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Vickers, Tonnu to perform

School of Music faculty members Justin Vickers, tenor, and Tuyen Tonnu, piano, will perform a free concert at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 24, in Kemp Recital Hall. The performance is part of the School of Music’s Charles W. Bolen Faculty Recital Series. 

The recital, English Song and German Lieder, will include what is generally considered the first song-cycle, An die ferne Geliebte, Op. 98, by Ludwig van Beethoven; Arnold Schoenberg’s Vier Lieder, Op. 2 and Benjamin Britten’s only German song-cycle Sechs Hölderlin-Fragmente, Op. 61.

Vickers and Tonnu will also perform two unique English song-cycles: Ivor Gurney’s Five Elizabethan Songs; and South African-born British composer Priaulx Rainier’s Cycle for Declamation. 

“Gurney was gassed on the battlefield during WWI, and spent the last 15 years of his life in an asylum, yet the Five Elizabethan Songs speak of a joy and lilting hope that seems to have been compromised in his later life,” said Vickers, offering some context for the pieces on the recital program. “Rainer’s song-cycle for unaccompanied voice allows the audience to listen to not only the pure human voice, but also the acoustics of the space in which they are sitting. Singing the Britten is a journey through a composer’s most economic writing, there is not a single unnecessary note in the score, its texture is sparse and very clear.”