The Mirror Visions Ensemble, a trio equally at home in France and America, will present the American premiere of its acclaimed program, “Portraits of Paris & Its Parisians: Musical Mirrors,” on Friday, February 3, at 8 p.m., at New York University’s La Maison Française, 16 Washington Mews (at University Place). The event is free and open to the public; however, reservations are required. The public may call 212.998.8750 or email:

The concert features “Portrait in Miniature of Madame de Sévigné,” a cantata set to letters of the celebrated 17th century raconteur, by noted composer Christopher Berg. The Mirror Visions Ensemble — Tobé Malawista, soprano; Scott Murphree, tenor; and Richard Lalli, baritone and piano — gave the world premiere of the program in March 2002 at the Carnavalet Museum in Paris.

The program follows:

  • Richard Lalli “Songs of the Outdoors, the Streets of Paris”*
  • Ned Rorem “Early in the Morning”
  • Francis Poulenc “Montparnasse”
  • Christopher Culpo “Ballad of the Women of Paris”*
  • Claude Debussy “Ballad of the Women of Paris”
  • Christopher Berg “Postal Pastimes” — on texts of visiting cards written by Stéphane Mallermé to his artist friends (American premiere)
  • Reynaldo Hahn “Les Cygnes” “Portraits de peintres: Antoine Van Dyck” — piano solo “La dernière valse”
  • René Berthelot “Reflections on Beauty”
  • Camille Saint-Saëns “The Grasshopper and the Ant”
  • André Caplet “The Grasshopper and the Ant”
  • André Caplet “The Wolf and the Lamb”
  • Christopher Berg “Portrait in Miniature of Madame de Sévigné”* (American premiere)

Notes: *Mirror Visions Ensemble Commission

This unique concert offers two “mirror visions”: the Caplet and Saint-Saëns settings of “The Grasshopper and the Ant” and the Culpo and Debussy pieces on a poem by Francois Villon.

NYU’s Maison Française is the university’s celebrated French cultural center. The Mirror Visions Ensemble, founded in 1992, is dedicated to commissioning and performing new music in America and abroad. Their many French concerts, including “Portraits of Paris & Its Parisians: Musical Mirrors,” are supported by the Florence Gould Foundation. Albany Records has released two CDs of their commissioned works: “Un Américain à Paris - Songs and Cantatas on French Texts” that includes the Sévigné work; and “Secrets,” works by five American composers headlined by Tom Cipullo’s work of the same name based on the poetry of Linda Pastan.

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