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NUMBERS UP - 3 - November 7, 2000

Britton Recital Hall

Michael Djupstrom
"String Trio"
I. Andante
II. Allegro Vivace
Maria Sampen, violin
Tim Christie, viola
Andrea Yun, cello

This trio was written last year during a period when I was attempting to move away from a Ravel-influenced harmonic idiom, principally by repeatedly listening to the Bartok string quartets. Nevertheless, a delightful early work of Jean Francaix, his own String Trio, provided the impetus for the composition of this piece, and it is clear that the French influence wormed its way back into my piece anyway. In the final movement, lyricism contrasts with a wild peasant-like dance, and the Bartok-Francaix juxtaposition is especially clear. Tonight, however, only the first two movements of the trio will be presented.

Leroy W. Southers, Jr.
"Five Contrapuncti for Woodwind Trio"
Emily Perryman, flute
Jared Hauser, oboe
Elliott Ross, clarinet

Five Contrapuncti for Woodwind Trio - Leroy W. Southers, Jr.

Our musical forefathers, especially those of the 15th through the 18th centuries, often couched their musical thoughts in complex contrapuntal terms. From their procedural forms I have selected five that seemed apt to my own expressive ends.
I. (Mirror Canon with Palindrome): the clarinet replies to the flute by playing the same music upside down. The oboe part sounds the same played forward or backward.
II. (Imitative Canon at the Upper and Lower Fifth with Coda): the oboe is the leader, chased by the clarinet laying the same music a perfect fifth lower. The flute immediately responds a perfect fifth above the oboe. The coda breaks the canon to afford a spiffy ending.
III. (Cancrizans with Palindrome): this Tin Pan Alley inspired piece finds the clarinet playing the oboe part backward. The flute part reads the same in either direction.
IV. "Prolation Canons and Cadenzas:" The same music is played in all parts but at Different rhythmic rates and in different registers. Three times the canons are Interrupted to allow each instrument a brief fantasy.
V. "Triple Fugue:" Each of the three musical ideas, called subjects, is given its own exposition and set of developments.
Finally all three subjects are heard simultaneously in various combinations as a summation. These descriptions will give the listener an idea of the mechanics underlying the music. But of course such music must also have personality and character, like any other music. This composer hopes that he has given the listener, and the performers, an entertaining musical experience, and has touched the emotional sensibilities as well as the head.

Marilyn Shrude
"Nottorno: In Memorium,Toru Takemitsu"
Maria Sampen, violin
John Sampen, alto saxophone
Marilyn Shrude, piano

Notturno: In Memoriam Toru Takemitsu (1996) - Marilyn Shrude This work was written in memory of Toru Takemitsu, the contemporary Japanese composer who died in 1996, and whose music has always been a great source of inspiration to me. Although the piece bears no direct stylistic affinity to Takemitsu's music, it borrows freely from the gestural and harmonic language which were so characteristic of his work. It is scored for violin, alto saxophone and piano and was premiered by Maria Sampen, John Sampen and Marilyn Shrude at the Bruno Walter Auditorium of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center.

William Bolcom
"Fairy Tales"
1. Silly March
2. The Fisherman and His Wife
3. The Frog Prince
4. Jorinda and Joringel
5. The Hare and The Hedgehog - Silly March II
Carolyn Lukancic, viola
Katri Ervamaa, cello
Anthony Stoops, bass

William Bolcom wrote the "Fairy Tales" for a group, Trio Basso.

The piece is based on the favorite fairy tales of the members of the trio. Below are the shortened versions of these stories.

THE FISHERMAN AND HIS WIFE Once upon a time there was a Fisherman and his wife, and they lived in a hut by the sea. Every day the fisherman went out to the sea to fish. One day he caught a flounder, who said "please let me live, let me go back to the sea". The fisherman, a good man that he was, answered "I have never seen a talking fish, so don't worry, I won't kill you" and let the flounder go. He went home to his wife empty-handed and told her about the talking fish. The wife said "you silly man, why did you not ask him for a nice cottage? Go back and ask for it!" The fisherman went to the sea and called for the flounder, who said "go home, your wife already has what she asked for". The fisherman went home and found his wife in a beautiful cottage, with shiny pots and pans and flowers at the window. --- and so the story continues, and the wife gets greedier and greedier. First she asks for the cottage, then she wants be the king, the pope and the emperor. Finally, she says "I want to control the sun and the moon, I want to be god!" And so, the fisherman asks the flounder for his wife to be god, and the flounder says "Go home then; she is sitting again in the hut."

