The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: The Oakwood Chamber Players announce their new season with the theme of “Journey”

August 10, 2017
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By Jacob Stockinger

Over many years, the Oakwood Chamber Players (below) have built a solid reputation for programming unusual composers and neglected works, all performed with first-rate playing.

(You can sample their recording for Naxos Records of a work by UW-Madison graduate Daron Hagen in the YouTube video at the bottom.) 

The new 2017-018 season, based on aspects of a JOURNEY is no exception.

Except where noted, performances are on Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. at Oakwood University Woods Center for Arts and Education, 6201 Mineral Point Road, on Madison’s far west side, not far from West Towne Mall.

The group writes:

“Join the Oakwood Chamber Players on our 2017-2018 season journey with composers whose music encompasses the animation and anticipation at departure and beyond. We’ll have something for adventure seekers as they consider the view over the ever-expanding horizon.

“We’ll stop over to stay a while with friends and see the future with those who forever influence the musical landscape. We will welcome both familiar and new faces as guest artists this season. Come along with us on the JOURNEY!”

JOURNEY

DEPARTURE

September 9/10, 2017

Strauss-Schoenberg   Kaiser-Walzer for mixed ensemble

Reger         Serenade for flute, violin and viola

Arutiunian        Concert Waltz for winds and piano

QUEST

November 26, 2017 (1 and 3:30 p.m.)

Blake               Snowman Suite for string quartet

Mozetich         Angels in Flight for mixed ensemble

Rutter               Brother Heinrich’s Christmas for vocal quartet,  narrator and     mixed ensemble

HORIZON

January 13/14, 2018

Casella            Serenade for mixed ensemble

Mikulka            Sunset 1892 for clarinet, viola and piano

Huber             Quintet for winds and piano

SOJOURN

March 10/11, 2018

Hofmann         Octet for mixed ensemble

Schoenberg       Presto for string quartet

Scott                  Cornish Boat Song for piano trio

Mendelssohn     Concert Piece for clarinet, bassoon and piano

LEGACY

May 19/20, 2018

Kaminski         String Quartet

Smit                Sextet for wind quintet and piano

Sekles             Capriccio – Yankee Doodle con variazioni for piano trio

2017-2018 Season Ticket Prices

Senior (62+) Single: $20 per concert

Senior (62+) Series: $85 for the season*

Adult Single: $25 per concert

Adult Series: $105 for the season*

Student Single: $5 per concert

*Season concert series offers five concerts at a 15% discount.  Tickets available at the door.

The Oakwood Chamber Players now accept payment via credit card as well as cash and check.

For more information, go to: https://www.oakwoodchamberplayers.com

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Classical music: The 150th anniversary of architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s birth will be celebrated with two concerts on this coming Sunday afternoon and Monday night in Spring Green. They feature the world premiere of a work commissioned from Madison-based composer Scott Gendel.

August 2, 2017
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By Jacob Stockinger

Effi Casey, the director of music at Taliesin, the Frank Lloyd Wright compound in Spring Green, writes:

“I am writing to you to let you know about special concerts at Taliesin on Sunday, Aug. 6, at 2:30 p.m. and Monday, Aug. 7, at 7:30 p.m., which I will direct in the Hillside Theater at Taliesin.

“The concerts are a collaboration of Taliesin Preservation and Rural Musicians Forum as part of the year-long celebration of the 150th anniversary of the birth of architect Frank Lloyd Wright (below).

“I commissioned UW-Madison prize-winning graduate Scott Gendel to write “That Which Is Near,” a piece for choir, string quartet and piano, and we have enjoyed working on it. (NOTE: Gendel will discuss his work in more detail in tomorrow’s posting on this blog.) It will receive its world premiere at these two concerts.

“Other works to be performed include: “Fanfare for the Common Man” by Aaron Copland; “Past Life Melodies” by Sarah Hopkins; the spiritual “Ev’ry Time I Feel de Spirit”; “Hymn to Nature” (from the Wright-inspired opera “Shining Brow,” which is the English translation of the Welsh word “Taliesin” and stands for the hillside location) by UW-Madison graduate Daron Hagen; “Song of Peace” by Jean Sibelius”; and the “Sanctus” and “Dona Nobis Pacem” from the Mass in B Minor) by Johann Sebastian Bach and spoken words.

“The participation and enthusiasm of the singers of the greater Spring Green community are most rewarding already.

TICKETS

“Tickets are available on-line at RuralMusiciansForum.org. Please see the “Purchase Tickets Here” link to Brown Paper Tickets on the right-hand side of the RMF home page.

“Alternatively, tickets can be purchased at the Arcadia Bookstore in downtown Spring Green.

“Ticket prices range from $15 to $30. The $30 tickets for the Sunday Aug. 6 concert include concert admission and a festive champagne post-concert reception with composer Scott Gendel, the musicians and the chorus.

“Tickets for the concert only on Aug. 6 or 7 are $20 or $15 for seniors and students. Children 12 and under are free, but please pick up a free ticket for them to be sure they get a seat at the concert.” (Below is the Hillside Theater.)

