CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Sept. 1, 2000
NOTE TO BROADCASTERS: Rene Lecuona is pronounced RAY-nee
leh-QUO-nah. Arthur Honegger is pronounced ar-TOOR HOE-neh-ger
Soprano Rachel Joselson will perform songs of Arthur
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Soprano Rachel Joselson and pianist
Rene Lecuona will perform songs by the French-Swiss composer Arthur Honegger
on a University of Iowa School of Music faculty recital at 8 p.m. Wednesday,
Sept. 13 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.
Their performance will be free and open to the public.
One of the leading composers of the early 20th century,
Honegger was born in France and spent most of his life there, although he
was considered Swiss by nationality. In the years after World War I he was
one of the French composers grouped together as "Les Six" (The six),
but he was the most independent of the group and actually had little in common
with the other composers.
Honegger composed in an eclectic variety of genres,
including music for radio and film, in addition to orchestra, chamber and
dramatic music of all kinds. He is best known today for his descriptive orchestra
piece "Pacific 231," named for a steam engine, and the dramatic
cantatas "King David" and "Joan of Arc at the Stake,"
which are performed with some frequency.
Honegger wrote 21 groups of songs for solo voice and
piano, containing a total of 56 individual songs.
"Stylistically, the songs reflect various levels
of sophistication, from first-class art songs to a flamenco-style radio show
number," Joselson said. "All together, they demonstrate a very broad
range of imagination and expression, which makes them very attractive for
The texts are equally diverse, from a transliteration
of the Hebrew Mimaamaquim -- Psalm 130 -- to the symbolist poetry of Guillaume
Apollinaire and Jean Cocteau.
Joselson will perform 27 of the songs, including five
collections based on an individual poet, as well as a set of Psalm settings
and several individual songs. Also included in Joselsons program are
texts from a translation of Hans Christian Andersens "Little Mermaid."
Before joining the School of Music faculty in the
fall of 1997, Joselson spent 13 years in Europe performing in opera and concert
with theaters and orchestras in Darmstadt, Hamburg, Berlin, Bonn, Basel, Barcelona,
Bilbao, Braunschweig, Brussels, Kiel, St. Gallen, Trier and other cities in
Germany, Switzerland and Spain. In this country she has appeared in Atlanta,
Indianapolis, Madison, Johnson City, Tenn., and New Brunswick, N.J.
In the 1995-96 season she had her first engagement
at the Metropolitan Opera and was engaged by Londons Covent Garden for
their 1992 Japan tour with Mozarts "Don Giovanni."
She has performed many of the major soprano roles
in the repertoire, including Leonore in Beethovens "Fidelio,"
in her most recent debut at the 1999 Gars, Austria, Summer Festival; Mimi
in Puccinis "La Boheme," Micaela in Bizets "Carmen,"
Melisande in Debussys "Pelleas et Melisande," Donna Elvira
in Mozarts "Don Giovanni," Tosca, Elisabetta in Verdis
"Don Carlo," and Eva in Wagners "Meistersingers of Nuremberg,"
among others. She is currently recording a CD of the Honegger songs. She was
featured in the 1998 recording of Gian Carlo Menottis "Help! Help!
Lecuona maintains an active teaching and performing
schedule at the UI School of Music, including frequent collaborations with
her faculty colleagues. Since joining the faculty in 1990 she has appeared
in more than 55 on-campus concerts. She is featured on several CD recordings,
including one with double bassist Diana Gannett of chamber music by Clara
Schumann and Johannes Brahms. In a recent review of the CD in Bass World,
Lecuonas performance on the recording was described as "magnificent."
Lecuona has given solo and chamber music recitals
throughout the United States, South America and the Caribbean. Most recently
she performed and presented master classes in Mexico. She made her Carnegie
Hall debut in a chamber performance in Weill Recital Hall in 1993, and she
has appeared as concerto soloist with orchestras in New York and Iowa. 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.
An advocate of 20th-century music, Lecuona has appeared
as solo pianist and chamber musician in concerts of the UI Center for New
Music. Her 20th-century repertoire includes several premieres of new works.
Martin Jenni, recently retired from the UI School of Music, has written two
solo piano works for her.
For information on UI arts events, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa
on the World Wide Web. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/.