The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: In two FREE concerts on Sunday afternoon and evening, the UW Wind Ensemble celebrates Black History Month and the guest duo Bridge of Song celebrates Nordic song

February 13, 2020
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By Jacob Stockinger

On a weekend with a lot of live music, two FREE concerts also take place at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s new Hamel Music Center, 740 University Ave., on Sunday afternoon and early Sunday evening. Details are below:

BLACK HISTORY MONTH

At 2 p.m. in the Mead Witter Foundation Concert Hall, the UW Wind Ensemble (below) will celebrate Black History Month with a FREE concert.

The conductor is director Scott Teeple (below).

Also participating is the Madison-based Mt. Zion Baptist Church Gospel Choir (below), with director Leotha Stanley.

The program is:

Adolphus Hailstork (below): “American Guernica” (heard in the YouTube video at the bottom)
Armando Borolo: “Last Breaths”
DaSean Stokes, soloist
Aaron Copland: “A Lincoln Portrait”
Traditional/arr. Reynolds: “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands”
Stephen Newby:  “When I See His Glorious Face/Can’t Nobody Do Me Like Jesus”
Omar Thomas: “Of Our New Day Begun”

For more information, go to: https://www.music.wisc.edu/event/uw-wind-ensemble-7/

NORDIC SONG

Then at 6:30p.m. in the Collins Recital Hall, there is a FREE concert to promote Nordic song by Bridge of Song.

Bridge of Song is a voice and piano duo. It features soprano Kathleen Roland-Silverstein (below top) and pianist Collin Hansen (below bottom).

Songs will be performed in three languages — Swedish, Finnish and English. For a complete program of composers and works – unfortunately, with no translations of the foreign-language titles – as well as extended biographies of the performers, go to: https://www.music.wisc.edu/event/bridge-of-song/

 


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Classical music: What would be a good April Fool’s joke about classical music? But it is no joke that April will bring a lot of major choral music by Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Faure and Rachmaninoff among others.

April 1, 2014
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READER SURVEY: Today is April Fool’s Day! So in keeping with tradition, here is what The Ear wants to know: What would be a really good April Fool’s joke about classical music? Discovering a 10th symphony or sixth piano concerto by Ludwig van Beethoven? Finding one of the many lost cantatas by Johann Sebastian Bach? Unearthing a letter from Arnold Schoenberg disavowing his own 12-tone or atonal music as a dry and boring experiment? Use the COMMENT section to leave your April Fools treat. Be creative, original and unexpected, and have some fun.

Here is a link to one year’s entries:

https://welltempered.wordpress.com/2012/04/09/classical-music-news-the-discovery-of-beethovens-tenth-symphony-wins-first-prize-for-the-best-april-fools-day-story/

april fools day

By Jacob Stockinger

April is the “choralist month,” to paraphrase — with a badly twisted pun — a famous opening line from T.S. Eliot’s poem “The Wasteland.”

Is it because of Easter? The end of the semester at the University of Wisconsin-Madison? Or maybe the arrival of spring? Or perhaps the closing on some current seasons?

All play a role, The Ear suspects, but so does coincidence. Besides, after such a hard winter, singing out seems healthy and almost normal.

During this April, local audiences will have the chance to hear more than half a dozen major choral works –- and that doesn’t even include the Russian and Baltic concert performed this past weekend by the Wisconsin Chamber Choir.

Many of the events will have more detailed postings on this blog. But here is a summary roundup to help you fill in your datebooks and make plans.

It will kick off this weekend with the Madison Symphony Orchestra, the Madison Symphony Chorus (below, in a photo by Greg Anderson) and guest soloists when they perform the famously storied Requiem by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Concerts are in Overture Hall on Friday at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday at 8 p.m.; and Sunday at 2:30 p.m.

Guest conductor Julian Wachner will be substituting for the MSO music director John DeMain, and the program also includes guest organ soloist Nathan Laube in Jongen’s “Sinfonia Concertante.” For more information, including program notes and ticket information, visit: http://www.madisonsymphony.org/laube

MSO Chorus CR Greg Anderson

On Friday, April 11, at 8 p.m. in the Capitol Theater of the Overture Center, the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra with guest pianist Stewart Goodyear and the Festival Choir (below), under WCO music director Andrew Sewell, will perform Mozart’s late, short and sublime “Ave Verum Corpus” (heard at the bottom with conductor Leonard Bernstein in a popular YouTube video that has over 2 million hits) and Beethoven’s rarely heard “Choral Fantasy,” which is a sketch with solo piano of the famous last chiral movement, with the famous “Ode to Joy,” of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony

Stewart Goodyear’s own Piano Concerto is on the program, as is Beethoven’s epic Symphony No. 3 “Eroica.” For details, visit: http://wcoconcerts.org/performances/masterworks/72/event-info/

festivalchoir

On Saturday, April 12, at 8 p.m. in Mills Hall the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music will see a FREE performance on Johann Sebastian Bach’s “St. John Passion” performed by the Concert Choir (below) and the UW Chamber Orchestra).

Concert Choir

The next day Sunday, April 13 is Palm Sunday. It will see two performances (10 a.m. and 3 p.m.) of the gorgeously calm and reassuring Requiem by Gabriel Faure (below) at the First Unitarian Society of Madison, performed in the old historic Landmark Auditorium, where the organ is. FUS music director Dan Broner will conduct. Free-will offerings will be accepted.

faure

Then on Good Friday, April 18, in the First Congregational Church and on Saturday, April 19, in the Atrium auditorium of the First Unitarian Society, J.S. Bach’s landmark Mass in B Minor will receive two performances (both at 7:30 p.m. with a pre-concert lecture at 6:45 p.m.) from the Madison Bach Musicians, and guest soloists and the Madison Choral Project under conductor and UW bassoonist Marc Vallon.  

