Sun, Aug 25|
Songs of Summer Love
A vocal recital by Ryan Mangan on the theme of Summer Love. Accompanied by Alastair Stout at the piano.
Time & Location
Aug 25, 2019, 4:00 PM
Rutland, 8 Court St, Rutland, VT 05701, USA
About the event
Songs of Summer Love
- A Vocal Recital -
Ryan Mangan, tenor
Alastair Stout, piano
Sunday, August 25, 2019 | 4:00PM
Grace Congregational Church
8 Court Street, Rutland, Vermont
The Boatmen’s Dance | Aaron Copland (1900-1990)
A Green Lowland of Pianos | Samuel Barber (1910-1981)
The Apple Orchard | Lori Laitman (1955- )
Erster verlust | Franz Schubert (1797-1828)
She moved thro’ the fair | Irish Traditional, Co. Donegal
Down by the Sally Gardens | Traditional, Arr.
The Grey Cock | Irish Traditional
Vainement, ma bien aimée | Edouard Lalo (1823-1892)
Le manoir de rosemonde | Henri Duparc (1848-1933)
Welcome and thank you so much for joining us!
It is an honor to be back in my hometown sharing this music with you all in such a welcoming and nurturing venue like Grace Congregational Church. Songs like these are composed as collaborations between voice and piano. The two instruments play an equal part in this form of storytelling which is why I am so fortunate to have the masterful Alastair Stout beside me at the piano.
For a celebration of love and summer, it is fitting to begin with the music of Aaron Copland (1900-1990). His legacy is marked by his enormous influence on American music. His symphonies, ballets, and vocal works were crafted from old American folk songs which were collected in his travels throughout Appalachia. The Boatmen’s Dance dance captures the smooth and lulling quality of America’s great, broad rivers and the reckless boatmen who sailed them. Samuel Barber (1910-1981) also made his influence on American music with songs like A Green Lowland of Pianos. This glistening piece was written for the great baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau to a quirky poem by Czeslaw Milosz’s. I think the piece explains itself well enough and needs no introduction. One of the leading American composers working today is Lori Laitman (1955- ). Her gorgeously poetic musical stories transcend the work of her predecessors. I had the enormous privilege of working with Laitman in a masterclass this past February. Her setting of Dana Gioia’s The Apple Orchard charms us with musical pictures of cascading blossoms and fills us with nostalgia for our friendships and loves that have never been rekindled.
No other genre of vocal music has captivated me like German Lieder. The music of Hugo Wolf, Robert Schumann, and Johannes Brahms fills the soul with such longing, romance, and fascination for the spectacle of nature. The true father of Lieder (“songs”) was Franz Schubert (1797-1828) who crafted over 700 vocal works alone before he suffered an early death. He prolifically composed until the very end. I have selected four pieces by Schubert which, I hope, can imbue the same emotions for you as they do for me. Erster Verlust begs for the by-gone days of love to return and the loneliness of the now to be forever forgotten. Stӓndchen (Serenade) musically paints the scene of a lover’s serenade to the sensuality of a late summer night. Die Forelle is one of Schubert’s most famous pieces depicting a man’s surprise at a cold-blooded fisherman on the bank of a brook. Listen carefully for the darting trout painted into the piano part. Ganymed is almost operatic in nature and celebrates the majesty of spring’s arrival. The text comes from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s poem which features the greek god Ganymede and his ascension to the clouds to sit beside Zeus.
My Irish heritage has always been something of pride for my family. I have included She Moved Thro’ The Fair, Down by the Sally Gardens, and the haunting old ballad The Grey Cock in an effort to pay homage to the rich musical tradition that has thrived in Celtic regions for centuries. My family’s roots have been traced to a small bayside neighborhood in Donegal County called Mullinasole. I plan to return for my second visit to Mullinasole next summer. If I remember correctly, tucked in the trees by a grazing, wooly herd, sat the ruins of my great-great grandmother’s cottage. When I find myself there next, I think I will sit for a few moments, alone, listening to the humming pasture, imagining my ancestors living and loving, knowing that these old songs of the land may have been sung by a father in the open fields or by a mother at the warm bedside candlelight.
