Two Remembrances

Composer: André Previn (b. 1929)
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Composer: André Previn (b. 1929)

Performance date: 04/07/2015

Venue: Bantry Library

Composition Year: 1995

Duration: 00:07:28

Recording Engineer: Richard McCullough, RTÉ lyric fm

Instrumentation: 2vn, 2va, 2vc

Instrumentation Category:Trio

Instrumentation Other: S-solo, afl, pf

Artists: Maria Keohane - [soprano]
Phillipe Bernold - [flute]
Anna Tilbrook - [piano]

André Previn,
considered one of the world’s most versatile musicians, is a conductor,
composer, and pianist. Originally born Andreas
Ludwig Priwin
, Previn left his native Germany as a child in 1938 to escape
Nazi persecution, eventually settling in Los Angeles with his family. Previn
was classically trained, but is considered an equally gifted jazz pianist, and went
on to conduct the Houston Symphony, London Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, and
the Los Angeles Symphony Orchestras. His compositions encompass a wide range of
genres including contemporary classical, jazz, film music, and music theatre.

Previn’s Two Remembrances was written in 1995
with soprano Sylvia McNair in mind. The first movement, A Love Song, is by Else Lasker-Schüler, a Jewish-German
expressionist writer known for her bohemian lifestyle. Along with an active
literary life, Lasker-Schüler led an intense personal one marked by scandal,
which served as inspiration for many of her works. Previn interprets this work
with winding, tangled lines in the flute obbligato that set the stage for the
poem’s amorous invitation. The Debussy-like instrumental accompaniment creates
the effect of an exotic dream, and descending chromatic lines lead the listener
down uncertain paths, ultimately reuniting the poem’s two lovers.

In contrast, Lyric by Frau Ava is a concrete
declamation of love. The first lines I am
yours, you are mine/ Of this we are certain,
sets the tone for this
delicate, sweet ode. The movement reaches a climax as the soprano exclaims that
the small key is lost before gently
winding down, resolving that her love must
stay there forever.