December 02, 2009

Concert will celebrate Robert Schumann’s birthday

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Join the School of Music at Southern Illinois University Carbondale for a birthday celebration at the Old Baptist Foundation Recital Hall.

Past and present members of the voice program, both students and faculty, present a free concert in observation of Robert Schumann’s 200th birthday. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 11.

Diane Coloton, lecturer in voice and coordinator of this event, said Schumann is one of the great composers of Lieder, art songs with a piano accompaniment. The program includes a selection of these songs, all performed as solos.

“This little gem of a genre saw its heyday in Germany and German-speaking countries in the 19th century, where it was born of the proliferation of German Romantic poetry and the technical advances of the piano,” she said, noting, too, that Lieder is a German word, translating into English simply as “songs.” The songs often center on themes paralleled in the Romantic literary movement -- pastoral scenes, romantic love, or, if in a song cycle, following a narrative.

The concert includes more than 30 School of Music students, including those in a song literature course focused on 19th Century German Lieder. Besides voice students, the concert also features student pianists.

Coloton noted that the music world often focuses on a specific composer in observation of centennials.

“I wanted to include a performance of some kind as a component of my Song Literature class, and since it’s a Schumann year in 2010, I thought we should focus on him,” she said.