For centuries, the French composers have contributed a different flavor of passion and romance to the classical vocal genre. Vainement, ma bien aimee (In vain, my beloved) is an aria from the opera “Le Roi d’Ys” by Edouard Lalo (1823-1892). It features a young soldier, Mylio, on a starry night before his wedding. He waits at the door of his lover’s home but the entrance is blocked by her bridesmaids. His response is this gorgeous melodious aria which is not complete until he exclaims, “If I do not see Rozenne, I simply might die!” The final two pieces I’ve included are two of the greatest in the French art song repertoire. They are each composed by Henri Duparc (1848-1933). We are extremely lucky to have these songs seeing as Duparc’s mental illness caused him to destroy nearly all of his work before he gave up music and dedicated the second half of his life to the church. The music is theatrical in nature and proves he was in touch with intense levels of emotion. Le manoir de rosemonde (The House of Rosemonde) features a man wounded by the vicious teeth of love. Phidyle is Duparc’s true masterpiece. It features an enamored man who admires Phidyle, a shepherdess, as she sleeps under the shade of a poplar tree. He hopes that his patience will be rewarded with a kiss from her when she wakes. The accompaniment features aural images of the scene of swooping birds, singing bees, trickling springs, and the sensual, hazy heat of the midday sun.
The classical vocal repertoire has been forgotten by many, though some pieces have the power to teach us all the love, hate, loss, romance, and passion that fills our lives. Recital singing is a dying art in America which is why it is so important that those who see its beauty hold on to it tightly, cherish it, and be sure not to lose grip of it.
Your being here means the world to me. My humble thanks.
RYAN MANGAN, tenor
Rutland native, Ryan Mangan, has been exploring the performing arts since age 6. With acting credits in New York City, he has worked in theatre, opera, film, and magic while also creating new works that include his mind-reading show "HypnoTricks" and the full-length play "Second Sight" which was workshopped at Castleton University in 2016. His passion for classical voice has lead him to collaborate with New England Opera Intensive, Worcester Vocal Arts, Opera Connecticut, Opera Theatre of Weston, Hartt Opera Theater, and Manchester Music Festival. In recent years, Mangan has worked with artists such as Julia Bullock, Lori Laitman, Angela Gooch, Ivan Pernicki and shared the stage with celebrated baritone Nelson Martinez in Opera Connecticut’s production of Verdi’s "Rigoletto". Mangan is a rising senior at the University of Hartford where he pursues a BM in Voice Performance from The Hartt School. He studies under Metropolitan Opera veteran Sondra Kelly and Yale Opera faculty member Kyle Swann.
ALASTAIR STOUT, piano
Alastair Stout spent his early childhood on Scotland’s Shetland Islands. His musical gifts were recognized at an early age when he was chosen to be a chorister at Ely Cathedral, Cambridgeshire, UK. From the age of 10 to 14 he was steeped in the English choral tradition, singing under the renowned conductor and composer Dr. Arthur Wills, OBE. He published his first solo organ composition at the age of 15. He subsequently graduated from the Royal College of Music with First Class Honors. He continued his studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and at Royal Holloway, University of London, where he graduated with a Ph.D. in composition. Alastair has written for almost every genre and has had his award-winning music performed and recorded throughout the world. He is also a concert organist and has performed throughout the US, UK and Mexico. In 2002 he moved to the USA to become Director of Music at the Coraopolis United Methodist Church in Southwest PA, and in 2010 was appointed director of the Pittsburgh Compline Choir. In 2017 Alastair and his partner, Krista, moved to Rutland, where he was appointed Minister of Music of Grace Congregational UCC. Visit www.stoutworks.net