Francis Poulenc’s Figure Humaine is one of the greatest works ever composed for unaccompanied choir – composed in 1943 in occupied France, and based on resistance-inspired poems by Paul Éluard, it is a stunning 8-movement exploration of the grim realities of war, culminating in an optimistic and embattled cry for liberty in the face of oppression. Skylark’s innovative concert program, Clear Voices in the Dark, is a powerful cross-cultural statement about the expressive power of the arts, and specifically the human voice, in times of tragedy. Interspersed between Poulenc’s stirring and complex settings, Skylark offers far simpler (but no less beautiful) musical images from the American Civil War era. Skylark shares some well-known pieces that have remained in the popular consciousness, as well as beautiful war-inspired songs that have long since been forgotten (and only found thanks to the Duke University Historical Archives).
There will be a pre-concert talk 45 minutes prior to the concert.
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