Poems of Love and the Rain / Games
Two song cycles
Ned Rorem (1923 - ) Poems of Love and the Rain
Ian Wilson (1964 - ) Games
Julie Comparini, mezzo-soprano
Yonit Kosovske, piano
Ned Rorem's thirty-minute song cycle Poems of Love and the Rain takes us on a round-trip poetic journey by way of a palindrome. Rorem writes: "I selected poems by several American authors and set each one to music twice, in as contrasting a manner as possible … And the order chosen for these seventeen songs is 'pyramidal': the sequence works toward the Interlude, then backtracks — as in a mirror." The poems “deal principally with requited love against a backdrop of constant rain” and the cycle "tells no story per se; it seeks rather to sustain a uniform mood with as much variety as the terms of this mood permit — with an occasional flash of light through the black cloud."
Games is a thirty-minute song cycle on texts by Vasko Popa (1922–1991), one of Serbia's (formerly Yugoslavia) greatest poets. Popa fought as a Partisan during World War II and spent time imprisoned in a German concentration camp. A decade after the war ended, Popa's poem cycle “Games” was published in 1956 as part of his collection “Unrest-Field.” Ian Wilson's song cycle, premiered in 2004, reflects on these poems, to which he felt inspired to set to music. Wilson writes: “To me, these surrealist texts, superficially about strange and uncomfortable games, are very likely a way of processing and reflecting on his war-time experiences.”
The performance in Bremen in 2015 featured projections of photo collages from the series Inferno by Piet Wessing.
"In the Rain" from Poems of Love and the Rain on YouTube
Ned Rorem: Stop All The Clocks
Ian Wilson: The Seducer
More information and bookings: Julie Comparini