Concerts: PART 1-SATURDAY, February 15th at 7pm AND Part 2-SUNDAY, February 16th at 3pm
WINTERREISE- A WINTER’S JOURNEY
Jordan D. Lewis, baritone and Jennifer Moore, piano
An Epic Song Cycle by Franz Schubert on poetry by Wilhelm Müller performed in two parts in
Elizabethtown’s gracious Hand House parlor
On February 15th/16th weekend Piano by Nature will create a stunningly beautiful and intimate chamber music experience for our North Country audiences. Baritone Jordan D. Lewis and Pianist Jennifer Moore will present Franz Schubert’s epic song cycle Winterreise (Winter’s Journey) in the Hand House parlor- a setting perfectly appointed for immersion into Schubert’s profound lyric melodies and poignant harmonies. Each candlelit concert will focus on twelve songs out of the twenty-four, digging deeply into the poetry and music and their interrelationship to language, love, life, and death. The singer Elena Gerhardt said of Winterreise, “You have to be haunted by this cycle to be able to sing it.” Long a passion for both pianist Jennifer Moore and baritone Jordan D. Lewis, each performance will include additional media bringing to life the experience of the journey for the audience.
Some additional information on the song cycle
Franz Schubert composed his epic song cycle, Winterreise, “Winter Journey,” a setting of Wilhelm Müller’s narrative poetry, in two parts, each with 12 songs, in February and October of 1827. Schubert was still correcting the proofs in preparation for publication days before his death on November 19, 1928. Winterreise is a memory piece, the internal monologue of a man who has returned to the town where he first fell in love, who, as he wanders presently in the cold of winter, his tears freezing as they fall on his cheeks, recalls a life of what might have been. True to the Romantic Era, each of the 24 songs in the cycle is its own psychological treatise and reflection of the human experience in our natural world.
Winterreise is Schubert’s potent melodic distillation of music and poetry in which he transformed forever the nature of the relationship between singer and pianist into a collaborative partnership, giving equal importance to the pianistic expression of emotion and drama in the story. The piano tone-paints the wind in the trees, the vividly rushing water under the ice, the singing birds, baying dogs, the grating rusty weathervane, the post horn calling, the drone and repeated melody of the hurdy-gurdy.
The poet internalizes all these phenomena and equates them with his own emotions in the telling.
“As a stranger I came, and as a stranger I depart.” So begins the journey of heartbreak, hallucination, struggle, hope, elation, resignation, and transcendence.
A Historical Note
Franz Schubert’s work coincided with the mature development of the piano and its dissemination into the homes of the new rising middle class of mid-19th-Century Europe. Schubert had many friends who were eager to hear his newest composition, or the latest poetry of the day, and they met regularly for what they called Schubertiades (events which also included charades and dancing, in addition to poetry and music). Many of Schubert’s compositions evoke a rustic quality in tone, and are imbued with the Romantic-era love of rural landscapes, celebration of nature, and a deft focus on the inner emotional and psychological world of the writer.
Bios of our Artists
Jordan D. Lewis, Baritone
American-born baritone Jordan D. Lewis credits his artistic and technical development as a singer to his study with Master Teacher and world-renowned soprano Dr. Veronica Tyler. Mr. Lewis’ operatic roles include performances as Gianni Schicchi in Gianni Schicchi, Figaro in The Marriage of Figaro, Marcello in La Boheme, Guglielmo in Cosi fan Tutte, Papageno in Die Zauberflöte and Ottone in The Coronation of Poppea. He has toured in recital in the United States and Canada. Lewis operates a recording studio for classical music, runs a digital media company for arts and nature non-profits, and is a commercial and large format landscape photographer. Lewis often works at the intersection of classical music with visual imagery. The extraordinary musical beauty of
Schubert’s lieder is based upon texts full with the Romantic Era sentiments of alienation and the human relationship with Nature. Some ten years ago, Lewis began to assemble the media for both a movie and live performance of Schubert’s epic Winterreise, “Winter Journey,” in which the epic struggle of the protagonist is reflective of all human journeys. Over multiple winters, Lewis assembled the visual elements of the story, and life unfolded in ways in which the project became not only possible but almost inevitable, culminating in meeting a real-life, self-named ‘ferryman of souls,’ like the Hurdy Gurdy Man in Winterreise, who had built a megalith park of standing stones ‘where the veil is thin.’ A new chapter of Lewis’ own journey unfolded when he met Piano by Nature Artistic Director Rose Chancler, and assisted with the re-design of the PBN website. This led to a discussion with pianist Jennifer Moore, and the discovery that she too has always felt a deep calling to perform Winterreise, a song cycle which Schubert composed with pianist and singer as equal partners in the expression and telling of the story. The journey continues!
