3/17 | Sound Out Loud performs “Pierrot lunaire” @ Mills Hall

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Pierrot écoutant, 1854, by Nadar

Fri, 3/17 | Free, 8:00pm Mills Hall

455 N Park ST, Madison, WI, 53706

Le Domaine Musicale

Schoenberg’s “Pierrot lunaire”

Ravel’s “Chansons madécasses

Sound Out Loud will perform Schoenberg’s expressionistic masterpiece about the ravings of a lunatic clown, featuring UW vocal faculty member Mimmi Fulmer.  Also on the program will be Ravel’s “Chansons madécasses“, featuring vocalist Sarah Richardson.

“Pierrot lunaire” was composed by Arnold Schoenberg (1874 – 1951) in 1912 and is his 21st Opus.  It’s 21 short movements (3 cycles of 7) explore the poetry of Albert Giraud (1860-1929), originally published 1884 in French.

‘Pierrot’ is one of Schoenberg’s last works of “free a-tonality”, before Opus 23 which introduced his 12-tone Serialism approach to composition – forever changing the course of 20th Century music.  In this new dodecaphonic democracy, all notes were equal, and weightless of tonicisms.  It helped form a great schism in the 20thC between two great approaches to composition: Serialism (eg. Schoenberg) vs Neo-Classicism (eg. Stravinsky).  Part of the pre-serialism brilliance of “Pierrot lunaire” is Scheonberg’s invention of sprechstimme.  This new vocal technique was a form of speak-singing, which allows for a beautiful ambiguity in pitch – removing Schoenberg yet one more step from tonality.  In sprechstimme, the singer glides up and down from one note to another – only ever sustaining three “traditional” pitches in the entire 40 minute piece.  All of this results in a dazzling display of colors and orchestrational puissance to tell the tales of this tragic clown.

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UW Madison Voice Faculty Member, Soprano Soloist Mimmi Fulmer.

American soprano Mimmi Fulmer first performed “Pierrot lunaire” in 1978 at the famed Tanglewood Music Festival. Sound Out Loud is thrilled to be performing this work for the first time under the guidance of such an experienced & knowledgeable performer of the work. Mimmi and Ric Merritt have crafted a performers’ singing-translation of this work from German to English.  Friday, March 17th we will perform it in it’s original German text.

Mimmi Fulmer performs repertoire ranging from early music to premieres of works written for her.  Her distinguished career in new music includes premieres of nine roles in eight operas.   An expert on Nordic repertoire, she is the editor of a three-volume anthology of songs from Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark.   Her discography includes six CDs of American music and a CD of songs from Finland, Sweden and Norway, and she has been included in the Fulbright Specialist Roster in American music.


 

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