8:00pm Saturday March 31, 2012
Grace and Holy Spirit Church
13 Court Street
Come to Grace-Holy Spirit Church, 13 Court Street, Cortland for a special concert in The Arts at Grace 2011-12 series. Bass-Baritone David Neal and pianist Richard Montgomery will perform "Songs of Love, Spring, and Longing" at 8 PM on Saturday evening March 31st. The family of well-know local musicians Kundry Willwerth is sponsoring this musical evening in memory of her husband Lyn Willwerth, featuring songs of Franz Schubert, Robert Schumann, and Hugo Wolf as a gift to the Cortland and Ithaca communities. A reception will follow the performance.
Schubert, Schumann, and Wolf were at the heart of a great outpouring of song during the Romantic period. Schubert alone wrote over 600 songs and transformed the art song into a fully mature form of artistic expression with piano and voice as equal partners. Schubert's compositional range was extraordinary. It ranged from songs with folk-like melodies to complex extended pieces in much freer form. Schumann burst onto the musical scene with 120 songs in 1840, the year he married the brilliant pianist Clara Wieck. Schumann's songs display the composer's great gift for melody and an almost rhapsodic use of the piano. Hugo Wolf had an intense love of poetry. Wolf's melodies closely match the rise and fall of the language while his rich piano parts reflect his uncanny perception of each poem's emotional core.
Bass-baritone David Neal has performed nationally and internationally in opera and concert, including recent performances with the Center for Contemporary Opera in New York and Hungary, and with the Kitchen Theater, Symphony Syracuse, and the Bargemusic series in New York. Pianist Richard Montgomery has performed as conductor, music director and stage director with Greensboro Opera, Virginia Opera, New York City Opera, and Ithaca Opera and has toured extensively with the National Opera Company. In musical theater, he has served as music director in several states and locally with SUNY Cortland, the Kitchen Theater, Cornell Theater, Cornell Savoyards, Running to Places and the Hanger Theater.
The Arts at Grace is a community outreach effort of Grace Episcopal-Holy Spirit Lutheran Church assisted by the Wilkins Foundation, individuals and businesses from the greater Cortland community. The 2011-2012 season is made possible in part with funds from New York State Council on the Arts Decentralization Grant Program, a State Agency and the Cultural Resources Council, a Regional Arts Council. Admission to all Arts at Grace events is free, but donations are welcome. For further information, call (607) 753-3073 during business hours.