A soprano with a great reputation for her interpretation of contemporary vocal repertoire, Jessica Summers will be performing Richard Whalley’s Six Songs of Old Japanese Wisdom at St Peter Mancroft Church in Norwich on Saturday 17 November, 1pm with pianist Jelena Makarova.
Six Songs of Old Japanese Wisdom are settings of poems by Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827), one of Japan’s most important haiku poets. Though he lived a life full of tragedy, he found solace in nature and was known for a sympathetic attitude towards small creatures; this comes out very strongly in his poetry.
You skinny frog, you
don’t be beaten, don’t give up!
Here stands Issa by you.
The performance forms part of Summers’ Living Songs project which has since 2013 brought twenty first century into recital programmes alongside more well-known song repertoire, focussing on venues where audiences are less familiar with new music.
Six Songs of Old Japanese Wisdom is available from Composers Edition.