PHOTO CAPTION: Kate Light, a librettist, lyricist and poet will be performing her original work, Einstein’s Mozart: Two Geniuses, in conjunction with Bard at the Landing – part of ClaverackLanding’s spring chamber music series. This presentation includes two of Mozart’s string quartets interspersed with poetry and readings linking the life of the composer to that of 20th century genius, Albert Einstein. The evening is timed to occur during National Poetry Month and will take place at the First Presbyterian Church, Warren and Fourth Streets in Hudson on Saturday, April 13th beginning at 6 pm. For tickets, go to www.ClaverackLanding.org.
National Poetry Month Inspires Classical Music Presentation
HUDSON – In 1996, President Clinton declared the first National Poetry Month with these words: “[It] offers us a welcome opportunity to celebrate not only the unsurpassed body of literature produced by our poets in the past, but also the vitality and diversity of voices reflected in the works of today’s American poetry…” The resulting spotlight has brought some welcome exposure to the vast creativity shown by the country’s poets.
On Saturday, April 13th beginning at 6 pm, Kate Light will be adding her own poetic and narrative voice to the innovative works of 21st century poets when ClaverackLanding presents: Bard at the Landing: “Einstein’s Mozart: Two Geniuses”. The performance, including two student string quartets as well as Ms. Light, begins at 6 pm and takes place at The First Presbyterian Church, Warren and Fourth Streets in Hudson. Tickets are $20.00 each and can be purchased at www.ClaverackLanding.org.
Both men were creative and led extraordinary lives. Einstein is even known to have played Mozart’s works on his violin in order to clear his mind. So Light allows them to “meet” through the imaginations of both and through the magic of Mozart’s music. String Quartet in D major, K575 will be performed by Scot Moore and Reina Murooka – violins, Rosemary Nelis – viola and Stanley Moore – cello, students in The Bard Conservatory of Music. The “575,” as violinist Scot Moore calls it, will serve as a backdrop for poems about Einstein. Here is an excerpt from Light’s “From ETHER, OR…?”
Excuse me, dear physicists,
please make a note of this;
I have a radical theory of light:
If I may articulate:
it’s both wave and particulate.
You’ll want to debate, so I’ll wait, for I’m right.”
In the second half, students Jiamin and Jiazhi Wang – violins, David Toth – viola and Rylan Gajek-Leonard – cello, will play Mozart’s String Quartet in C major, K465 “Dissonance”. This piece will act as a counterpoint to Light’s narration about Mozart. Included will be this excerpt from Light’s TRAVELING IN COACH.
Could he play with a cloth totally covering the keys?
Could he improvise fugues with astonishing ease?
Could he make up an aria with pure melodies?
And a text as well? As quick as you please.
Did he ever get tired; did he ever feel pain?
Did he once say, Please, don’t put me through this again?
Did he say, Couldn’t somebody else entertain?
He was such a good boy. He would never complain.
Student Moore observes: “I think with “Dissonance”, Mozart was pushing his skills to impress his idol, Hayden. We know Einstein was constantly pushing himself, too. It seems reasonable that there is a parallel between the two.”
Light found commonalities, too. Einstein, a physicist and creative thinker, published five papers in a single year – including his revolutionary Theory of Relativity. Mozart, a child prodigy, wrote and performed nearly 600 musical works in his brief life – becoming one of the most widely played composers in the world. To her, it seems like a natural connection. “This is an exploration of two creators who left indelible marks on our world,” she concludes.
The poet is leaving her own indelible mark, too. Her work includes the libretto for The Life and Love of Joe Coogan, an opera adapted from an episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show; Metamorphoses, a musical-in-progress based on Ovid’s life and work and the lyrics for the song “Here Beside Me” heard in Disney’s Mulan II. Her poetry has appeared in The Paris Review, New York Sun, Feminist Studies and has been featured four times on Garrison Keillor’s The Writer’s Almanac. Keillor edited her book Good Poems for Hard Times. During 2011 – 2012, Light was Resident Artist with American Lyric Theater’s Composer Librettist Development Program. She has also been Visiting Professor at Cornell and Musashino Art University in Tokyo.
The performance, part of ClaverackLanding’s “Bard at the Landing” series, takes place on Saturday, April 13th beginning at 6 pm at The First Presbyterian Church on the corner of Warren and Fourth Streets in Hudson. For more information and tickets, go to www.ClaverackLanding.org.
Concerts and education programs of ClaverackLanding, great music in great spaces, are supported in part by Herrington’s, Hudson River Bank & Trust Company foundation, T.Backer Fund, JSL Computer Services, and many generous individuals and business sponsors.