The Traveller

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Students of Robert Schumann’s music have dubbed 1840 the Miracle Year. Alternatively, it is known as the Year of Song. For a man who suffered so much emotionally and who died so tragically, 1840 may have been the high point in his life.

First of all, he finally received permission to marry his beloved Clara Wieck after years of opposition from her father. Secondly, the music just poured out of him. He composed over 140 songs in that year.

When Isaiah Bell and Anna Cal perform at the Matsqui Centennial Auditorium on Friday, April 14, at 7:30 p.m., the program will be structured around Liederkreis. Op. 39, a song cycle that many consider to be the pinnacle of his output in that remarkable year.

The cycle consists of twelve songs in which Schumann put the poetry of Joseph von Eichendorff to music. The songs express thoughts of nature, longing, love, and travel in foreign lands, classic themes in the Romantic Era of European culture. Schumann, the epitome of Romantic Era composers, was the ideal musician to give these poems a melodic setting.

Tenor Isaiah Bell is a modern-day musician whose temperament resonates with this music and who has the talent to bring it to life in a new and original context. He has created a program entitled The Traveller that intersperses thematically-related songs throughout the Liederkreis.

Bell’s selections include traditional French and English folk songs, music from Alec Roth’s Songs in Time of War, and Bell’s own compositions, all knit together with a narration.

Tickets for this brilliant program are available online at at $32 for adults and $20 for students. There will be a pre-concert talk in the foyer at 6:50 p.m. For more information, call 604-289-3377.

I look forward to seeing you at the concert.

John Wiebe - President
The Valley Concert Society