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  • Carnegie Hall Presents
  • ZH Zankel Hall
  • SA/PS Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
  • REW Resnick Education Wing
  • WRH Weill Recital Hall

J’Nai Bridges, Mezzo-Soprano
Mark Markham, Piano

Thursday, December 13, 2018 7:30 PM Weill Recital Hall
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J’Nai Bridges by Nadav Cohen-Jonathan, Mark Markham by Jean-Luc Fievet
The “plush voiced” (The New York Times) mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges has performed with leading orchestras and opera companies around the world. Her “rich, dark, exciting sound” (Opera News) has been heard in performances with such leading conductors as Gustavo Dudamel, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and others. Bridges has sung leading roles at the Bayerische Staatsoper, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and other noteworthy companies, making her one of the most sought-after singers of the day.


J’Nai Bridges, Mezzo-Soprano
Mark Markham, Piano


FISCHER "I Love to Tell the Story"
IVES "Berceuse"
RICHARD DANIELPOUR "Margaret's Lullaby" from Margaret Garner
TRAD. "To be baptised" (arr. Undine Smith Moore)
MAHLER Kindertotenlieder
RAVEL Shéhérazade
TRAD. "Plenty Good Room" (arr. Roland Hayes)
BONDS "Minstrel Man"
J. CARTER Toccata: "Ride on King Jesus" from Cantata

Salon Encores

Get together with people who love music after this Weill Recital Hall concert for a free drink and discussion with the evening's musicians.
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At a Glance

This evening’s program begins and ends with songs, spirituals, and lullabies by American composers. In between these groups are two European song cycles—one German and one French—whose themes on slavery and the death of children align with the themes of the songs that surround them.

The popular Christian hymn “I Love to Tell the Story” opens the program, followed by two cradle songs, one by early–20th-century iconoclast Charles Ives and the other by eminent contemporary composer Richard Danielpour. “Margaret’s Lullaby” is an extract from Danielpour’s opera Margaret Garner, which tells the true story of a slave who killed her daughter rather than allow her to be returned to slavery. A granddaughter of slaves, Undine Smith Moore arranged the spiritual “To Be Baptized.”

Early–19th-century poet Friedrich Rückert tried to exorcize his grief over the loss of his two young children in more than 400 poems. In the first years of the 20th century, Gustav Mahler chose five of these poems for his searing song cycle Kindertotenlieder (Songs on the Death of Children). A youthful Maurice Ravel both acknowledges his debt to Debussy and establishes his own style in his song cycle Shéhérazade, which was born of the Middle Eastern folk tale collection One Thousand and One Nights.

A newly composed spiritual by Shawn Okpebholo, a traditional spiritual, a setting of Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes by Margaret Bonds, and a rousing final number from John D. Carter’s Cantata complete the program with emphatic expressions of spiritual joy and glory.

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