Salem Witch House, 310 1/2 Essex Street, Salem, MA
Saturday, November 23, 2019, 7:00 pm
Suggested Donation: $15
The “Cemetery Project” began with the commission of a new work by local composer Ian Wiese. Written for tenor and piano trio, the song cycle How Blessings Brighten uses as its text epitaphs from gravestones in the Old Burying Point in Salem. In the composer’s words, “Each text tries to pay each dearly departed person his or her due, with the occasional dry humor when someone boasts a little bit too much.” This concert will close with selections from the new work, which will be premiered in full in 2020.
The program opens with the 1946 piece which directly inspired Wiese’s work, Nicholas Slonimsky’s Gravestones at Hancock, N.H., which uses as its text 19th century epitaphs from an actual New Hampshire graveyard, some surprisingly humorous and others tinged with pathos. Between the two “cemetery” cycles, the trio will play a lovely 1694 sonata for violin, cello, and harpsichord by German composer Philipp Erlebach.
Performers are the Essex Piano Trio – Ashley Offret, violin; David Cabral, violin/viola/cello; and Beverly Soll (EPT pianist), harpsichord. The trio will be joined by North Shore tenor Antanas Meilus. Composer Ian Wiese will be on hand to answer questions about his new piece.