Denison Valentine Concert Pairs Romantic Art Of Poetry & Music
Date of Event: February 11, 2001
Posted: February 5, 2001
GRANVILLE - A desire to celebrate a "sweet holiday" will provide the community with a concert in honor of Valentine's Day. Poet David Baker, Denison professor of English, will be joined by violinist Andrew Carlson, assistant professor of music, and pianist Nelson Harper, an affiliated studio instructor, in a special presentation of music and poetry at 3 p.m. on Sunday (Feb. 11) in Burke Recital Hall.
Carlson (left) and Baker
Baker says that Valentine's Day is his "favorite holiday" and that he wanted to do something special to celebrate. The concert idea developed with Carlson as a program in which the poet and violinist would talk to each other, respond to each other and engage in an artistic duet. Both performers hope that area couples will enjoy a "date afternoon," and that everyone will enjoy the "conversation" between the two art forms.
On the musical side of the conversation, Carlson will play "Ashokan Farewell" by Jay Ungar, one of the theme songs from Ken Burns' Civil War series. Also on the program will be several works from the romantic period, including Fritz Kreisler's "Liebesleid" (love sorrow), Sir Edward Elgar's "Salut d' Amour" and Sergei Rachmaninoff's "Vocalise." A movement from a violin sonata by Cesar Franck and the second movement of Gardner Read's "Five Aphorisms" ("Pains of love be sweeter far than alle pleasures are") will also be on the program.
Baker and Carlson will join in reading "Fade Out: A Lover's Discourse," a poem in two voices that incorporates Roland Barthes' work, "A Lover's Discourse." The two will also cooperate musically with Baker playing guitar.
Baker will read a suite of marriage poems, including "The Marriage," as well as a new poem, "Two Clouds," that he has dedicated to his wife, Ann, on their 10th anniversary. He also plans to read selections from new and old books , including some of his short erotic lyrics like "Trees in the Night" and "Waking After Snow."
Baker is currently on leave as winner of a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship and is working on three books. His "The Truth about Small Towns" won the Ohioana Book Award for poetry in 1999, following the lifetime achievement award given to him by the Ohioana Library Association in 1998. Other works by Baker include "Heresy and the Ideal," a collection of essays and criticisms about modern poetry, and poetry volumes "After the Reunion," "Sweet Home, Saturday Night," "Haunts," and "Laws of the Land."
Carlson joined Denison's faculty in 1999 and has performed numerous concerts with colleagues as well as a cameo performance at this year's Vail concert starring violinists Rachel Barton and Mark O'Connor. Director and founder of the Denison Orchestra, Carlson performs as both a soloist and chamber musician. In addition, he has been a traditional "fiddler" since age five, winning the 2000 Ohio Grand Champion Fiddler competition and twice winning the Georgia State Champion Fiddler contests.
Harper, who will accompany both Carlson and Baker on piano, joined the Denison faculty in 1987. This past September, he and Carlson gave a concert featuring the works of five contemporary composers. Harper earned his bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees at Ohio State University, where he was the first pianist to receive the University's Distinguished Teaching Award. He and violinist Michael Davis have released two compact disc recordings of duo sonatas and both recordings received a "five star" rating in Classical Pulse and were selected as recordings of the month by Tower Records. A frequent recitalist, Harper has appeared in several summer music festivals and has been heard in solo and chamber performances for live broadcasts on Chicago's fine arts radio station, WFMT.
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