The following are program notes from YNYC’s final concerts of the season: “I Am…” (women’s chorus, Sunday May 31) and “Love Is…” (mixed ensemble, Saturday June 6). We hope you’ll join us for this Saturday’s concert (June 6 at 7 PM, 40 E 35th St) to enjoy beautiful music and hear our finalists in the Competition for Young Composers! Tickets are available here: ynycloveis.brownpapertickets.com.
“There is a legend about a bird which sings just once in its life, more sweetly than any other creature on the face of the earth. From the moment it leaves the nest it searches for a thorn tree, and does not rest until it has found one. Then, singing among the savage branches, it impales itself upon the longest, sharpest spine. And, dying, it rises above its own agony to out carol the lark and the nightingale. One superlative song, existence the price. But the whole world stills to listen, and God in His heaven smiles. For the best is only bought at the cost of great pain…” from The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCullough
YNYC’s final two concerts (I am, WYNYC May 29, and Love Is, YNYC June 6) illustrate our shared journey to interpret the sublime through culture. Presently impaled by the post-modern thorn tree, we are trapped in the rigidity of thumbs-up/down aesthetics. We are timid in the presence of pain because we have politicized empathy. We’ve assumed a hipster-stance, distant and detached, eyes rolling over earnestness like Tonka Toys.™
We are overdue for a pendulum swing back to Romanticism. Let’s shake it up. Let’s dance about pleasure, march about injustice, and fly about love. Let’s open our eyes to the lessons of the natural world and remember to read the poetry of forgotten people. We all stand before the sublime with awe. We revel in the aliveness we feel as we fall in love. The broken-hearted collapse, and then rebuild, and then repeat the journey again a little more wise than before. If, as Stew suggests, “there is a melody for every malady,” then there is a song for every broken heart, injustice, and inequity. The songs are expressions of emotions to which all humans can relate. It may be the calling of our time; to sing one superlative song in a great, unison chorus.
— Michael Kerschner, Artistic Director, the Young New Yorkers’ Chorus