MadisonBachMusicians

On Saturday, April 19, at 8 p.m. in Mills Hall is also a FREE concert by the UW Madrigal Singers under conductor Bruce Gladstone (below, in a  photo by Katrin Talbot). Sorry, no word on the program yet.

BruceGladstoneTalbot

On Saturday, April 26, at 8 pm. in Mills Hall the University of Wisconsin-Madison Choral Union (below) will perform the lovely and rarely performed Russian Orthodox, a cappella “Vespers” of Sergei Rachmaninoff. Beverly Taylor, who heads the UW-Madison choral program, will conduct the one-time only performance -– normally the UW Choral Union gives two performances. Tickets can be purchased for the concerts. Admission is $10 for adults and the general public; free for  students and seniors.
 Remaining tickets will be at the door. 
Call (608) 265-ARTS (2787) for ticket info.

UW Choral Union  12:2011

As an added bonus to April, and to wind up the spring semester, on Saturday, May 3, at 8 p.m. in Mills Hall is the FREE concert by the UW Women’s Chorus and University Chorus. On Monday. May 5, at 7:30 p.m. in Mills Hall the UW Master Singers will perform a FREE concert.

I’m betting there are some others I am missing, especially at Edgewood College, which I haven’t heard from yet. Perhaps readers will leave word in a COMMENT. But even from what I have listed, you see that listeners are in store for a lot of choral treats.

 

 

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Classical music: Wisconsin Chamber Choir presents “Inspired by Greatness” this Saturday night, pairing famous teachers with famous students.

November 13, 2012
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ALERT:  This Wednesday night at 6 p.m. in Morphy Recital Hall, the UW School of Music’s Guest Artist Series presents violinist Ernest Salem (California State University-Fullerton) and pianist Alison Edwards in a FREE recital.  The program features “Konzertstuck” (for violin and orchestra) in D Major, D. 345 by Franz Schubert;, Sonata for Violin and Piano, Op. 119, by Francis Poulenc; and Sonata in E-Flat Major, Op.18 by Richard Strauss. Salem will also give a free and public violin master class on Thursday at 1 p.m. in Morphy Recital Hall. 

By Jacob Stockinger

The Wisconsin Chamber Choir (below top) will present a concert entitled “Inspired by Greatness” on Saturday, November 17 at 7:30 p.m. at Grace Episcopal Church (below bottom, exterior photo), 116 West Washington Avenue, on the Capitol Square in downtown Madison.By Jacob Stockinger

In celebration of great teachers everywhere, this concert features composers from six centuries who are linked as teachers and students of one another.

The wide-ranging program includes music by Josquin, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Nathaniel Dett and Adolphus Hailstork. In his debut performance with the WCC, organist Mark Brampton Smith will perform works by Bach and Buxtehude on Grace’s Casavant pipe organ in addition to accompanying the WCC at the piano.

Tickets are available in advance for $15 through Brown Paper Tickets or via www.wisconsinchamberchoir.org or at the door.  Advance student tickets are $10.

The concerts opens with early Renaissance music of Jean Ockeghem (below top) and his student, Josquin des Prez (below bottom), who soon emerged as the leading composer of the era. In addition to mass movements by both composers, the WCC will perform Josquin’s glorious “Ave Maria—Virgo serena” and “Nymphes des bois” (at bottom), Josquin’s lament on the death Ockeghem and one of the most moving musical memorials of all time.

Three generations of Russian composers exemplify the incredible flowering of Russian liturgical music in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Tchaikovsky’s “Cherubic Hymn” is a movement from his groundbreaking setting of the Orthodox Divine Liturgy. Tchaikovsky often referred to his student Sergei Taneyev (below) as “The Russian Bach” because of Taneyev’s obsession with counterpoint, as evidenced in Stars, a movement from Taneyev’s Twelve Choruses, Op. 27.

As professor of composition at the Moscow Conservatory, Taneyev numbered among his students Sergei Rachmaninoff (below), whose “All-Night Vigil” (commonly referred to as Rachmaninoff’s Vespers) is the greatest single achievement in all of Russian choral music. The WCC presents three movements from this beloved work.

The German Romantic composers Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms and Heinrich von Herzogenberg, while not formally teachers and students of one another, were nevertheless closely linked. Brahms was one of the Schumann family’s closest friends, and Herzogenberg (below) and his wife Elisabeth were two of Brahms’s closest confidantes.

The WCC’s selections illustrate a particularly intriguing connection between a piano quartet by Herzogenberg, “Die Nacht,” and Brahms’s work in the same genre, “O schöne Nacht.” Brahms’s debt to the younger composer, Herzogenberg, is unmistakable in this case, as the audience will hear when the WCC presents both works side by side.

The WCC’s program concludes with rousing spirituals arranged by pioneering African-American composers Nathaniel Dett (below top) and Adolphus Hailstork (below middle) who were both students of famed French composition teacher, Nadia Boulanger (below bottom).

Founded in 1999, the Madison-based Wisconsin Chamber Choir has established a reputation for excellence in the performance of Bach oratorios, a cappella masterworks from various centuries, and world premieres. Robert Gehrenbeck (below) is the Wisconsin Chamber Choir’s Artistic Director.


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