Mille vote il di moro…A thousand times a day I die…
Correte, amanti, a prova…Hurry up, lovers, see for yourselves…
Itene, o miei sospiri precipitate’l volo…Oh, my sighs go swiftly to her…
Tu m’uccidi, o crudele…Oh cruel one, you are killing me…
Languisce a fin chi de la vita parte…One languishes at the end who departs from life…
“Mercè!” grido piangendo…”Mercy! I scream crying…
Voci dell’Ombra (Voices from the Shadow) The madrigals of the Renaissance composer, Carlo Gesualdo da Venosa, have interested me for some time with their articulate mode of expression and their rich and mysterious musical textures. I have chosen six madrigals from the composer’s fifth book of madrigals to set for piano and solo soprano voice. Above all, my goal was to capture the expression and drama of text found in Gesualdo’s five-part vocal writing, selecting freely from each of the voices to construct my recomposition of the music for a single voice. I also desired to create a piano accompaniment that orchestrated the harmonic and rhythmic contrasts that are so prevalent in these Madrigals. The end result, stylistically, spans the pre-renaissance and post-renaissance periods of music with my own predilection for complex textures and sonorities found in my own original music. These pieces were composed in collaboration with the Italian soprano, Angela Nisi, who was so generous with her comments regarding the setting of the Italian words and vocal technique required to perform the pieces. Finally, I am appreciative of Nick Ceramella for his translations of the texts into English and his assistance in interpreting the meaning of the Italian words. WGN
The Recital, approximately 60 mins in duration, performed by the acclaimed Italian soprano, Angela Nisi, accompanied by the composer William, Grosvenor Neil, will begin with a selection of Italian arts songs in the first half and end with the performance of Voci dell’Ombra.
Angela Nisi is an operatic lyric soprano, born near Brindisi/Italy; she regularly performs also symphonic and chamber repertoire.
She graduated in singing at Monopoli Conservatory/Italy, then she studied with Margaret Baker, Manuela Custer and Cristina Melis. She also has a Master on Solistic Repertoire with Orchestra (Monopoli) and attended the School of Acting at the Teatro Stabile in Turin directed by Davide Livermore and at the Santa Cecilia Opera Studio in Rome with Renata Scotto. She studied Musicology at Rome Tor Vergata University.
She’s the winner of several international voice competitions among which: 1st prize and engagements at “Ottavio Ziino” Competition (Rome 2012) and 1st prize at the “F. Provenzale” international baroque competition in Naples in 2006.
Angela made her debut at Bassano del Grappa OperaEstate Festival as MICAELA/Carmen in 2010, where she also sang Lucia di Lammermoor and DONNA ANNA/Don Giovanni; then she sang at Teatro Regio in Torino, Teatro Bellini in Catania, at Varna Summer Festival and Aalto-Theater in Essen (VIOLETTA/La Traviata), at Teatro San Carlo in Naples, at Teatro Verdi in Firenze.
William Grosvenor Neil In the 1980’s Neil was appointed as the first composer-in-residence with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the first residency of its kind with a major American opera company. His opera, The Guilt of Lillian Sloan was premiered by Lyric in June of 1986. He then went on to produce award-winning concerts and events at the New Music Chicago Spring Festival for several years. The Rome Prize and the Charles Ives Award are among his honors and his work has been recognized through grants from the National Endowment of the Arts, the Illinois Arts Council, fellowships from the Fulbright Commission, and the American Symphony Orchestra League, and awards from ASCAP and BMI. In 2008 he served as the McKnight Visiting Composer with the American Composers Forum for the city of Winona, MN. Most recently, clarinetist, Fàtima Boix Canto’ premiered Concerto for Piccolo Clarinet and Chamber Orchestra at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, CA, Duo Sureno premiered Love Poem with a Knife at the Cameron Art Museum in Wilmington, NC. Recent CD releases have featured his music including Out of Darkness Into Light on Ravello Records, Spiritual Adaptation to Higher Altitudes on Mark Masters Recordings, Six Preludes for piano on PnOVA Recordings. His music was featured on several live broadcasts on WFMT radio in Chicago in 2019 including his Six Preludes for piano solo by pianist Martin Jones. In the fall of 2020, Neil served as an Artist in Residence at Badlands National Park in South Dakota. Most recently, his Sacrum Creature will be premiered by the Artaria String Quartet at the 2021 Springwood Chamber Music Festival in Lanesboro, MN.
The range of sonic experiences is astounding but always illuminates the music and the drama.” SOUNDBOARD MAGAZINE.
William Neil’s compositions present the listener with an intense brilliant effect. FANFARE MAGAZINE
His music represents contemporary writing at its most intellectual probing. CHICAGO TRIBUNE
His extremely characteristic harmonic world is fundamental to the unfolding of his music. CLASSICAL CD REVIEW
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