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University of Iowa News Release

Nov. 19, 2003

Three by Three: Three UI Music Faculty Will Present Three Works by Schumann Dec. 5

Three faculty members from the University of Iowa School of Music will combine their talents to present "Schumann zu Dritt: Lieder and Lecture" (Schumann by three: songs and a lecture), a free performance and commentary on three sets of songs by Robert Schumann, at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 5.

The performers will be soprano Rachel Joselson and pianist Uriel Tsachor. Forming the third of the presenters will be UI music theory faculty member Gregory Marion, who will discuss the meaning and significance of Schumann's song cycles.

Continuing the theme of threes, Joselson and Tsachor will perform three groups of songs: The "Liederkreis" (Song cycle) op. 24, based on a series of poems by Heinrich Heine; "Liederkreis" op. 39, based on poems by Josef Karl Benedikt von Eichendorff; and "Drei Gesaenge" (Three songs) op. 95, on poems by Lord Byron, from his "Hebrew Melodies" (1815).

The subject of the program, and of Marion's talk, is the meaning of the term "song cycle." It is the term that Schumann himself used for two of the three groups of pieces on the program, and it is a term that has been used to describe many groups of songs, by many composers, that are composed or published together under a single title.

Song cycles differ considerably: Some tell stories, others are unified by the subject matter or the poet, and still others seem to be loose collections that are not as unified.

Marion will discuss the issues surrounding the term "song cycle" after the performance of the first set, the cycle on texts by Heine.

"I will consider, among other things, the somewhat thorny issue of what constitutes a cycle," Marion explained.

"The matter has been differently fashioned over the course of the history of the genre, and has been variously couched even in the last 20 years. One major point is that for audiences of Schumann's time -- particularly the musically literate -- and for those of today as well, the listener is as much a participant in fashioning the overall impression of the cycle as are the performers."

"I will hold opus 95 in relief, since it is rather different from the other two. While they were written in 1840, during Schumann's 'year of the song' when he concentrated on song composition and completed many of his best known songs, op. 95 was written a decade later, and it contains but three pieces, as opposed to the two longer, earlier sets."

Before joining the School of Music faculty in the fall of 1997, Joselson (left) 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 London's Covent Garden for their 1992 Japan tour with Mozart's "Don Giovanni."

She has performed many of the major soprano roles in the repertoire, including Leonore in Beethoven's "Fidelio"; Mimi in Puccini's "La Boheme," Micaela in Bizet's "Carmen," Melisande in Debussy's "Pelleas et Melisande," Donna Elvira in Mozart's "Don Giovanni," Tosca, Elisabetta in Verdi's Don Carlo and Eva in Wagner's "Meistersingers of Nuremberg." She recently completed a CD of the songs of Swiss composer Arthur Honegger, to be released on the Albany label. Recent appearances have been with Utah Festival Opera and as soloist with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in Salt Lake City for their internationally televised broadcast, "Music and the Spoken Word." She is a permanent member of the Millennium Wagner Opera Company of New York and Washington, D.C.

Uriel Tsachor joined the faculty of the UI School of Music in the fall of 1988. A Steinway artist, Tsachor was a winner of the Bosendorfer Empire International Competition in 1986 and the Busoni Competition in 1985, and a laureate of the Queen Elisabeth Piano Competition in 1983. He is a graduate of the Rubin Academy in Tel-Aviv, Israel, and the Juilliard School in New York. He has performed as a soloist in Tel-Aviv, Jerusalem, New York, Chicago, Vienna, Paris and other cities around the world.

Tsachor has performed with the Israel Philharmonic by invitation from Zubin Mehta. He has also appeared as soloist with the New York City Symphony, the Teatro La Fenice Symphony in Venice and the National Orchestra of Belgium, among others. He has performed both live and in recordings for radio and television stations in Israel, Europe and the United States, and he has made 18 recordings for the EMI, Musical Heritage Society, PHONIC, DIVOX, Olympia and EMS labels. In November 1999 the Paris-based label CALLIOPE released a two-CD set of the complete violin and piano sonatas and arrangements by Brahms, featuring Tsachor and violinist Andrew Hardy.

An assistant professor of music theory in the UI School of Music, Marion has also held teaching positions at the University of Michigan and the Pennsylvania State University.

Although he specializes in the music of the later 19th century, his research interests extend from the later classical era to the present day. Marion is currently working on a book project entitled "At the Divide: Temporal and Spatial Concerns in the Music of Claude Debussy." He has published in the scholarly journals Integral and Current Musicology, and he has presented papers at national and international conferences.

Marion earned a doctorate from the University of Michigan, a master's degree from the University of Alberta and a bachelor's degree from the University of Western Ontario.

The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

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