The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical Music Best Bets for Oct. 14-20 include early music, wind music, choral music and two ‘collage’ concerts

October 14, 2009
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By Jacob Stockinger

This week – which includes Homecoming Weekend at the University of Wisconsin-Madison — big orchestral music gives way to more intimate forms of wind, brass, string and especially choral music.

But to impress the students, parents, alumni and the public, there will still be some razzle-dazzle in the concert halls as well as on the football field.

THURSDAY, OCT. 15: The Imani Winds (appearing in the UW Guest Artist Series) will perform in Mills Hall at 7:30 p.m.  Imani (see photo below) is a woodwind quintet composed of flute, oboe, clarinet, French horn and bassoon. They are unique in the classical music world for a repertoire that highlights diverse cultural identities and blurs genres.  The group received a Grammy nomination in 2006.


The program selection includes “Scherzo” (for woodwind quintet) Op. 48 by Eugene Bozza (1905-1991); “Danza de Mediodia” by Arturo Marquez (b. 1950); “Suite Popular Brasileira” by Julio Medaglia (b. 1938); “La Nouvelle Orleans” by Lalo Schifrin (b. 1932); “Six Bagatelles” by Gyorgy Ligeti (1923-2006); “Aires Tropicales” by Paquito D’Rivera (b. 1948); and “Freyleka” from “Klezmer Dances,” arranged by Gene Kavadlo.

FRIDAY, OCT 16: The Madison Bach Musicians (see photo below) perform at 8 p.m. in the First Congregational Church, 1609 University Ave. There will be a free pre-concert lecture beginning at 7:15. MadisonBachMusicians

Under the group’s founder and director, Edgewood College professor and keyboardist Trevor Stephenson, the early music, period instrument ensemble will perform “Summer” and “Winter” from Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” with Kangwon Kim as violin soloist; J.S. Bach’s Cantata No. 78 “Jesu, der du meine Seele”; and the “Kyrie” and “Gloria” from Josquin de Prez’s Missa Pange Lingua.”

Tickets are cash or checks only. In advance they are $20 for general admission, $15 for students and senior over 65, and are available at A Room of One’s Own, Farley’s House of Pianos, Orange Tree Imports, Madison Music, Ward Brodt Music Mall and the Willy Street Coop.

At the door, tickets are $25 for general admission, $20 for students and seniors.

The Ear doesn’t particular like programming excerpts in a concert, but it is how many great works by Beethoven and Mozart were premiered. Plus, the quality of the performance should be terrific. Last season, the Madison Bach Musicians turned in an unforgettable and moving performance of J.S. Bach’s monumental “St. Matthew Passion.”

The same concert will be repeated on SUNDAY, OCT. 18, at Trinity Lutheran Church, 1904 Winnebago Ave., on the near East side. The concert is at 3 p.m. and the lecture is at 2:15 p.m.

For information, call 608 238-6092 or visit

FRIDAY, OCT. 16: At noon in Morphy Hall, the Imani Winds will hold a free public Master Class.

Then at 8 p.m. in Mills Hall, there will be a “Wind Ensemble Collage Concert —  A Homecoming Concert” celebrating the fine arts. Scott Teeple will conduct.

The UW-Madison Wind Ensemble and Friends will give the third annual Collage Concert. The non-stop extravaganza includes various ensembles. The Horn Choir, Saxophone Quartet, World Percussion Ensemble, Piano duo, Opera, Tuba-euphonium ensemble, Brass Choir, MadHatters a cappella singing group, voice, creative writing and dance combine to join the Wind Ensemble in a performance celebrating the fine arts on Madison’s campus.

Admission is free and open to the public.

SATURDAY, OCT. 17: UW-Madison choral conductor Bruce Gladstone will make his debut as the new director of the Madison-based Festival Choir (below). The choir performs at 7:30 in the new Atrium Auditorium of the First Unitarian Society, 900 University Bay Drive. festivalchoir

The program includes music of Sweelinck, Mozart, Brahms, Gerald Finzi, Aaron Copland and Benjamin Britten.

Advance tickets are $12, $5 for students, and are available at Metcalf Sentry-Hilldale, Orange Tree Imports, Ward Brodt; Wild Birds Unlimited on Old Sauk Road. At the door and on concert day, tickets are $15 and $5.

For more ticket and program information, visit or call 608 274-7089.

Also on Saturday, at 8 p.m. in Mills Hall, the Wisconsin Brass Quintet (see the photo below) will perform.

WisconsinBrass Quintet

The program includes the world premiere “Collage for (Canon)*” by John Stevens, the UW-Madison composer, arranger and brass player; “Centone No. 2” by Johann Joseph Fux; “Elegy” by Dmitri Shostakovich, adapted by John Stevens; “Quartet No. 6” (1956) by Shostakovich, adapted by Stevens; and “Polka” by Shostakovich, adapted by Stevens.

The concert is free and open to the public.

SUNDAY, OCT. 18: In Mills Hall at 7:30 p.m. the UW Choral Collage will take place.

Groups to perform include: Chorale: Bruce Gladstone, conductor; Concert Choir: Beverly Taylor, conductor; Madrigal Singers: Bruce Gladstone, conductor; Masters Singers: Brian Gurley, conductor; University Chorus: Michael Pfitzer, conductor; Women’s Chorus: Kimberly Dunn Adams, conductor.

The concert is free and open to the public.

If you go to some to any of these events, why not be the critic?

Let others –and the performers—know what you think? Write a mini-review to be posted here.

The Ear wants to hear.

Posted in Classical music

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