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Lane, Neiwirth to perform Bach, Copland and Mahler

Posted January 25, 2008

Mezzo-soprano Kathleen A. Lane of the ISU Music Department will present a recital of songs by J. S. Bach, Aaron Copland and Gustav Mahler Wednesday, Jan. 30 at 7:30 p.m. in the Jensen Grand Concert Hall, Stephens Performing Arts Center. General admission is $5, $3 for ISU faculty and staff, and free to ISU students showing a current Bengal Card.

Prof. Lane will be accompanied by well-known performer Mark Neiwirth of the ISU piano faculty in Gustav Mahler’s “Rueckert Lieder,” and in both sets of Aaron Copland’s popular “Old American Songs.” Prof. Erika Schulte will join Lane and Neiwirth on the violin in the beloved aria  “Erbarme Dich” from J. S. Bach’s 1729 “St. Matthew Passion.”

“I’ve performed and taught most of ‘Old American Songs’ over the years,” Lane says, “but I’ve never sung all 10 on the same program.” The two collections run the gamut from spirituals to minstrel songs, from lullabies to parlor ballads.

Popularly associated with musical Americana, Copland was the Paris-trained son of Russian Jewish immigrants, a lifelong New Yorker — as American as Ellis Island. Lane delights in the paradox: “In 1950, the first ‘Old American Songs’ premiered in England, with tenor Peter Pears, and composer Benjamin Britten at the piano,” she points out. “These songs might play at being homespun, but they’re the settings of a highly sophisticated international artist – completely cosmopolitan.”

If Copland represents Old World sophistication reborn in the New, Viennese Gustav Mahler embodies the Old World at its pre-war height. “These 1901-02 settings of poetry by Friedrich Rueckert epitomize late German Romanticism at its most intensely expressive,” Lane says. “Mahler pushes chromatic complexity to the brink – it’s a spiritual outcry.”

Prof. Lane joined the Idaho State University voice faculty in 1993, after teaching voice for five years at the Yale University School of Drama. Since arriving in Idaho, she has promoted the great song-cycles, including Dominick Argento’s “From the Diary of Virginia Woolf”; Aaron Copland’s “Old American Songs” and “Twelve Songs by Emily Dickinson”; Hector Berlioz’s “Les nuits d’ete”; Gustav Mahler’s “Kindertotenlieder” and “Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen”; Robert Schumann’s “Frauenlieben und –leben”; and Richard Wagner’s “Wesendonck Lieder.”

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Kathleen A. Lane 282-2423, or lanekath@isu.edu.