Stephen F. Austin State University

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SFA's voice faculty Turner to perform the music of Brahms

March 11, 2015 - Robbie Goodrich

NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The Stephen F. Austin State University College of Fine Arts and School of Music will present voice faculty member Chris Turner performing "The Lieder of Johannes Brahms" at 6 p.m. Monday, March 23, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

"Being a baritone, Brahms is considered one of the most representative composers of the Lieder genre for the baritone voice," Turner said. "In fact, many of his songs were specifically written for the famed baritone Julius Stockhausen, who was often accompanied by Brahms at the piano singing his songs."

The purpose of this program, Turner explains, is to introduce students to the beautiful melodies Brahms composed, the complexity of his offerings, and how well he wrote for the voice.

Pianist Dr. Ron Petti, director of accompanying at SFA, will accompany Turner on the program that features Brahms' "Von ewige Liebe," "Blind kuh" and "Wie bist du meine Königin," among other selections.

Turner described "Von ewige Liebe" as one of Brahm's most famous songs and also one of the longest and most difficult to perform. "One of the most interesting aspects of this piece is its telling of a love saga between a girl and boy through the use of three distinct voices - the narrator, the boy, the girl," he said. "Brahms uses the music to distinguish the characters, but it is still incumbent on the singer to convey vocally the individual qualities of these characters."

"Blind kuh," with its musical texture, "sounds more akin to Bach than Brahms," Turner said. "It illustrates that one can't generalize with certainty in the discussion of composers because there are always those exceptions, where composers for artistic or personal reasons do something different or push the boundaries," he said. "This is one such piece."

"Wie bist du meine Königin" shows Brahms' "gift for writing beautiful melodies at its best," Turner said.

Admission is free. For more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit www.finearts.sfasu.edu.