Classical 91.5

First Inversion

Lee Wright and First Inversion return to Backstage Pass with "Holding on Through Song," a sneak preview of their upcoming Fringe Festival debut. The program combines improvisation with arrangements of African American spirituals and the words of former slaves, including Rochester's Frederick Douglass.  WXXI's Kearstin Piper Brown will be a featured soloist, along with other Rochester musicians. Julia Figueras hosts this powerful edition of Backstage Pass on Tuesday, September 11 at 1 PM. The show repeats on Sunday, September 16 at 1 PM.


The Rochester Fringe Festival is two weeks away and already one show is sparking serious conversation. Lee Wright leads the First Inversion choir and they have a show in the festival dedicated to African American spirituals. But recently, some in the community called out Wright for what they say are anti-black images.

Gerry Szymanski

It depends on your point of view.

An upcoming Fringe Festival performance by Rochester chamber choir First Inversion is embroiled in unexpected controversy after recent social media posts slammed the event for offering African-American spirituals sung by a nearly all-white choir. (Disclaimer: the writer of this post is a member of the ensemble.)

It’s a “singing intervention!” Do you want to sing, but feel nervous or dislike the sound of your voice? Did you play and instrument as a child, but haven’t picked it up in years?

Today is Make Music Day, so we spend the hour celebrating music in all its forms, including the human voice. We also discuss the science behind singing, and how it can change your brain. Our guests:

Hartwick.edu

Louis Vierne: Messe Sollennelle, op 16

In this Performance Rochester presentation with First Inversion, you'll hear one of two French masses they undertook for this January 2018 performance, which also included motets by Maurice Durufle. Malcolm Matthews and Oliver Brett are the featured organists. The Mass is considered to be one of the highlights of the late Romantic sacred works.

Josef Rheinberger: Die Wasserfee (The Mermaid)
Sir Edward Elgar: The Dance

Recorded in concert in March and April at Downtown United Presbyterian Church in Rochester, NY, these two songs from "Turkish Love Songs and Other Romantic Rarities" mark the first of two appearances for Lee Wright and First Inversion on Performance Rochester. You may recognize Elgar's "The Dance." Elgar's wife wrote lyrics for a series of tunes Elgar composed while they were on holiday in the mountains; Elgar would later remove the words to create his Bavarian Dances Suite.

http://firstinversion.org/about/

Johann Adolph Hasse:  Miserere in c minor (Rochester Premiere)
   I.  Miserere mei Deus
   III. Ecce enim

Recorded live on November 15, 2015 at Downtown United Presbyterian Church in Rochester, NY, Lee Wright directed First Inversion in this concert "Can You Handel Hasse?" which was part of the Rochester Early Music Festival.