I think everybody knows how much I love programming a recital, and this astronomy program has been no exception. I keep calling it “the astronomy recital” because it is for an astronomy group, but it is obviously more of a night-themed program, and I’m loving how it is shaping up.
There are practical as well as artistic elements to consider this time around. Since the program is in Boulder and Jocelyn is unable to travel with me this time, I will be using two wonderful local pianists. We’re still figuring out how to divide up the program, and I’m trying to select music that we already know or will have a fairly easy time putting together. B will also be singing a few pieces! I’m still on the lookout for a good night-themed duet, so keep those ideas coming. (I’m using several of the ideas that I’ve gotten from comments and on Twitter! Thanks for your help!)
On the (much more enjoyable) artistic side, I’ve divided the program into four sets, each with 3-4 songs and an aria that center on a theme. The first half of the program will focus on things in the sky - Stars & Planets and The Moon - while the second half deals with the less tangible aspects of “the night” - Seduction & Romance and Dreams.
That last set theme was the last to make itself clear to me, and in truth, that didn’t happen until I received a comment on my last post. I had asked for help with determining this last set via a Twitter post, asking if maybe “dreams or dreaming” would work. I knew I was thinking something about the way we dream when we look at the sky as well as the dreams we dream when we sleep, but this reader summed it up perfectly:
I like the dreams theme. Not referring to the dreams one has while sleeping but the dreams one has while looking at the night sky. The vast expanse of sky, the limitless boundaries for the imagination to explore, the incomprehensible beauty, the possibility of finding something new. Maybe I'm being naively romantic but I think that's what astronomers dream about every time they look up - as maybe the rest of us do too. Astronomers may talk about "Star e4.632056" and all sorts of technical stuff but I'd bet underneath that they're all hopeless dreamers.
I mentioned Nacht und Traume the other day because when it ends with:
"They listen with delight,
cry out when day awakens;
Come back, Holy Night!
Sweet dreams,come back!"
I thought that might sum up the feelings of astronomers everywhere. Listening to the night sky, disappointed when the sun rises, and wishing the stars would remain above so they could continue looking up and dreaming.
Pretty cool, right? I got chills when I read it, realizing that s/he said exactly what I wanted to express in this final set. I am thrilled to have had such wonderful help with this program! Thank you, twelvethoughts, where ever you may be...
I feel like I have most of the program set, but I’m still hunting for the right aria for the Seduction & Romance set. It could for be soprano or bass-baritone, or maybe an opera duet, but it has to be sexy! Should be an obvious choice out there somewhere, but I’m drawing a blank. Send me your ideas! I won’t be sharing the final program until close to the recital date (mid-December), but it will be worth the wait...