynes 14k white gold flute. www.sarahshinflute.com
Women of the Princeton University Glee Club Chorus
Gabriel Crouch Glee Club Conductor
Halle Mitchell ’23 Piano
Ulysses S. Grant was president, Verdi’s Requiem was premiered, and the Battle of Little Big Horn was still two years in the future when the Princeton University Glee Club was founded in 1874 by Andrew Fleming West, the first Dean of the Graduate College. In its early years, the group consisted of a few young men and was run entirely by its student members, but in 1907, Charles E. Burnham became the first of a long line of eminent professional musicians to lead the Glee Club. Since then, the ensemble has established itself as the largest choral body on Princeton’s campus, and has distinguished itself nationally and overseas. Today the Glee Club performs frequently on Princeton’s campus, enjoying the wonderful acoustic and aesthetic of Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall. Led by Gabriel Crouch, Director of Choral Activities and Senior Lecturer in Music at Princeton University, the choir embraces a vast array of repertoire. The spectrum of Glee Club members is perhaps even broader: undergraduate and graduate students, scientists and poets, philosophers and economists—all walks of academic life are represented, knit together by their belief in the nobility and joy of singing.