Jennifer Moore, Pianist
Pianist Jennifer Moore is currently the PreK-12 Music Teacher for the Willsboro Central School District in northern New York. She holds an MFA in Piano Performance from Purchase College, SUNY, a MM degree in Music Education from the Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam and is currently a DMA candidate in Music Education at Boston University. She has also attended the Choral Institute at Oxford as both an Associate (2017) and Full Conductor (2019) where she studied conducting with James Jordan, James Whitbourn, Steven Pilkington and the Westminster Williamson Voices.
Jennifer has a broad range of performance experience as a pianist, chorister and conductor. She studied vocal accompanying with Steven Blier, Dennis Helmrich, JJ Penna and Dalton Baldwin. Performances have brought her to Lincoln Center as a member of the Westminster Symphonic Choir with the New York Philharmonic under the direction of both Joseph Flummerfelt and maestro Kurt Masur, UNESCO in Paris, France, in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, and at Westminster Choir College. Jennifer moved to Chicago with her husband and had the great honor of assisting American baritone, William Warfield as accompanist and coach in his studio at Northwestern
University and also served as an accompanist for the Young Artists Program at the Chicago Lyric Opera, performing in recital at the Chicago Civic Center.
Jennifer and her growing family returned to the Adirondacks where she continued her education in order to teach within the public-school system. She and her theater education partner at Willsboro, Derrick A. Hopkins, were the first recipients of the Section 1, National Heart of the Arts Award, North-Eastern Division in 2015. As an educator, deep immersion project learning for students has always been a priority for Jennifer. She has given her students of all ages a wide range of musical experiences including Bluegrass for the Next Generation, the Adirondack String Experience with Daisy Jopling (including a documentary film produced for viewing on PBS), the Ithaca College High School Gospel Choir Festival, the Adirondack Honors High School Gospel Choir Festival, Music with a Meaning: Celebrating the Music of Pete Seeger, the National Children’s Festival at Carnegie Hall, the Adirondack Community Children’s Chorus and much more. She has served as a presenter at the Summer and Winter NYSSMA Conferences exploring topics that dwell in creating a dynamic and creative musicking environment for students in our care.
An active performer in the northern Adirondack region, Jennifer and her duo partner, Dr. Rose Chancler, recently performed at the Depot Theater in Westport, NY with veteran actor and director, Kenney Green, at the Middlebury Town Hall Theater with Broadway legend, George Hearn and at Piano By Nature in Elizabethtown, NY with Derrick Hopkins. Jennifer can often be heard in our robust regional community and school musical theater productions as pianist, music director and/or conductor. She is also frequently called upon to conduct and accompany regional All-County and Area All-State Festival Chorus ensembles in northern NY and VT.
In addition to a full teaching schedule, Jennifer serves as the organist and choir director at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Essex, exploring a wealth of beautiful choral repertoire with a dedicated and skilled ensemble of experienced community participants. She serves on the Board of Directors for Piano By Nature Concert Series in Elizabethtown as an education outreach coordinator and is a passionate advocate for the arts in the Adirondack region, working hard to build community through making music together.
This year, she is being honored as a recipient of the 2019 Women of Distinction as a Community Leader by the Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York.