NACOGDOCHES, Texas – The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music will present a faculty recital featuring Scott LaGraff, baritone, and Hyun Ji Oh, pianist, at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 23, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.
LaGraff will perform works by some of his favorite composers along with selections from his latest CD, "Incline Thine Ear and Other Sacred Songs." Kimberly LaGraff, mezzo soprano, will join her husband for selected duets.
Works to be performed are by G.F. Handel, Hugo Wolf, Maurice Ravel, W.A. Mozart, Oley Speaks, Albert Hay Malotte, Ernest Charles and others.
Ravel's "Don Quichotte à Dulcinée" has been a baritone standard since its composition in the early 1930s, but one that LaGraff has not performed in about 15 years.
"Each piece explores a different aspect of Don Quixote's deep love for Dulcinea," LaGraff explained. "The cycle begins with a sensuous love song, moves to a heroic song of dedication, and ends with a frivolous and comical drinking song."
The program includes sacred selections composed by Speaks that are included on LaGraff's most recent CD.
"The songs are musically interesting and technically challenging settings of well-known passages of scripture," he said. "Speaks was born in Canal Winchester, Ohio, very close to where I grew up, which makes these pieces even more personal for me."
Malotte's "The Lord's Prayer," which will be performed as a duet with Kimberly LaGraff, has been recorded by artists as diverse as Leontyne Price and the Beach Boys, LaGraff said.
"Most importantly to us, however, is the fact that we sang it at our own wedding and have performed it countless times since then at weddings, in church services, and even in a cow pen at a cattle auction!" he said. "The duet version is not heard nearly as often as the solo version. It is also on my CD."
The concert is a joint presentation of the College of Fine Arts and School of Music. Cole Concert Hall is located in the Wright Music Building, 2210 Alumni Drive.
Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit www.finearts.sfasu.edu.