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Lois Shapiro and friends: Music of World War I, at Wellesley College, Wednesday, October 28, at 12:30 pm
October 28, 2015 @ 12:30 pm - 2:30 pm| Free
This free concert features performance faculty Lois Shapiro, Gabriela Diaz and David Russell presenting the works of Debussy (sonata for cello and piano), Janácek (sonata for violin and piano), and Ravel (trio for piano, violin, and cello) in an exploration of the music of The Great War. World War I provided many artists with inspiration as well as adversity. Ravel, Janácek, and Debussy were all profoundly impacted by the devastation and scale of this war, and wrote music that reflected their need for spiritual sustenance at a time when their personal as well as nationalistic identities were threatened.
A dedicated Czech nationalist intent on preserving his language through embedding speech rhythm into his music, Janácek drafted his violin sonata while the Moravian people awaited the arrival of the liberating Russian forces at the beginning of World War I. Ravel, like Debussy, turned to the golden age of French music in the 18th century, and, like Janácek, turned to his Basque cultural roots as a way of asserting musical independence from Wagner and German culture. Music was for each of them a means of “binding all of mankind into one spirit, one kind of happiness, one kind of bliss.” –-Leos Janácek