Review by Clarke Bustard in Letter V

Saturday, Jan 13, 7:30 pm
Richard Strauss: Enoch Arden, Op. 38, TrV 181 A melodrama in verse by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, set to music by Richard Strauss, for narrator and piano
— A rare chance to attend a performance in which the spoken, not sung, word weaves with music. Tennyson’s story is a love triangle — with one of its anguished lovers lurking in the shadows.
Aaron Anderson, narrator (jump to bio) | Peiwen Chen, piano
PDF of full text: Enoch Arden, by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
– intermission –
Claude Debussy: La Mer, for one piano, four hands (original version  by the composer)
— A day at the ocean and all her moods and Debussy’s gorgeous musical colors, in three movements: “De l’aube à midi sur la mer”: from dawn to noon at the ocean / “Jeux de vagues”: Play of the waves / “Dialogue du vent et de la mer”: Dialogue of the wind and the ocean
Peiwen Chen, piano | Alexander Paley, piano

Sunday, Jan 14, 3:00 pm
Franz Liszt: Sonata in B minor
— If you’re a classical music afficionado, you’ll have heard, and will hear, Listz’s Sonata in B minor … more than once. But hearing Alexander Paley perform it: that’s the ultimate.
– intermission –
Robert Schumann: Carnaval, Op. 9
— Schumann’s subtitle for Carnaval is “Scènes mignonnes sur quatre notes” (Little Scenes on Four Notes). The four notes make cryptograms, and Schumann predicted that “deciphering my masked ball will be a real game for you.” More than a game, it will be downright impossible if you’re not versed in German language, culture and music. Don’t worry! Schumann’s music speaks a universal language of delight. (But — the solution will be offered in our program.) 
Alexander Paley,  piano

Free admission – donation appreciated

Aaron Anderson is thrilled to be returning to the Alexander Paley Festival. Previous narration for the festival here in Richmond and at the Moulin d’Ande Art Center in Ande, France, includes “Enoch Arden,” Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Stravinski’s L’Histoire du Soldat. When not working with Sasha and Peiwen, Aaron spends most of his time as a professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he is Associate Chair of the Theatre Department in the School of the Arts, Founding Director of the Standardized Patient Program in the School of Medicine, and Instructor for the Executive MBA program in the School of Business. He holds a PhD in Culture from Northwestern University and an MFA in Theatre from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He is also internationally certified as a fight director with the Society of American Fight Directors and the British Academy of Stage and Screen Combat (of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts) and has choreographed fights and stunts for over 50 productions for theatre and film in the United States and Europe. return to program

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