Sheffield Chamber Players and WordSong
One text. Four composers. A public conversation.
Four settings of "The Second Coming" by William Butler Yeats
Music by Edmar Colón, Howard Frazin, Elena Ruehr, and Tom Schnauber
Discover how a single, familiar text can inspire a variety of thoughts and feelings, as we explore four new musical settings for string quartet and mezzo-soprano of Yeats' "The Second Coming," by composers Edmar Colón, Howard Frazin, Elena Ruehr, and Tom Schnauber.
Sheffield Chamber Players:
Sasha Callahan, violin
Megumi Stohs Lewis, violin
Alexander Vavilov, viola
Leo Eguchi, cello
with Christina English, mezzo-soprano
Here’s how the event will work: First, we all read the poem and listeners give their reactions. Then we play the songs; and then, you the listeners and we the composers and performers will have an open dialogue about what we all just heard: a dialogue about various points of view, preconceptions, and emotional impacts. In the course of the discussion, we’ll play each of the pieces again. A WordSong Forum is all about multiplicity: multiple settings, multiple hearings, multiple meanings. Together, we will discover how a single, familiar text can inspire a variety of thoughts and feelings; we will explore our perspectives and yours and how they are represented in the various meldings of words, ideas, and music. We hope you will join us in this exploration of multiplicity, this interaction between the familiar and the unfamiliar, this new way to experience new music!
A rising group on the regional classical music scene, Sheffield Chamber Players was founded in 2014 on the belief that experiencing chamber music in the intimate settings for which it was written profoundly changes the way listeners respond to music, and to each other. In close proximity to musicians, one can hear the expressive subtleties of a performance with unprecedented clarity. Sheffield’s musical experiences are enhanced by giving audiences details about composers’ backgrounds, and stories behind the music.
WordSong, founded in 2008 by composers Howard Frazin and Tom Schnauber, is Boston’s premier interactive concert organization. WordSong has created a new concert format focused on public conversation around intuitive musical understanding, aspiring to reconnect musicians and audiences through shared, active, artistic experiences. In its 14-year history, WordSong has produced 12 forum series and various other programs based on texts as diverse as Theodore Roethke’s “My Papa’s Waltz” and Langston Hughes’s “Harlem.” More than 50 performances, including more than 60 new works by living composers, have been presented throughout New England, as well as in New York, Minneapolis, and Washington, D.C., and as far away as Vancouver and Bulgaria.