Bowling Green State University

Moore Musical Arts Center, Bowling Green, OH 43403

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Baritone voice faculty member Keith Phares and pianist Kevin Bylsma will present a recital in our weekly Faculty Artist Series. This event is free and open to the public, and will also be live streamed.


Mortality Mansions for baritone (2021)……………………….Herschel Garfein (b. 1958)
1.              When the Young Husband
2.              When I Was Young
3.              Woolworth’s
4.              The Green Shelf
5.              Fête
6.              The Young Watch Us
7.              Summer Kitchen
8.              Dying is Simple, She Said
9.              Deathwork
10.            Freezes and Junes
11.            Gold

Originally composed for tenor in 2018, tonight’s performance serves as the premiere of the baritone version of Mortality Mansions composed by two-time Grammy Award-winner Herschel Garfein with texts by 2006 U.S. Poet Laureate Donald Hall (1928-2018).  Garfein and Hall worked together in the years before Hall’s death to create this modern-day song cycle, which illuminates topics often neglected in our culture: the themes of love, sexuality and bereavement in old age.

With stylistic inflections ranging from Schubert lied to musical theater to Sousa marches, the eleven-song cycle of MORTALITY MANSIONS takes the listener on a journey that starts at age sixty with remembrances of youthful trysts, settles into contented domesticity and sexual fulfillment, only to pass on through harrowing confrontations with death before arriving at a transcendent recognition of love’s redemptive power.

          We made in those days
          tiny identical rooms inside our bodies
          which the men who uncover our graves
          will find in a thousand years,
          shining and whole.              from Gold

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