Sierra & Stubblefield @ BargeMusic

For the 2022 Labor Day Holiday weekend, BargeMusic – located in Brooklyn, NY – presents pianist Marc Peloquin in the premiere of new works by composers Roberto Sierra and Roger Stubblefield. Peloquin performs Sierra’s Sonata No. 9, and will also be joined by mezzo-soprano Sophie Delphis to premiere Stubblefield’s Reveries, Opus 25. Concerts will take place on September 3 and 4, as part of the “Labor Day Here and Now Festival.”

Marc Peloquin, piano

“Roberto Sierra’s Piano Sonata No. 9, is a pianistic tour-de-force combining spellbinding virtuosity and soulful expressivity,” Peloquin observes. “The rhythmic propulsion of the three-movement sonata animates an imaginative exploration of tone colors and captivating melodies. After hearing this ten-minute work, the listener is sure to be left breathless and exhilarated.” Sierra shares some thought about Sonata No. 9. “This [new] work belongs to a series of sonatas for piano that I started in 2020. These pieces are an exploration of the classical form that combines a radical rethinking of the structural elements and my explorations of pitch and rhythm. To date, I have completed 12 sonatas for piano, and plan to write many more!”

Sophie Delphis, mezzo-soprano

Roger Stubblefield’s Reveries, Opus 25 is a 7 1/2-minute art song featuring texts by Judy Katz, Edward Hirsch, and Diane Ackerman. (Stubblefield’s music is represented Subito Music Distribution (SMD) — a division of Subito Music. The SMD program is Subito’s distribution service for independent, self-published composers.) Peloquin notes, “Reveries is a deeply expressive unfolding of three poems, joined together into a lyrical essay. Roger’s melodic and harmonic language is closely connected to the unique sentiments of each poem. This is a very personal work that has clearly touched an emotional cord in the composer.”

Stubblefield comments on his new work. “Reveries was composed in New York City during the height of the global pandemic, although by 2021, a vaccine’s promise to protect our country allowed me to watch the city awaken from its hibernation. During that time, the poetry of Judy Katz, Edward Hirsch, and Diane Ackerman reminded me how important it is to not squander our life. Each day is an important day for discovering new ways to look at life’s beauty. This art song for mezzo-soprano and piano embodies a flower blooming, people chanting, and a pledge to renew the spirit of humanity.” Sophie Delphis, who will premiere the work along with Peloquin, adds, “What’s immediately obvious in the piece is how much Roger wants to highlight the text. The range lends itself to clear diction; the prosody is very naturalistic. But beyond these technical aspects — ones which not all composers care about! — it’s also in the way he allows the soundscape to evolve from section to section, taking on a new character. He’s expressed a desire for me to let that shift be reflected in how I sing (color, vibrato, etc.); but, even without his interpretation notes, his vision is baked into the composition. I appreciate that. While Roger has a clear interpretation of how each poem can come to life, he also trusts his performer to take on that vision and adapt it to their own voice and personality.”

For more concert details, visit BargeMusic here.