Noel Farrand - Spring Song (Amy Petrongelli, voice; Clare Longendyke, piano)

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Clare Longendyke is an award-winning pianist whose dazzling musicianship and colorful interpretations delight audiences wherever she performs. Recognized for the expressive energy and originality she brings to new and traditional repertoire, the effervescent soloist and chamber musician won four national competitions and was a finalist in several others during the past decade. Set apart by her inspiring touch and captivating way of sharing music, Longendyke is a sought-after soloist, performing over 50 concerts a year in North America and abroad. Recent orchestral partners include Boston’s Arlington Philharmonic Orchestra and the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra of Minnesota.

Longendyke blends a passion for music’s classical tradition with an equal affection for what she calls “the music of our time.” Her advocacy for innovative programming is evident through Music in Bloom, the new music festival she founded in 2019. In less than a decade, she has premiered over 100 new compositions and performed the music of today’s most exciting living composers—works by Joan Tower, Frederic Rzewski, Mason Bates, Amy Williams, and others. Hailed as a superlative pianist by the Journal of International Alliance of Women in Music, Longendyke is on track for a transcendent musical career. She currently serves as Artist-in-Residence and Director of Chamber Music at the University of Chicago.

 

Soprano Amy Petrongelli revels in performing music of all different periods and styles. Lauded in the New York Times for her “admirable fluidity,” her diverse solo performance career encompasses music from Haydn’s Creation in Carnegie Hall to Berio’s Sequenza III at the Radio Nacional Córdoba in Argentina. An advocate for contemporary music, Amy has premiered new works for organizations such as the Houston Grand Opera, New American Voices, and AEPEX Contemporary Performance; recent premiers include works by Christopher Cerrone, Laura Kaminsky, Shawn Crouch, and Julianna Hall. Amy is also a founding member of the Khemia Ensemble, a chamber ensemble focused on championing contemporary music through multimedia performances. Amy’s commitment to musical collaboration has led her to fellowships at summer programs such as the Tanglewood Music Center, Eighth Blackbird Creative Lab, and Fall Island Vocal Arts Seminar. She has also been a featured performer for organizations such as Five Boroughs Music Festival, the Casement Fund Recital Series, the Contemporary Undercurrent of Song Project, and the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival. A passionate educator, Amy has taught at Eastern Michigan University, University of Akron, and Pennsylvania State University.  She is currently an Assistant Professor of Voice at Baylor University in Waco, TX.

 

Noel Farrand was a composer and a close friend of playwright Edward Albee. The limited biographical information we have about Farrand is found in an excerpt from the following Albee biography:

From: Mel Gussow, Edward Albee: A Singular Journey: A Biography, Simon & Schuster: New York, NY (1999), pages 30-31:

The Farrands -- Mrs. and Mrs. Clair L. Farrand and their children -- lived next door to the Albees in a smaller house... Of all the neighbors, the Farrands were by far the closest to Edward. The father, Clair. L. Farrand, was an electronic engineer and inventor. He invented the cone loudspeaker in 1921 and later worked for Warner Bros. in Hollywood during the time that sound replaced silent movies. Noel Farrand, the youngest of Clair Farrand's four sons, was a year and a half younger than Albee; he became Albee's best friend and remained one of his closest friends for his entire life...

From the earliest of ages, Noel and Edward sparked each other's creative imagination. Both were great readers and were interested in music. Both thought about becoming composers. Noel eventually did become a composer and was Albee's entree into the world of music and musicians; many years later he introduced Albee to William Flanagan. Noel's own career never reached the heights of others in his life (beginning with Albee), but he was a highly articulate and intelligent man, a colorful and likeable character. He also had deep psychological problems and periods of manic depression, some of which could be traced back to his rigid Roman Catholic upbringing and the lack of encouragement he received for his creativity in his home. At his most manic, he [Noel] decided to have a music festival on Monhegan Island, ordered a piano to be shipped over from the mainland, and invited Robert F. Kennedy and Leonard Bernstein, among others. Until his death in 1996, through all his difficulties, Noel retained the clearest of memories: He could remember dates and details that would escape others.

 

Spring Song - Noel Farrand
Lyrics: Edward Albee
Recorded at home in Indianapolis, IN and Waco, TX, May 2020
Amy Petrongelli, voice
Clare Longendyke, piano
Mastered by Robert Scott Thompson, Aucourant Records.
Property of Shelter Recording Project, American Composers Alliance