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The Hague
the Netherlands

 

 

I'm a Stranger Here Myself

I’m a Stranger Here Myself

4 singers, a cappella

 

I'm a Stranger Here Myself explores music written before, during, and after the two World Wars, some of it a direct response to the horrors of war and displacement. At the heart of the program are the extraordinary Six sonnets composés au secret of Milhaud (settings of poems written by Jean Cassou while a prisoner of war), which are meditations on death, nostalgia, and identity; their harmonies, by turns lush and angular, and virtuosic vocal writing are absolutely unique in the repertoire. These are paired with short pieces of Stravinsky and Schoenberg which look both back into folk material and far forward into unknown harmonic landscapes; with black American slave songs of oppression and release which were finally making their way into “respected” classical venues in the early decades of the century; with escapist and beautiful madrigals written by the closeted Ned Rorem, dealing with his own demons in New York while the war raged overseas; and with popular music of the era which nonetheless reflected its torments, including three Kurt Weill masterpieces in arrangements by Mattijs van de Woerd commissioned for Damask. The program is linked with short narrations that help the audience understand the context.

 

 

PROGRAM (Full Version) - 1hr30 concert, with interval

 

Joseph KOSMA (arr. Ryan O'Connell): Les feuilles mortes

 

Darius MILHAUD: Six Sonnets Composés au Secret par Jean Cassou

Le barque funéraire

Mort à toute fortune

A peine si le coeur

Bois cette tasse de ténèbres

Rose d'Alexandrie

Quel est ton nom?

 

Kurt WEILL (arr. Mattijs van de Woerd): La Complainte de la Seine

 

Arnold SCHOENBERG: Drei Volkslieder, Op. 49

Es gingen zwei gespielen gut

Der Mai tritt ein mit Freuden

Mein Herz in steten Treuen

 

Kurt WEILL (arr. Mattijs van de Woerd): Mackie Messer

 

Kurt WEILL (arr. Mattijs van de Woerd): I’m a Stranger Here Myself

 

INTERVAL

 

Igor STRAVINSKY: Anthem: The Dove Descending Breaks The Air

 

Ned ROREM: Four Madrigals

Parting

Flowers for the graces

Love

An absent friend

 

Selection of African-American spirituals

My Lord, what a morning

Were you there

All my trials

God’s gonna set this world on fire

 

Joseph KOSMA (arr. Ryan O'Connell): Autumn leaves

 

Cole PORTER (arr. Jay Althouse): Night and Day

 

Georges GERSHWIN (arr. Jay Althouse): I got rhythm

 

_________________________________________________________________________

 

PROGRAM (Short Version) - 1hr concert, no interval


 

Joseph KOSMA (arr. Ryan O'Connell): Les feuilles mortes

 

Darius MILHAUD: Six Sonnets Composés au Secret par Jean Cassou

Le barque funéraire

Mort à toute fortune

A peine si le coeur

Bois cette tasse de ténèbres

Rose d'Alexandrie

Quel est ton nom?

 

Ned ROREM: Four Madrigals

Parting

Flowers for the graces

Love

An absent friend

 

Igor STRAVINSKY: Anthem: The Dove Descending Breaks The Air

 

Selection of African-American spirituals

My Lord, what a morning

Were you there

All my trials

God’s gonna set this world on fire

 

Selection of songs by Kurt WEILL (arr. Mattijs van de Woerd)

Mackie Messer

La Complainte de la Seine

I’m a Stranger Here Myself

 

Encore

Joseph KOSMA (arr. Ryan O'Connell): Autumn leaves