Mirror Visions
July 7, 2015

The Mirror Visions Ensemble is proud to release their fourth disc, The Three-Paneled Mirror on Centaur Records. Under the guidance of Artistic Director Tobé Malawista, the Mirror Visions Ensemble (soprano Vira Slywotzky, tenor Scott Murphree and baritone Jesse Blumberg) has commissioned more than 80 vocal chamber music works from 24 composers. This unique double album is comprised entirely of commissioned works by acclaimed composers Richard Pearson ThomasTom Cipullo and Christopher Berg.

The album launches with Richard Pearson Thomas’s cantata Clean Plates Don’t Lie, which sets to music a number of texts drawn from the menus of Chef Dan Barber’s Blue Hill at Stone Barns restaurant. Inspired by the farm-to-table movement, Thomas explores different aspects of food, including ingredient selection, meal preparation (plus recipes!) and the pleasure of dining. Next, the elegant poetry of Linda Pastan, who is known for making the ordinary extraordinary in her writing, is set to music by Christopher Berg in The Months. Tom Cipullo’s brilliantly crafted A Visit With Emily follows, and in the words of the composer: "A Visit With Emily is something of a genre-bender, part song cycle in its intimacy and accompaniment, part opera in its size and ensembles.” Through the use of Emily Dickinson’s poetry, along with letters between her and T.W. Higginson, Mr. Cipullo constructs a revealing portrait of the enigmatic poet.

The recording concludes with a trilogy of Jeffrey Greene’s poetry entitled The Three-Paneled Mirror, reflecting further upon Ms. Dickinson in “Emily’s Truth” and on Madame de Sévigné, a French aristocrat remembered for her witty and vivid letter-writing, in “The Ghost of Madame de Sévigné at the Carnavalet.” “Theories of Perfection at Merkin Hall” is based on Mr. Greene’s experience while attending the Mirror Visions Ensemble’s rehearsal at Merkin Concert Hall in New York City in November 2010.

What began as programs built around individual poets and a fascination with multiple settings of the same text – a “mirror vision” – has expanded to include the commissioning of over 80 works from 24 composers, including Christopher Berg, Tom Cipullo, Hans Gefors, Richard Lalli, Anders Nilsson, Russell Platt, Richard Pearson Thomas, Francine Trester, Scott Wheeler and Pulitzer Prize-winner Yehudi Wyner. Each Mirror Visions Ensemble concert is designed in the soirée style made popular during the 19th century, introducing composers, poets and historical figures not only through their published works, but also through correspondence and anecdotes woven throughout each performance. Past seasons include performances at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, Bargemusic, (Le) Poisson Rouge, Lincoln Center’s Library for the Performing Arts, NYU’s Frederick Loewe Theatre, SubCulture, Boston Court PAC, Longy School of Music, Northwestern University, Williams College and CSU Fullerton, as well as frequent appearances in Paris at the American University of Paris, the American Church in Paris, Musée Carnavalet, Musée Nissim de Camondo and the La Salle des Boiseries at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs.



Cantata by Richard Pearson Thomas                                                                      
Text based on menus and philosophy of Chef Dan Barber

Vira Slywotzky (soprano), Scott Murphree (tenor), Jesse Blumberg (baritone), Richard Pearson Thomas (piano), Harumi Rhodes (violin), Alberto Parrini (cello)

Invocation: Know Thy Farmer™/ Chorus: Greenhouse/ Recitative: What does a lamb want to eat?/ Aria: Field/ Recitative: An Egg/ Passacaglia and Chorale: Pasture/ Recitative: An Ecology of Eating/ Aria: Foraged/ Madrigal: Sustainable/ Aria: Ocean/ Chorus: Taste/ Chorus: Hudson Valley/ Fugue and Finale: Clean Plates Don't Lie          
THE MONTHS (16 min.)

Song cycle by Christopher Berg
Poetry by Linda Pastan

Vira Slywotzky (soprano), Scott Murphree (tenor), Margaret Kampmeier (piano)

January/ February/ March/ April/ May/ June/ July/ August/ September/ October/ November/ December                                                                                               


Song cycle by Tom Cipullo 
Letters and poetry of Emily Dickinson and letters of T.W. Higginson

Vira Slywotzky (soprano), Scott Murphree (tenor), Jesse Blumberg (baritone), Alan Darling (piano)

Cavatina/ Arietta parlante/Aria/ Moto perpetuo/ Arietta/ Quodlibet I/ Arioso/ Aria di campane/ Recitative/ Catch/ Chaconne/ Coranto/Passacaglia/ Trio/ Cantilena I/ Cantilena II/ Aria/ Aria/ Quodlibet II/ Hymn/ Epilogue                                                                                             


Vira Slywotzky (soprano), Scott Murphree (tenor), Jesse Blumberg (baritone), Gary Chapman (piano)

Emily’s Truth                                                                                     
Music by Tom Cipullo  
Poetry by Jeffrey Greene

Theories of Perfection at Merkin Hall                                             
Music by Richard Pearson Thomas
Poetry by Jeffrey Greene

The Ghost of Madame de Sévigné at the Carnavalet                     
Music by Christopher Berg
Poetry by Jeffrey Greene

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