Tucson Symphony and soprano Nicole Cabell to perform Barber, Mahler, Price

Posted on: January 20, 2022

“The first time soprano Nicole Cabell heard Samuel Barber’s ‘Knoxville: Summer of 1915,’ ‘I just absolutely fell in love with it,’ ”writes Cathalena Burch in Tuesday’s (1/18) Arizona Daily Star. “ ‘It’s a very American piece,’ she said of the work, which she will perform with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra this weekend as part of the 2022 Tucson Desert Song Festival.… TSO Music Director José Luis Gomez paired the Barber with Mahler’s Symphony No. 4, which has a vocal solo for soprano in the final movement…. Gomez called the Barber work, a tone poem of sorts based on James Agee’s 1938 poem, a soprano showcase written very much in the style of Mahler. Mahler turned to the folk poetry collection ‘Des Knaben Wunderhorn’ … for his Fourth Symphony…. Gomez opens the concert with Florence Price’s ‘Dances in the Canebrakes,’ orchestrated by William Grant Still…. Gomez said Price fits in with the Song Festival’s theme of honoring women.… ‘The events of 2020 were eye- and ear-openers to … find opportunities to make a statement of empowering diversity,’ Gomez said. ‘We have to change that through empowering the great music written by people of different backgrounds.’ ”