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FACULTY RECITAL FOCUSES ON MUSIC OF ROBERT AND CLARA
HAMMOND -- A March 17 recital
by Southeastern Louisiana University music colleagues Joy Ratliff, mezzo
soprano, and Henry Jones, piano, will highlight one of classical music’s
most famous couples, composers Robert and Clara Schumann.
The free 7:30 p.m. recital in
the Pottle Music Building Auditorium is part of the Department of Music
and Dramatic Arts’ spring Encore! series.
Clara Wieck was a child prodigy
pianist and Robert Schumann was a student of her domineering father when
the musical pair met in 1828. They overcame her father’s opposition to
marry in 1840. That same year, Schumann composed more than 100 of his 250
Lieder – the songs for solo voice and piano that Ratliff and Jones will
The Schumann’s marriage, which
endured for 16 years and produced seven children, ultimately was marred
by Robert’s mental instability. He spent his last two years in a mental
institution, dying at age 46. Clara Schumann outlived her husband by 40
Today, Schumann’s music is generally
more highly regarded than his wife’s, but interest in Clara’s music has
surged, especially among feminists, Ratliff said.
“Clara herself was not a feminist,
but rather an intelligent and practical woman of her time,” she said. “Perhaps
she was ahead of her time, in the sense that ‘she did it all.’”
The recital program will include
five works by Robert Schumann, including a trio of vocal duets, and two
by Clara Schumann. Ratliff will perform the three songs which Clara contributed
to the song cycle, “Zwölf Gedichte aus Rückert’s ‘Liebesfrühling,’”
that she composed in collaboration with her husband. Ratliff will be joined
in Robert Schumann’s vocal duets by baritone James Flick, a graduate student
from South Charleston, W.Va.
Ratliff joined the Southeastern
faculty last year as voice professor and vocal coach for the Opera-Music
Theatre Program. During a 15-year operatic career in Germany, she performed
leading mezzo-soprano roles such as Carmen, Angelina, Suzuki, Cherubino,
Hansel, Orlofsky and Octavian.
She previously taught at the
University of Maryland and Marshall University in West Virginia and studied
Italian in an intensive four-week course at Scuola Leonardo da Vinci in
Florence. A Southeastern graduate, Ratliff earned a master’s degree
from Northwestern University (Illinois) and doctoral degree from the University
of Maryland. She is an active oratorio soloist and recitalist.
After graduating from Yale University
in 1978, Jones spent ten years in New York City as a free-lance vocal coach
and accompanist. His credits include choral performances at Carnegie Hall
and Lincoln Center and vocal recitals at Lincoln Center. He also was musical
director of a gymnastic exhibition at Madison Square Garden, and Broadway
and Off-Broadway shows, including “Evita,” “Jerome Robbins' Broadway,”
and “The Fantasticks.”
Jones received his doctoral degree
from Louisiana State University and taught at Minot State University in
North Dakota and Missouri Southern State College in Joplin before joining
Southeastern’s faculty. He was a winner of the LSU Symphony Concerto Competition,
and was nominated several times for best musical director by the Manhattan
Association of Cabarets.
For additional information about
the recital call 985-549-2184.
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