CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
NOTE TO EDITORS: Richard Bloesch, the conductor of the concert described
in this release, may be reached at (319) 335-1627, or by e-mail at <email@example.com>.
UI Camerata Singers include piece in memory of Abraham Lincoln on
Nov. 1 concert
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Camerata Singers, a choral group made up of University
of Iowa students and members of the local community, will feature a work
written in 1884 in memory of President Abraham Lincoln as part of a free
concert at 8 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 1 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.
The work, "Elegiac Ode: President Lincoln's Burial Hymn,"
was composed by Irish composer Charles Villiers Stanford. The program will
also feature the Magnificat of Johann Ernst Eberlin and arrangements of
folk songs and spirituals. Music faculty member Richard Bloesch will conduct.
A mixed choral ensemble of 60-70 voices, Camerata is known for performances
that bring to light unfamiliar choral works of significant interest and
value -- works such as those by the little known composers Stanford and
Although he is almost unknown in this country, Stanford is considered
one of the outstanding figures of British musical life of the Victorian
and Edwardian eras. Active as a conductor, organist and pianist, his importance
to the history of British music is both as a teacher and for his music,
which is still performed in Ireland and England. His "Elegiac Ode"
uses a text by Walt Whitman that was also chosen later for a musical setting
by Paul Hindemith in his more familiar Lincoln elegy, the Requiem "When
lilacs last in the dooryard bloomed."
Baritone Stephen Swanson from the School of Music faculty, and soprano
Marie Von Behren, a local voice teacher, will be featured soloists. Originally
composed for chorus and orchestra, the "Elegiac Ode" will be
performed in a version for piano that was prepared by the composer. Pianist
Rene Lecuona, a member of the UI music faculty, will perform the accompaniment.
According to Bloesch, this will be the first performances of Stanford's
"Elegiac Ode" in this area, and possibly the first in the United
States. It was published in England in 1884 and has never been reprinted
anywhere after that date.
Eberlin was organist at the cathedral in Salzburg, Austria, in the middle
of the 18th century, and also served as music director at the court of
the Archbishop of Salzburg. He composed operas and other dramatic works
as well as music for organ, but he was best known for his many sacred vocal
works, including about 70 settings of the Mass and more than 20 oratorios.
Eberlin's Magnificat will be performed by Camerata with a chamber orchestra
of strings, trumpets and timpani. Orchestra members are students from the
UI School of Music and local high school students who study at the Preucil
School of Music in Iowa City.
The folk songs arrangements on the Camerata program will be "The
Banks of Doon" featuring a violin solo by David Bloesch, and an a-capella
arrangement of "O No John!" The spirituals will be "Oh Yes,"
as arranged by Carol Barnett for the Dale Warland Singers, and an arrangement
by Moses Hogan of "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot."
Bloesch received his doctorate in choral conducting and choral literature
from the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign. He teaches the history
of choral literature in the UI School of Music, conducts the Camerata Singers
and advises doctoral students. He is CD review editor for the Choral Journal,
and he held the national chair of the Repertoire and Standards Committee
for Colleges and Universities in the American Choral Directors Association
(ACDA). He is co-author of an annotated bibliography of 20th-century choral
music that was published by the ACDA.
Swanson joined the faculty of the UI School of Music in 1994. For nearly
20 years before that date he had an active operatic career in Europe. During
that time his repertoire grew to more than 70 roles in opera, operetta
and musicals. He has also had an extensive career as a concert singer,
appearing as featured soloist with many U.S. orchestras, including the
Chicago Symphony under Sir Georg Solti, Raphael Fruehbeck de Burgos and
Margaret Hillis. He has recorded Mendelssohn's "St. Paul" and
Ullmann's "Der Kaiser von Atlantis." Since coming to Iowa City,
he has appeared in UI Opera Theater productions and performances of the
Chamber Singers of Iowa City.
Lecuona has given solo and chamber music recitals throughout the United
States, as well as in South America and the Caribbean. As an Artistic Ambassador
for the United States, she has given concerts and master classes in Argentina,
Peru, Ecuador and Trinidad and Tobago. She has also performed solo recitals
and given master classes at many universities in Brazil. In 1993 she made
her Carnegie Hall debut in a chamber performance in Weill Recital Hall.
In collaboration with her UI faculty colleagues she has appeared in numerous
chamber music concerts on the UI campus.
For information on UI arts events, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/~uiowacr
on the World Wide Web. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at