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"Love at the Door" Songs of Samuel Barber
Presented by the Clayton State University Department of Visual and Performing Arts, Music Division
“Love at the Door”
Songs of Samuel Barber
Christina Howell, soprano
Jonathan Pilkington, tenor
Benjamin Schoening, baritone
Karen Sigers, piano
“Love at the Door” is a story of youth, innocence, and love, told in an exquisite collection of songs by American composer Samuel Barber. Performed by Karen Sigers, piano and Benjamin Schoening, lyric baritone (University of North Georgia), Christina Howell, soprano (Clayton State University) and Jonathan Pilkington, tenor (Piedmont College), the program features such Barber favorites as The Monk and His Cat, Nocturne, Sure on this shining night, and his legendary Dover Beach.
Opening with Knoxville: Summer of 1915, Barber’s iconic setting of a simpler time begins wistfully, “It has become that time of evening, when people sit on their porches, rocking gently and talking gently…” After creating a collage of sights, sounds, and tastes, in memories of youth and family, he ends on a poignant note that ‘no one will ever tell me who I am.’ Far from a cry of self-pity, this is arguably a statement of a young man realizing his roots do not dictate him, rather he must go on a journey of self-discovery.
We move then through aspects of this journey, always through the lens of a different facet of love, sought and found by the exploration of piety, the despair of abandonment, and the return of hope in experiencing passion. An epilogue of Barber’s last three songs closes the night, by asking what manner of love has dominated life; a moment of sheer humor regarding cows and pianos; then the gorgeous affirmation that life and love indeed go on, into the boundless, boundless evening.