29 Aug Press Release: Winds of Change
Inspired by the philosophies that sparked the French and Haitian Revolutions at the end of the 18th century, acclaimed Cleveland chamber ensemble Les Délices’ presents Winds of Change in three performances Oct 21-23, 2022. Expanded by the participation of local choirs along with a visit by contemporary Haitian composer Sydney Guillaume, Winds of Change celebrates freedom of expression and elevates marginalized voices. Northeast Ohio audiences have three in-person opportunities to see Winds of Change: Friday, Oct. 21 at 7:30pm at Akron Public Library, Saturday, Oct. 22 at 7:30pm at Church of the Covenant in Cleveland, and Sunday, Oct. 23 at 4pm at West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church in Rocky River.
Winds of Change frames the live premiere of the commissioned quintet, A Journey to Freedom, commissioned by Les Délices for last season’s virtual concert, with works for flute, oboe, and strings by French-Caribbean composer Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de St. Georges and Luigi Boccherini.
The centerpiece of the program, A Journey to Freedom is a nine-minute meditation on a 200 year struggle for freedom of oppression, inspired by the history and current turmoil of Guillaume’s native Haiti. A Journey to Freedom is at once deeply personal and universal in scope, asserting that, while the Revolutionary Age may be in the past, the journey to freedom is far from over. Nagy commented, “the work’s more traditional tendencies are transformed and reclaimed by traditional Yanvalou rhythms from Sydney’s native Haiti. It’s a journey that feels cinematic – at times pleading, soaring, questioning, and ultimately left unresolved.”
Guillaume, also a noted choral composer and guest clinician, will travel to Cleveland October 19-22 to work with local Northeast Ohio high school and college choirs. Students will have the opportunity to work with a living composer and experience Guillaume’s unique fusion of western classical music with traditional Haitian forms. Students will work with Guillaume in special workshops and perform under his direction at Winds of Change performances on October 21 and 22nd.
The guest choirs enhancing LD’s ensemble performance on Friday and Saturday night will perform Guillaume’s This, Too, Shall Pass and Tchaka. At the start of the program, This, Too, Shall Pass serves as a reminder to make the most of the present moment. Closing the program, Guillaume’s Tchaka celebrates Haitian folklore and the huge variety of native and imported rhythms and dances such as Yanvalou, Banda, Bolero, Kalinda, and others. Joining LD on Friday night’s performance at the Akron Public Library are: Kent State Chorale (Scott Macpherson, director) and Firestone High School (Megan Meyer, director). Singers from Cleveland School for the Arts (Robert McCorvey, director), Cleveland State University (Brian Bailey, director), and University of Akron (Maria Bucoy-Calavan, director) will participate on Saturday evening at Cleveland’s Church of the Covenant. Sunday’s performance in Rocky River will be purely instrumental, with no choral participation.
Alongside Guillaume’s works, Winds of Change will include two works by Joseph Bologne. In these performances, Les Délices will premiere a new arrangement of a quartet for oboe and strings based on Bologne’s string quartets. The ensemble also presents Nagy’s arrangement of Joseph Bologne’s unpublished sonata for flute and harp in E-flat major as a brilliant quartet for flute and strings. “In reimagining these pieces as quartets for flute and oboe with strings,” Nagy says, “we’ve not only breathed new life into old works but enabled many more people to play and enjoy Bologne’s chamber music.”
Winds of Change features virtuoso flutist Emi Ferguson, a musician of kaleidoscopic talents. Nagy commented, “Emi is an incredibly expressive and creative artist who also plays quite a lot of new music. She is fearless in interpreting Guillaume’s new work.” Ferguson appears alongside Les Délices musicians Debra Nagy (oboe), Shelby Yamin (violin), Allison Monroe (viola), and Rebecca Reed (cello) in these concerts.
Les Délices’ 2022-23 Season Renewal comprises two concurrent series: their ticketed Concert Series and a third season of SalonEra, their free early music-focused web series. Upcoming Concert Series programs include Rejoice: Bach Cantatas for Advent (Dec 2-4, 2022) offering Northeast Ohio audiences a rare opportunity to experience world-class performances of Bach cantatas on period instruments; Enchanted Island (Feb 24-26, 2023), a program of French baroque cantatas featuring “radiant” soprano Sherezade Panthaki in her Les Délices debut; and Isabella’s Renaissance (Apr 21-23, 2023) a fascinating new program of Renaissance music featuring international guest artist Anna Danilevskaia, (vielle player and director of Basel-based Sollazzo Ensemble) alongside favorite collaborators.
Concert subscriptions ($125-200) and Single Tickets ($28-$45) will go on sale via Les Délices’ website (www.lesdelices.org) on August 22, 2022.