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Nims, Cowden Take Stage for Recital Featuring Works by Strauss, Barber

February 3, 2003

[ Marilyn Nims Photo ] DELAWARE, OHIO -- The Ohio Wesleyan University Department of Music will present faculty members Marilyn Nims, mezzo soprano, and Tracy Cowden, pianist, in recital on Sunday, Feb. 9, at 3:15 p.m. in Sanborn Hall's Jemison Auditorium.

The program will include Banalités by Francis Poulenc, four Mignon songs by Hugo Wolf, The Composer's Aria from Ariadne auf Naxos by Richard Strauss, and the Hermit Songs by American composer Samuel Barber.

The five songs of Banalités are among Poulenc's most popular works. With moods ranging from serious to madcap gaiety, they demonstrate the vast scope of this French composer's art. The poems of Mignon, an enigmatic, waif-like character who appears in the writings of Goethe, have inspired musical settings by many composers. Wolf's settings, considered by many to be the most successful, are intimately linked to poetic nuance. In The Composer's Aria from Richard Strauss' opera, Ariadne auf Naxos, the youthful Composer exuberantly expresses his belief that music is a sacred art. Last on the program, the Hermit Songs by Samuel Barber are settings of anonymous texts written by medieval Irish monks. The songs are delightful and sometimes rather surprising!

[ Tracy Cowden Photo ]Marilyn Nims has been opera or oratorio soloist with many orchestras and choral groups including the Columbus, Mansfield, Welsh Hills, Central Ohio, and Columbus Youth Symphony Orchestras and Cantari Singers of Columbus. She has special affection for the song recital, and her programs present a diverse repertory, often highlighting the vocal music of Spain and Latin America. She has made singing translations of two zarzuelas, Agua, azucarillos y aguardiente and Bohemios, both of which have been produced by the Ohio Wesleyan Opera Theatre.

Tracy Cowden maintains an active schedule as a collaborative pianist and has performed recitals with principal musicians from the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the Vancouver Symphony, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. An enthusiastic chamber music player, she has performed at the Fontana Festival of Art and Music and at the Yellow Barn Music School and Festival. Cowden has received awards for her collaborative performances from the Lansing Matinee Musicale Society and from the Eastman School of Music.

The concert is offered to the public free of charge. For more information, contact the Ohio Wesleyan Music Department at 740-368-3700.