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Lincoln, NE (Piano Quintet “Annunciation”)
A Vision of Paradise
A Retrospective Inspired by Byzantine Chant
Paul Barnespianist and chanter
Ruth Meints, violinMelissa Tatreau Holtmeier, violinClark Potter, viola
Karen Becker, cello
Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church Choir
Wednesday, Jan 31st 7:30pmWestbrook Recital HallGlenn Korff School of Music
Co-sponsored by Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church
A Vision of Paradise
On January 31st, 1994, I was received into the Orthodox Church after a lifetime search for atradition that integrated truth and beauty within a liturgical and spiritual practice upon whichI and my young family would draw for the rest of our lives. The emphasis within theOrthodox Christian tradition is one of direct participation in the grace and energy of Godmade possible by the Incarnation. This reality is continually reinforced by the understandingthat a human being is profoundly loved by her Creator and that this love can emanate to allothers within her orbit. There is a profound emphasis on beauty, and that even amid the painand ugliness of temporal reality, we are given a clarifying vision of paradise that confirms ourtrue destiny as human being made in the image of God. And this vision of paradise isregularly experienced through the ancient liturgical worship of the church.
I would later discover that January 31st was also the birthday of Philip Glass, a composer whowould radically alter the trajectory of my career as a musician. Tonight’s program featuresthe two works which I commissioned from Glass over that past several years and so in a wayis a retrospective of our work together. And the new work receiving its Nebraska premieretonight from my dear friend and composer J.A.C. Redford represents the latest incarnation ofthe wealth of new works I’ve commissioned based on the Orthodox Byzantine chant tradition.
Other works on tonight’s program reflect individuals, both who passed away in 2023, whohave profoundly influenced both my access to the inner life of music and my live-changingrelationships with my supporters. My beloved teacher Menahem Pressler profoundly affectedmy entire approach to the piano by completely engaging my ears to hear musical detailpreviously unheard. And my dear friend Ron Hull was a lifetime supporter of my work andinspired me to dream big about the musical projects I envisioned. Without his inspiration, I’mconvinced that both the Piano Concerto No. 2 “After Lewis and Clark” and the Piano Quintet“Annunciation” would never have been written.
Dreaming, Op. 15 No.3 (1892)
Dedicated to the memory of Menahem Pressler
From Piano Concerto No.2 “After Lewis and Clark” (2004)III. The Land
Megalynarion of the NativityKontakion of the Nativity
Variations on the Incarnation (2023) Nebraska Premiere
arranged by Kevin Lawrence
arranged by Kevin LawrencePhilip Glass
Apolytikion of the AnnunciationCommunion Hymn of the Annunciation
Piano Quintet “Annunciation” (2018)