THE FROG PRINCE Once upon a time there was a beautiful young princess who lived in the beautiful kingdom with her father, the king. Her favorite toy was a golden ball and she played with it every day in the garden of her father's castle. One day she dropped it to a well and started crying, because nobody was there to help her. All of a sudden she heard a voice saying "what is the matter, sweet princess?" The little princess looked around, but the only thing nearby was an ugly frog. "Was it you that spoke?" asked the princess --- and yes, it was the very same, ugly frog that had spoken to her. Of course, the frog found the ball, but not until he made the little princess promise that he will become her new best friend. And of course, when he returned the ball to the princess, she ran away forgetting all about the promise. Later, however, when the king and his daughter were having dinner, the frog appeared in the castle demanding his rightful place at the table. The princess tried to ignore the frog, but the wise king demanded she honor her promise and let the frog eat from her plate, sleep in her bed, play with her toys. Eventually she got very frustrated and threw the frog into the wall. By doing this, she broke a spell and the frog turned into a young handsome prince. The moral of the story? Appearances are deceiving, indeed!

JORINDA AND JORINGEL Once upon a time there were two young people, Jorinda and Joringel, who liked each other very much. They also liked taking long walks in the woods. One beautiful day they went farther than ever before and got lost. All of a sudden they saw a wall of an ancient castle. Without knowing, they entered the magical circle that surrounded the castle and became under a spell of a wicked witch, who by the day was an owl and by the night an ugly, old woman. Joringel realized he was stuck to his place, unable to move or talk and Jorinda could only make a strange kind of sound: she had turned into a dove! The old witch appeared and put Jorinda into a wicker basket, and went away. When the morning came, Joringel was freed from the spell and able to move again. He was heartbroken by the idea that he would never see his beloved Jorinda again. One night he dreamed of a bright red flower that had a pearl for a heart. When he woke, he knew that the flower would save his love. He looked for it for many days and nights, and finally found it. He went back to the witch's castle and discovered seven thousand birds in wicker baskets. By touching the witch with the bright red flower he took all of her magical powers away and by touching the dove, he got back his Jorinda. In the end, he freed all the seven thousand maidens and they all lived happily ever after.

THE HARE AND THE HEDGEHOG Once upon a time there was a hedgehog and his wife, who lived by a turnip patch. One beautiful Sunday morning the hedgehog took a stroll to the patch and ran into the hare. The hare made fun of the hedgehog's crooked little legs, and much hurt by it, the hedgehog challenged him to a race the same afternoon. He realized, of course, that unless he could use his brain instead of his legs, he had no way of winning the race. So he went home and told his wife to come with him and sit at the lower end of the furrow. If she would see the hare coming, she should poke her head up and say "here I am already!" The race began, and the hare started running like a whirlwind. But before he reached the end of the furrow, he saw that the hedgehog was already there, saying "here I am already!" He could not believe his eyes, and so he immediately challenged the hedgehog to a rematch. The result was the same! When he approached the other end of the furrow, the hedgehog was already there, not even out of breath. This went on all night. On the seventy-fourth time, when the rabbit just could not run anymore, he had to declare the hedgehog a winner. The happy hedgehog went home with his wife, and since then, no rabbit has dared to pass a remark about the hedgehog"s legs.

André Previn
"Trio for oboe, bassoon and piano"
Jared Hauser, oboe
Laura Speicher, bassoon
Irena Portenko, piano

Andre Previn (born. 1930) composed his Trio for Piano, Oboe and Bassoon in 1994 on a joint commission from the Orchestra of St. Luke's, the National Endowment for the Art and the Mary Flagler Cary CharitableTrust, and was first performed on January 31 1996 by the St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble. Music for this combination of instruments is unusual but by no means unique. Francis Poulenc, who like so many French composers lover the sound of woodwinds, wrote a Trio for these same forces in 1926, and in some ways Previn's Trio shows virtues that might be thought typically French: clarity, careful attention to the character of the individual instruments, and a sense of play and fun. Yet if the impulse behind this music might be thought French, here it has an American accent: Previn's Trio is full of energy, jazz rhythms, and the open harmonies that have, since the time of Copland and Harris, distinguished American Music. Trio is in three movements. The opening, marked Lively, moves from a spiky beginning through a flowing second theme-group introduced by the bassoon and marked espressivo. The basic metric markings in this movement are 2/4 and 4/4, but Previn frequently interrupts this even pulse with individual measures in such subdivisions as 7/8/, 5/8 3/4, 7/16, and others. It is indeed a "lively" movement, precisely for the vitality of its rhythms, and a brief coda drives to an emphatic close on a unison B-Flat. In the second movement, Slow, a piano prelude leads to the entrance of the solo oboe; this entrance is marked "lonely", a marking that might apply to the entire movement, where long chromatic woodwind lines wind their way above chordal accompaniment. The music rises to a climax, then falls away to conclude on its opening material, now varied. The last movement, Jaunty, changes meter almost by measure. Here more than in the other two movements, Previn treats the two wind instruments as a group and sets them in contrast to the piano, which has extended solo passages. The leaping opening idea reappears in many forms, including inversion and near the end the tempo speeds ahead as Previn specifies that the music should be played with "Jazz phrasing": these riffs alternate with brief piano interludes marked "simply." Gradually the movement's opening theme reasserts itself, and the Trio rushes to its blistering close, once again on a unison B-flat.(notes by Eric Bromberger from 1996 SummerFest, La Jolla Chamber Music Festival booklet).

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