Tag Archives: Shawn Jaeger

My Year in Music 2015

The musicians of Contemporaneous

The musicians of Contemporaneous

Each year I realize yet again how impossible it is to choose among the highlights, let alone write about them with any intelligence. This year is likely to be the last time I make the attempt. Every musical experience is illuminating, above all live performances, but also, particularly with ongoing advances in camerawork and technology, watching and listening online. I’m grateful, too, for the opportunity to be part of communities who love classical music of all stripes and who are generous in sharing their own responses and knowledge. I’ve learned a great deal from so many, and I only hope I’ve been able to give something of value back. Continue reading

Forms of Resurrection: Wendell Berry’s Poems and the Music of Shawn Jaeger

1 IMG_6140_edited-1Again we come
to the resurrection
of bloodroot from the dark

—Wendell Berry

Sometimes a particular piece of music takes hold and thoroughly captures my imagination. Shawn Jaeger’s The Cold Pane is one such piece. While out walking in search of the first signs of spring, Again, the final song in his lovely setting of five poems by Wendell Berry, accompanies me on my route. Continue reading

My Year in Music, 2014

Contemporaneous "Living Toys" Concert at Roulette (David Bloom conducting)

Contemporaneous “Living Toys” Concert at Roulette (David Bloom conducting)

I’ve had a particularly memorable “year in music” this year. While I’ve listed a “Prufrock’s Dozen” of CDs, this year-end post isn’t a “best of” list in the usual sense, but rather an opportunity to gather together the “best of” my musical experiences throughout the year. The post is divided into three sections: A “Prufrock’s Dozen” of CDs, Live Performances, and Other Significant Music-Related Activities. Continue reading

Shawn Jaeger’s Payne Hollow

Anna and Harlan Hubbard

Anna and Harlan Hubbard

Harlan: I wanted to watch, every morning forever, the world shape itself again out of the drifting fog.

—from Wendell Berry’s Sonata at Payne Hollow

It’s not often that Modern Farmer is the magazine of choice for a preview article about an opera, yet there’s no question but that Payne Hollow, composed by Kentucky-born Shawn Jaeger, was an excellent fit. The opera is based on a verse play by Kentucky poet Wendell Berry about Harlan and Anna Hubbard who, for thirty-five years, lived lightly on the land in their small home along the Ohio River. In keeping with the subject matter of the opera, Berry responded by handwritten letter to Jaeger’s request for permission to use the story and handed Jaeger a completed libretto while they sat together on Berry’s front porch.

Continue reading