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The Music House: The Italian Song Book by Hugo Wolf

July 28 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Jessie Wright Martin, mezzo-soprano, Patrick Howle, baritone, John O’Brien, piano

The Italian Song Book demonstrates Wolf’s ultimate in compositional refinement.  The first volume (22 songs) was composed in 1890-91; the second (24 songs), in 1896.  It is interesting how the style remained so consistent over such a long period of time.  A year later, the composer entered an asylum where he died in 1903.

The music is profound in its sheer simplicity.  The original Italian text is from a collection of hundreds of rispetti, veloti, retornelli, popular ballads, songs in folk-style, Corsican songs, and death laments.  In 1860 it was compiled and translated into German by Paul Heyse, a popular poet and author. Because the authors of the original Italian poems are anonymous, Wolf was able to put much more of himself into the music, as there was no revered shade of a great poet effecting his thought and feelings.

In dividing the songs between the sexes, many of the serious love-songs are for the man, while the woman exhibits moods of scorn, resentment, or humorous tolerance of her lover’s (or lovers’) defects. Hugo Wolf did not set the order of the songs and the songs do not tell a story per se.  The performers have chosen the order of the songs for this performance.

Suggested donations:
$20 per concert minimum
Students-what you can afford, please just attend


July 28
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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The Music House
408 West 5th St.
Greenville, NC 27834 United States
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