Orchestra performs Pastoral Music

Pastoral Concert

Sarah Lawrence College Orchestra will present a concert of pastoral music as its first concert of the year on Tuesday, November 14th at 8 p.m. in Reisinger Concert Hall. Conceived and conducted by Martin Goldray, the concert will feature works by Handel, Haydn, Rossini and Samuel Barber. The orchestra will be joined by the Sarah Lawrence College Chamber Choir and by soprano soloist and recent graduate Tyler Azleton.

The theme of the concert is the pastoral in music: the depiction and celebration of the natural world. The concert begins with a benign view of nature, as evoked in the opening chorus of Handel’s pastoral opera Acis and Galatea, sung by the SLC Chamber Choir. The music becomes more tempestuous with the last movement of Haydn’s Symphony No. 8 (La Tempesta) and the William Tell Overture by Rossini. Closing the concert will be Samuel Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 for Soprano and Orchestra, a remembrance of childhood in Knoxville, with the family’s backyard substituting for the world outside.

Three lectures on pastoral literature, painting and music will be given during the week before the concert. The pastoral has a long history in literature and poetry, in which shepherds offer a complex and critical view of society, which in reality are views belonging to the sophisticated, and often unhappy, urban dweller. The pastoral landscape in painting is also a rich genre, where depictions of the locus amoenus, or place of delight, convey the subtleties of man’s relationship to nature. Composers of classical music have also used the pastoral idea in numerous ways, from comic to religious, expressing the sounds, feelings and terrors of the natural world.

These topics will be explored in three lectures on November 7th, 8th and 9th by members of the Sarah Lawrence College faculty, to be held inTitsworth Lecture Hall at 12:30 p.m. William Shullenberger will give a lecture called "Milton’s Pastoral Transcendence" on November 7. Martin Goldray’s lecture on November 8 is called "Rude Ditties: Music of Nature and the Pastoral Life." The final lecture, on November 9, will be by Joseph Forte, and is called "The Incipient Sublime in 17th Century Landscape: Poussin’s Paintings of Storms."?

This concert is dedicated to Stanley Lock, a Sarah Lawrence College faculty member emeritus, who died on October 8th, at the age of 80. Lock taught music at the College from 1949 to 1991. The concert and lectures are free and open to the public. For more information please call 914.395.2411.