THE PRISON BY DAME ETHEL SMYTH
For soprano, baritone and choir,
with reduced orchestration for piano and bugle
Cantori New York ends the season with the concert-length cantata The Prison by Dame Ethel Smyth, written in 1930. The text is by Smyth’s close friend and preferred librettist, Harry Brewster, who chose this verse to summarize the piece: “I am striving to reach that which is divine within us, and to merge it in the universally divine.” Artistic Director Mark Shapiro sees The Prison as Dame Ethel’s own attempt to compose a secular Requiem, possibly in response to Brahms. In recognition of Johannes Brahms’s influence on Dame Ethel, the program will also include his Marienlieder.
Saturday, May 14, 2016, 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 15, 2016, 7:00 p.m.
Church of St. Luke in the Fields
487 Hudson Street, New York City
Season at a glance
In The Valley of Delight: Three Utopian Fragments Paul Crabtree offers three Shaker depictions of the promised land. Siegfried Thiele’s Prophezeiungen and The New Amorous World by Lembit Beecher complete the concert.
November 14th, 2015
La remontée des cendres by Frank Ferko, sung in French, is based on Tahar Ben Jelloun’s haunting poem of the same name. Cantori presents Tre nuovi madrigali by 20th-century composer Bruno Bettinelli, and At the Edge of the Earth by the Latvian composer Maija Einfelde.
March 12th, 2016
Dame Ethel Smyth’s The Prison, her last musical composition of significance, imagines a prisoner has an internal dialogue with his soul as the end of his life approaches.
May 14th, 2016