Leah Crocetto, Soprano
Mark Markham, Piano
Leah Crocetto, Soprano
Mark Markham, Piano
RESPIGHI "Mattinata" from Sei melodie
POULENC "Violon" from Fiançailles pour rire, No. 5
POULENC "Fleurs" from Fiançailles pour rire, No. 6
POULENC "Aux officiers de la garde blanche" from Trois poèmes de Louise de Vilmorin
POULENC "Les chemins de l'amour" from Léocadia
RACHMANINOFF "Oh, Do Not Sing to Me, Fair Maiden"
RACHMANINOFF "Fragment from Musset," Op. 21, No. 6
RACHMANINOFF "How Fair This Spot," Op. 21, No. 7
RACHMANINOFF "What Happiness," Op. 34, No. 12
GREGORY PEEBLES Eternal Recurrence (NY Premiere)
GERSHWIN "The Man I Love"
ARLEN "The Man that Got Away" from A Star Is Born
RODGERS "Falling in Love with Love" from The Boys from Syracuse
FAIN "I'll Be Seeing You" from Right this Way
KERN "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man" from Show Boat
ELLINGTON "In a Sentimental Mood"
This concert is made possible by The Ruth Morse Fund for Vocal Excellence.
At a Glance
One could hardly ask for a program more colorful and varied than this one, in which we hear of love—secular, sacred, reciprocated and joyous, despairing and forlorn. In four songs by Ottorino Respighi, we journey from utmost sorrow in the first two songs to an ecstatic acclamation of the Virgin in the last.
Francis Poulenc, son of a wealthy chemical manufacturer, is one of the greatest French song composers of the 20th century. He met writer Louise de Vilmorin in 1934 and created 12 songs to her poetry, including the cycle Fiançailles pour rire (Betrothal for Jest) and a set of three songs in 1937.
In the space of 27 years between 1890 and the Russian Revolution in 1917—at which point Sergei Rachmaninoff left his native country never to return—he composed more than 80 songs, many of them for singers he knew and worked with personally. Once in the US, he never wrote another, to everyone’s regret. Four of his songs—by turns sad, tender, ecstatic, and always rich—resound this evening.
A song cycle by Gregory Peebles titled Eternal Recurrence—which refers to the theory that all life, the universe itself, has recurred and will recur throughout infinity—receives its New York premiere this evening. Peebles has been a distinguished countertenor with Schola Antiqua and Chanticleer, and is also a composer whose consummate understanding of the voice is on display in this work.
Four familiar and beloved works from the Great American Songbook close out the program, beginning with the Gershwin brothers’ immortal “The Man I Love,” followed by songs of Harold Arlen, Richard Rodgers, and Sammy Fain.
Described by The New York Times as possessing an “agile coloratura technique and a feeling for the Italianate style ... with warmth, full penetrating sound, and tenderness,” American soprano Leah Crocetto continues to astonish audiences with her moving portrayals of opera’s greatest heroines. In the 2018–2019 season, Ms. Crocetto returns to Seattle Opera as Leonora in Verdi’s Il trovatore, and she sings her first performance of Bellini’s Norma in concert with North Carolina Opera. With the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, she is soprano soloist in Verdi’s Requiem, and with the LA Phil, she sings in Mahler’s epic Symphony No. 8 with Gustavo Dudamel.
The 2017–2018 season performances for Ms. Crocetto included the title role in Verdi’s Aida with Seattle Opera and Washington National Opera, the latter where she also sang Elisabetta in Verdi’s Don Carlos. In the 2016–2017 season, Ms. Crocetto made role debuts as the title character of Aida in a return to San Francisco Opera, and also as Eleonora in the first US performances of Donizetti’s L’assedio di Calais at the Glimmerglass Festival. Ms. Crocetto made her Metropolitan Opera debut in the 2015–2016 season as Liù in Puccini’s Turandot.
On the concert stage, Ms. Crocetto has sung Verdi’s Requiem with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, LA Phil, Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern, San Francisco Opera, Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Columbus Symphony, and Albany Symphony. She sang Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos and the LA Phil, Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater with Nicola Luisotti and San Francisco Opera, and Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with Donald Runnicles at the Grand Teton Music Festival. In addition, she performed a concert of sacred music by Verdi with the Orchestre National de France. She returned to her hometown for a gala concert of opera and musical theater with the Adrian Symphony Orchestra (Michigan), and was featured in a gala opera concert with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. She has performed recitals at the Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts in Davis, California; Green Music Center at Sonoma State University; and Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky.
Pianist Mark Markham is considered one of the finest artists of his generation. The breadth of his repertoire is unrivaled. Equally at home as a soloist, collaborator with great singers, chamber musician, jazz pianist, or vocal coach, his interpretations have been praised by the public and press alike. His international career has encompassed performances in North and South America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.
Mr. Markham begins the 2018–2019 season with a solo recital at the Lexington Bach Festival entitled Bach and the Art of Improvisation, followed by a recital with mezzo-soprano Elizabeth DeShong at the Kennedy Center. He returns to Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall twice this season in performances with soprano Leah Crocetto and mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges. In February, he music directs a program celebrating the music of Kurt Weill and George Gershwin entitled Mack the Knife Is the Man I Love at Lyric Opera of Kansas City. The following month, he returns to New York City for a solo recital, My Songs Without Words, as part of the Sacred Music in a Sacred Space Concerts. Later in the spring, he serves on the faculty of the Georg Solti Accademia in Venice and performs in recital with Sandra Hamaoui for the Art Song Preservation Society of New York.
As the recipient of the 2016 Distinguished Alumnus Award from Johns Hopkins University, Mr. Markham opened the 2017–2018 season with a solo recital at the Peabody Institute, celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Peabody-Hopkins union. Other performances included Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto with the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra, a vocal recital with Ms. Crocetto and baritone Zachary Nelson at the Morgan Library & Museum, Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G Major with the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, a solo recital for Market Square Concerts in Harrisburg, and a performance of Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto with Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra. The summer of 2017 saw the launch of the first season of Mr. Markham’s vocal workshop Singing in Sicily, a nonprofit intensive training program for talented young singers from around the world.
Visit markmarkhampianist.com for more information.