Love songs, live from Aspen

By Lawrence A. Johnson

Peter Lieberson’s Neruda Songs comprise the most moving and unearthly beautiful song cycle since Richard Strauss’s Four Last Songs. Like Strauss’s valedictory work, these five settings based on the Chilean poet’s subtly hued stanzas, are imbued with sadness and nostalgia. But primarily, they are intensely felt love songs with the looming shadow of mortality. The composer wrote the settings for his wife, the extraordinary mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, who premiered the Neruda Songs in 2005 and recorded the cycle before her death the following year.

Kelly O’Connor (above) will perform Lieberson’s Neruda Songs at the Aspen Festival, a performance that will be broadcast live 8 p.m. Friday via Performance Today on Classical South Florida (89.7 FM and 101.9 FM in West Palm Beach). The concert, featuring David Zinman and the Aspen Chamber Orchestra, will also include Yefim Bronfman performing Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3, and interviews with Lieberson, Zinman and the two soloists.

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Thu Jul 17, 2008
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