This preview has been provided by St. Stephen’s Concert Series.

At 4 pm on Sunday, October 19, the St. Stephen’s Concert Series will present the Duo Eichêne, DeMar Austin Neal IV, baritone, and Katherine Thomas, pianist, performing “Songs of Faith.” The concert will take place in the Nave of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Durham, located at 82 Kimberly Drive, Durham, NC 27707. Tickets ($25) will be available at the door (cash or check only). The concert is free for those 18 or under. A Pre-Concert Discussion will take place at 3 pm.

Founded in 2012, the Duo Eichêne is dedicated to the performance of art song masterpieces of the 19th and 20th centuries. In response to their presentation of Schubert’s Die schöne Müllerin at Meredith College, CVNC reviewer Tom Moore, wrote the following:

“Neal turned in an interpretation of this masterwork that was on the very highest level (local presenters, are you listening?)”

“… perfect intonation… diction was crystal-clear… you could have taken dictation from his perfect German pronunciation.”

“Katherine Thomas played her part perfectly, sympathetically supporting the vocalist and framing the musical images with which Schubert depicts the imagery of the poetry. All in all, a performance to remember.”

The concert on October 19 features two song cycles, Dvořák’s “Biblical Songs,” based on ten psalms from the Czech-language Bible of Karlice, and the Five Mystical Songs by Ralph Vaughan Williams, based on the religious poetry of George Herbert. The Dvořák song cycle will be sung in Czech. (English translation will be provided!)

Completing the program will be an opening group of songs, sung in German, by Bach, Mozart, Schubert, Schumann, and Wolff.

There are several versions of the Five Mystical Songs, one involving full orchestra and SATB choir, others involving either piano or organ accompaniment. The October concert will involve a rarely heard version for baritone solo, piano, and male chorus. Larry Speakman, founder and conductor of the Concert Singers of Cary, will conduct this work.