Special Saturday Matinee Concert featuring Broadway stars Teri Hansen and Robert Sims performing classic hits from Irving Berlin, Duke Ellington, Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein. Bring the whole family to an afternoon salute to the golden age of Broadway!
Jeannette Hirosawa Moore, Purl in the Pines Sponsored Chair
Chanson et Danses (1898)
Paul Marie Theodore Vincent d’Indy (1851-1931), was a French composer and the cofounder and director of the Schola Cantorum de Paris, a music school that influenced the famous Conservatoire de Paris. An ardent patriot and a fervent Roman Catholic, he came from a family of officers and nearly embraced a military career himself before he decided to devote himself to music. Harmful to his reputation, he was an uncompromising classicist who considered the traditions of French 19th-century music to be superficial and unworthy to compete with the Bach-Beethoven-Wagner tradition.
His Chansons et Danses for seven wind instruments was commissioned by Paul Taffanel of the La Société moderne d’instruments à vent (Society for Woodwind Instruments) in 1898. The piece was one of the first of many important commissioned works by the Society from the era’s prominent French composers, resulting in an extremely rich catalog of works.
Chanson et Danses is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and captivating of that French 19th-century wind repertoire. Stylistically, it has an extraordinary blend of French and German influences. In the Chanson (Song) movement, the main theme is derived from Richard Wagner‘s Siegfried Idyll and woven into a dense, chromatically rich movement. In the Danses movement, a series spirited dances celebrate the elegance and triumph of French suite music.
Mozart – Serenade #12 in C minor
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) was a child prodigy born in Salzburg, Austria, who toured Europe as a boy, playing keyboards and violin for nobility and the general public. He began composing at age 4, amassing an impressive output of over 600 pieces by the time of his untimely death at age 35. His compositions encompassed solo keyboard works, symphonies, operas, string quartets, concertos, chamber music of all stripes, and religious works. He famously died while composing his Requiem, K. 626. It is possible that he believed himself to be writing his own funeral music, but it is unlikely that he was poisoned by the composer Antonio Salieri, as is asserted in the film Amadeus. In life, he had a reputation as a prankster, which shone through in his music at times (witness the 4-voice canons Difficile lectu and O du eselhafter Peierl). He is remembered today as perhaps one of the greatest composers who ever lived.
Mozart wrote the Serenade in C minor, K. 388 in 1782. Exactly when it was finished, when it premiered, for whom he wrote it, and what motivated its composition are all unknown. We do know that wind music was very much in vogue in the Holy Roman Empire of the day thanks to Emperor Joseph II‘s establishment of a Harmoniemusik ensemble at his court. These usually consisted of pairs of wind instruments, often oboes, clarinets, French horns, and bassoons, as in K. 388, although basset horns and English horns sometimes also appeared. Very often they were used for light entertainment at parties (Mozart has one playing in the background during the ballroom scene of his 1787 opera Don Giovanni) or even to accompany the imperial supper. They were ideal for outdoor performances: many of the contemporary serenades written for Harmoniemusik were intended to be played outdoors, perhaps even with the musicians on the move. So the Serenade in C minor, with its dark tone and apparently serious purpose (let alone its minor key) would have confounded expectations for Harmoniemusik at the time, as it still does scholars of Mozart and wind music today. The Serenade is in four movements, closely replicating the common symphonic form of the day. The first is a straightforward sonata whose development seems to run out of steam before a forcefully dark recapitulation. The second, an andante in three, also takes sonata form (the development is all of two phrases) and includes cadenza-like passages for the first oboe and first clarinet. The third movement is a minuet marked “in canone,” and indeed, there is always a canon going on. The final movement is a decidedly dark series of variations broken up by some unrelated E-flat major material in the middle. After so much gloom, the Serenade takes an unexpected turn and ends with a noisy C major variation. Program Notes by Andy Pease
Gary Carpenter – Ein Musikalisches Snookerspiel
Frame 1: Vivace
Frame 2: Andantino
Frame 3: Pastorale
Frame 4: Allegro pesante
Frame 5: Finale
Gary Carpenter (born 1951) is a British composer of concert music and film scores, operas, and musicals. He is a Visiting Professor at the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal Northern College of Music. His witty and dramatic writing style has been featured in numerous films – including The Wicker Man and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
Based on Mozart’s “Musikalisches Würfelspiel” (A Musical Dice Game), this supremely witty five-movement work follows five frames of snooker, a popular billiards game. Mozart was one of the best billiards players in Europe, so it is fitting that snooker should have been used to construct this piece from his famous aleatoric work. Mozart’s original was written in C Major, but for the sake of tonal variety, Carpenter sets each frame of his work a minor third higher than its predecessor. The third reverses Mozart’s wholly major modality to become a minor variant.
Conductor & Musical Director – Charles Latshaw
Video – Nicholas Geib, Firewatch Media
Audio – Kyle Miller, Lore Audio
Graphics – Heather Brown, Cultural Sponge
Executive Producer – Larry Lang, Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra