The third of four concerts in the Alumni Recital Series of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM) will feature soprano Marnie Breckenridge (’96) in a recital that was originally scheduled for last season. She will be accompanied by fellow alumna pianist Kristin Pankonin (’89). Breckenridge has prepared a program whose first half will follow the structure of a traditional recital. However, the intermission will be followed by a “themed” cycle given its own title: Her Journey: Bay Area composers lead us across a woman’s emotional landscape.
The major work on the first half will be Samuel Barber’s Opus 24 Knoxville: Summer of 1915 (in the version with piano accompaniment). Originally composed for voice and orchestra in 1947, it remains one of the best examples of art song based on prose, rather than poetry. The text is by James Agee.
Barber’s setting will be preceded by settings of poetry by two composers, one older than Barber and the other still living. The older composer is Richard Strauss, who will be represented by two of the songs from his Opus 68 set of six songs on poems by Clemens Brentano, composed in 1918. Breckenridge’s selections will be “An die Nacht” and “Amor.” These will be followed by selections from a collection by Henry Mollicone entitled simply Seven Songs. Mollicone is a former faculty member of the Department of Music at Santa Clara University and currently resides in Saratoga.
The Bay Area composers to be included in the “journey” of the second half will be Kurt Erickson, Jake Heggie, David Conte, David Garner, and Gordon Getty. The printed program will provide the structure of the journey through thematic headings that progress from “Longing” to “Chaos,” concluding with “Transcendence.” The entire set will consist of eight songs.
Breckenridge’s Alumni Recital Series concert will be held on Saturday, January 19, at 8 p.m. in the SFCM Concert Hall. Tickets are necessary for reserved seating and cost $20, with the usual special $15 rate for students, seniors, and Friends of the Conservatory. In addition tickets are free for SFCM alumni. They may be purchased or reserved online through a Click4Tix page at the Conservatory Web site or by calling the Box Office at 415-503-6275. (Box Office hours are 10 a.m.–4 p.m., Monday through Friday.)