Cameron University faculty member Christian Morren, Assistant Professor of Music, will present a vocal recital featuring piano accompaniment by Hyunsoon Whang, Professor of Music, on Thursday, March 28, at 7:30 p.m. in the McCutcheon Recital Hall. Tickets are $10 for adults, and $8 for senior adults, military, and middle/high school students. The concert is free to CU students, faculty and staff with CU-id. For more information, contact the CU Department of Art, Music and Theatre Arts at 581-2346.
Morren will perform selections by some of her favorite composers, including Handel, Mozart, Schumann, Debussy and Britten.
“This recital primarily focuses on Art Song,” she says. “Art songs are highly artistic and have a beautiful literary quality. This music reflects the beauty of voice, piano, and literature. Poets of the songs include Goethe (Lieder die Mignon, Verlaine (Ariettes oubliées), and W.H Auden (On this Island). I chose these songs because I love to sing them, and the text is exquisite. I also want to teach my students about the art song, its beauty, and complexity. It is wonderful to collaborate with Hyunsoon Whang as the accompaniment of the piano is difficult and uses many virtuoso techniques; it takes a pianist of exceptional skill to play them properly.”
“Songs with piano accompaniment are a perfect marriage of partnership,” says Whang, who is noted for her solo piano performances. “While the pianist always needs to listen to and be sensitive to the singer, the true support and foundation come from the piano part which the singer must rely on. I have always enjoyed working with good singers as there is much to learn from them. I always tell my students to be expressive and ‘sing’ at the piano, or ‘breathe and phrase as if you are singing.’ I am looking forward to performing with Christian.”
The songs in this recital reflect the diversity throughout the genre. “Ariettes oubliées (Forgotten Songs)” is a song cycle for voice and piano by Claude Debussy. In this delicately titled piece, Debussy took the poetry of Paul Verlaine and created a song cycle to match the stylistic subtleties of his poems.
Of “Lieder und Gesänge,” Morren says, “The text of these songs has inspired composers for almost two centuries. Romantic composers were fond of the text and the story, and Robert Schumman’s setting is especially beautiful. The poems are full of sadness and yearning.”
She will also perform “On This Island,” composer Benjamin Britten’s first published group of songs with piano. According to AllMusic, shortly after the deaths of both his mother and his father in the same short span of time, Britten joined the circle of artists clustered around the brilliant poet W.H. Auden. Generally disillusioned with British life, aesthetic tastes, and conventional morality, this group adopted a cynical outlook and a fashionable affinity for left-wing politics. Britten set music to five poems of Auden’s, utilizing with obscure allusions and obvious delight in virtuosity in handling the words. He also gave them unusually stark settings.
Assistant professor of Music and Joy W. Lentz Endowed Professor, Morren teaches voice, opera workshop, pedagogy and diction, in addition to conducting the Cameron University Concert Choir. Since joining the CU faculty in 2017, she has established an All-State choir camp. She also serves as a clinician for teachers in the Lawton Public Schools as well as other regional school districts.
Morren has performed such roles as Violetta in "La Traviata," Susanna in "Le Nozze Di Figaro," Euridice in "L'Orfeo," Lauretta in "Gianni Schicchi" and Anne in "The Merry Wives of Windsor." Her oratorio credits include the Mendelssohn "Elijah," Verdi “Requiem,” Fauré "Requiem," Handel’s "Messiah," Benjamin Britten's "Ceremony of Carols" and Rutter's "Requiem." Most recently, Morren was the featured soloist and musical director for the “Festival of Life” in Catania, Italy.
Whang is a nationally renowned pianist who has performed hundreds of concerts across the United States, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, France, Iceland, Japan and her native Korea. She released her first album, “Chopin Nocturnes,” last March. Whang studied at North Carolina School of the Arts, St. Louis Conservatory of Music, the Juilliard School and Indiana University, where she earned her doctorate. She is a recipient of the Oklahoma Governor’s Art and Education Award and holds the Louise D. McMahon Endowed Chair in Music at Cameron University.
March 19, 2019