John Thomasson and Thérèse Lindquist Collaborate on “The Day in Song” to Begin FSC’s Festival of Fine Arts
LAKELAND (Sept. 6, 2012) – Particular times of the day have always served as the inspiration for poets and the classical composers who set their verses to song. Florida Southern College Professor John Thomasson has devised a recital that brings together 24 of those songs to give an artistic rendering of a single day.
“The Day in Song” will be the first performance of the year in FSC’s Festival of Fine Arts and the first in the Faculty Artist Series that has been incorporated into the Festival this year. Dr. Thomasson, Associate Professor of Music, will be joined in the recital by his longtime collaborator, Thérèse Lindquist, an internationally renowned accompanist.
The recital will take place at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 11 in Branscomb Auditorium on the FSC campus. All Faculty Artist Series performances are free and open to the public.
Unlike most of the other Faculty Artist Series performances, which will be held in the Robert A. Davis Performing Arts Center recital hall, “The Day in Song” will be held in Branscomb Auditorium so that Ms. Lindquist can play the College’s massive 92-key Bösendorfer concert grand piano.
Dr. Thomasson, a baritone, assigned a “time” to each one of the songs, representing each hour of a 24-hour day. He begins at 5 a.m. with “Ushas” (Dawn) by English composer Gustav Holst, and other notable hours include “Silent Noon” by Ralph Vaughan Williams, “Rain Has Fallen” (3 p.m.) by Samuel Barber, and “A Clear Midnight” by Lee Hoiby.
“It struck me that so many songs are evocative of the times of day – dawn, night, the moon and stars – but I never heard it as the theme of a recital quite like this one,” Dr. Thomasson said. “The poems dovetail each other, and it evolves into a story, like a love story.”
The composers span the 19th and 20th centuries and include the Germans Johannes Brahms and Richard Strauss, Americans Ned Rorem and Samuel Barber, and Englishmen Gerald Finzi and Ralph Vaughan Williams. The words of the songs were written by such familiar poets as James Joyce, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Walt Whitman.
“A lot of the songs were new to me. I have never sung art songs in Swedish, but the two Swedish songs are beautiful and unusual. The challenge is getting the language down right,” Dr. Thomasson said.
He was introduced to the songs, and aided in the pronunciation, by Ms. Lindquist, a native of Sweden who is Professor of Lied and Oratorio at the Universität Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. She has won international prizes for her accompaniment and has recorded with soprano Dana McKay and baritone Wolfgang Holzmair. She and Dr. Thomasson, a couple offstage with a long-distance romance, have collaborated professionally for 20 years.
“She is spectacular. We did a Schubertiade that we performed in Salzburg and in Miami at Florida International University. She’s got a lot of energy. She’s so positive, and she loves the art song repertoire,” he said.