Helēna Sorokina

VOICE.ONLY: Look down, fair moon

Helena Sorokina & Eriko Muramoto in cooperation with the concert series VOICE.ONLY of the cultural association StimmKubator

The moon has always fascinated humans and ultimately even successfully lured them to it. Thus, the American composer Ned Rorem, a Pulitzer Prize winner who is meanwhile 98 years old and considered to be a living legend of Post-Romanticism and Post-Impressionism, also frequently dealt with the moon, the sky and nature in his oeuvre. With his more than 500 songs for voice and piano, he is also rightfully called the Schubert of America. The romantic nature theme of the nocturnal moon is also taken up by the Greece-based Latvian composer Gundega Šmite in her Shakespeare songs, in the "Nightwindseeker" and in "My paper garden" by the renowned Austrian composer Gerald Resch, and in "Solo et pensoso" by the Graz-based American Alyssa Aska. In this concert, alto Helena Sorokina, a doctoral student at the University of the Music and Performing Arts in Graz, and award-winning Vienna-based Japanese pianist Eriko Muramoto devote themselves to light melancholy. The story about the fascination of the moon, condensed into contemporary sounds, is explained by a short introduction, which explains the following musical moon landing to the audience in an understandable way.

Vienna-based Latvian mezzo-soprano Helēna Sorokina is a specialist for contemporary vocal music and performance, and has served as alto of the renowned vocal ensemble Cantando Admont since 2017. Performances and lectures have taken her to the Salzburg Festival (also this year), Teatro Colon Buenos Aires, UC Berkeley and Davis, and the Deutsche Oper Berlin, among others. 2022 she can be heard amid others at the Onassis Center Athens, the Musikverein Vienna and the Concertgebouw Amsterdam. Since 2020, she has been developing and presenting the VOICE.ONLY project, an innovative contemporary concert series and artistic-scientific doctoral project at the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz, which explores a wide variety of facets and notations of music for an unaccompanied solo voice or in combination with individual instruments.

The award-winning Japanese pianist Eriko Muramoto studied in Tokyo and Vienna. She has performed at festivals such as Wien Modern, Vienna Summer Music Festival. As a soloist she has worked with the Bad Reichenhall Philharmonic Orchestra and Webern Ensemble Vienna featuring renowned composers such as Agata Zubel. As an ensemble pianist she performs with the ensembles PHACE, Platypus, Ensemble XX. Jahrhundert, Hypergol, the Grafenegg Academy Orchestra and the Webern Chamber Philharmonic. She has made significant appearances as a pianist for the stage orchestras of the Vienna State Opera and Munich Biennale.

Ned Rorem – selected songs:
The Waking (Theodore Roethke)
That shadow, my likeness (from „Whitman Cantanta“, Walt Whitman) Orchids (Theodore Roethke)
Look down, fair moon (Walt Whitman)
The End (Dana Gioia)
Clouds (Paul Goodman)
A Child Asleep in Its Own Life (Wallace Stevens)
Gerald Resch (*1975) – Cycle „Nightwindseeker“: 12 haiku after H.C. Artmann for voice and piano (keys and strings, 2018
Gerald Resch (1975*) – Cycle „My paper garden“: 5 simple songs after poems by Elfriede Gerstl for voice and piano (with magnets, 2021)
Gundega Šmite (*1977) – Three Songs after William Shakespeare for alto voice and piano (2007/2022)
Alyssa Aska (*1985) – Solo et pensoso (2020)

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