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Gerald Carpenter: Mosher Guest Artist Lynn Harrell to Offer Cello as Baritone

Cellist Lynn Harrell will take the Hahn Hall stage July 7. Click to view larger
Cellist Lynn Harrell will take the Hahn Hall stage July 7. (Courtesy photo)

The next Mosher Guest Artist Recital for the Music Academy’s 2016 Summer Festival — taking place at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 7, in Hahn Hall on the Miraflores campus — will feature the incomparable cellist Lynn Harrell, with pianist Victor Asuncion, in a recital of works from the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Harrell’s program will consist of Claude Debussy’s Cello Sonata (1915), Franz Schubert’s “Nacht und Träume” (1825), Gabriel Fauré’s “Après un rêve (‘Levati sol que la luna è levata’)” (1877-78), Maurice Ravel’s “Pièce en Forme de Habenera” (1907, 1926), “Pace, pace, O Dio” from Giuseppe Verdi’s opera La Forza del Destino (1861) and two works by Felix Mendelssohn: “Lied ohne Worte, Op. 109” (1845) and his Cello Sonata No. 2, Op. 58 (1843).

Very little needs to be said about this program by way of introduction or explication.

By the time we reach the first Mendelssohn piece, it’s title will seem insufficient as a distinction from the other works, for they are virtually all songs — or arias — without words. Even the two sonatas that bookend the concert suggest lyrical rather than formal intent.

The Schubert, the Fauré and the Verdi were born with words; the Ravel was composed, without a text, as a “Vocalise-étude en forme de habanera” — for low voice and piano — and we may imagine Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau’s mellow baritone — or that of the cellist’s own father, Mack Harrell, the greatest American-born lieder singer of his generation — crooning it almost as beautifully as Harrell’s cello.

(The program, now I think of it, might indeed stand as a tribute to Mack Harrell.)

Tickets to Lynn Harrell’s recital are $55 and can be purchased at the Hahn Hall ticket office, by phone at 805.969.8787 or online at

— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributing writer. He can be reached at [email protected]. The opinions expressed are his own.

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