WRIGHT AND MUSIC

To The Ear, a special concert seems the perfect way to mark the Wright sesquicentennial.

Just take a look, thanks to research by Effi Casey (below), at what Wright himself said and thought about music:

“… Never miss the idea that architecture and music belong together. They are practically one.” (FLW)

“While Wright claimed architecture as the “mother art,” his experience in music was early, visceral, and eternal. Of his childhood he wrote: “…father taught him (the boy) to play (the piano). His knuckles were rapped by the lead pencil in the impatient hand that would sometimes force his hand into position at practice time on the Steinway Square in the sitting room. But he felt proud of his father too. Everybody listened and seemed happy when father talked on Sundays when he preached, the small son dressed in his home-made Sunday best, looked up at him, absorbed in something of his own making that would have surprised the father and the mother more than a little if they could have known.”(FLW’s Autobiography).

“In his later years, Wright himself preached musical integration in his own Sunday talks to the Fellowship:

“Of all the fine arts, (Wright exclaimed in a Sunday morning talk to his apprentices) music it was that I could not live without – as taught by my father. (I) found in it (a) sympathetic parallel to architecture. Beethoven and Bach were princely architects in my spiritual realm…”

“But more than words, it was in practice where he conveyed music to those in his sphere, from a piano designed into a client’s home (for someone who may or may not have been able to play it!), to his own score of concert grand pianos at the two Taliesins (he claimed “the piano plays me!”).

“In a gesture of delight and exuberance, as it is told by those who experienced it, Wright had a gramophone player installed at the top of his Romeo and Juliet tower (below is the rebuilt tower) at Taliesin to have Bach’s Mass in B Minor resound over the verdant hills and valleys.

Adds Casey: “Architecture is indeed a musical parallel of composition, rhythm, pattern, texture, and color. As Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony is an “edifice of sound” (FLW) built upon the famous first eight notes, so Wright’s overture of verse expresses a singular IDEA, played in stone, wood, and concrete, from superstructure to matching porcelain cup.”

video


Classical music: The Wisconsin Brass Quintet performs a FREE concert Thursday night on the UW-Madison campus.

October 21, 2015
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By Jacob Stockinger

The Wisconsin Brass Quintet, which is marking its 43rd anniversary this season, will give a FREE and PUBLIC performance this Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. in Mills Hall.

The program includes: the Canzona per sonare No. 2 by the Italian Baroque composer Giovanni Gabrieli (ca. 1554-1612); “In the Zone” by UW-Madison alumnus Andrew Rindfleisch (b. 1963); the Brass Quintet by Ira Taxin (b. 1950); and Rounds and Dances for Brass Quintet by Jan Bach (b. 1937)

Members of the Wisconsin Brass Quintet are (below in a photo by Michael R. Anderson, left to right): Mark Hetzler, trombone; Matthew Onstad, trumpet; Tom Curry, tuba; John Aley, trumpet; Daniel Grabois, horn. 

Wisconsin Brass Quintet

Here is some background about the Wisconsin Brass Quintet:

Founded in 1972, the Wisconsin Brass Quintet is a faculty ensemble-in-residence at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music.

The quintet’s musical expertise has been acknowledged by Verne Reynolds, Jan Bach, Karel Husa, John Harbison, Daron Hagen and many other composers.

In addition to performing with the WBQ, the players have also been members of the American Brass Quintet, Empire Brass Quintet and Meridian Arts Ensemble. Quintet members John Stevens and Daniel Grabois and former member Douglas Hill have also composed many works for the group.

With extensive performances throughout the Midwest and nationally, including appearances at New York’s Carnegie Recital Hall and Merkin Concert Hall, the quintet’s educational programs and master classes have been presented in such prestigious settings as The Juilliard School and the Yale School of Music.

The quintet performs annual live radio broadcast concerts on Wisconsin Public Radio. Its three CD recordings, on the Summit, Mark and Crystal labels, feature music by John Stevens, Douglas Hill, Verne Reynolds, Daron Hagen, John Harbison and Enrique Crespo.

An earlier LP recording features the only recording of Jan Bach’s “Rounds and Dances” and Hilmar Luckhardt’s “Brass Quintet.” Each of these works was composed for the Wisconsin Brass Quintet, in keeping with the WBQ’s commitment to commissioning and performing new music of the 20th and 21st centuries. (You can hear the Wisconsin Brass Quintet perform a commissioned work in the YouTube video at the bottom.)

Barry Kilpatrick writes for the American Record Guide: “I’ve reviewed over 250 brass recordings in the past five years, and this is one of the very best. The WBQ is a remarkable ensemble that plays with more reckless abandon, warmth, stylistic variety and interpretive interest than almost any quintet in memory.”


Classical music: A new chamber version of Daron Hagen’s “Shining Brow,” an opera about architect Frank Lloyd Wright, gets successfully staged at — and somewhat upstaged by — by Wright’s masterpiece home Fallingwater.

June 15, 2013
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By Jacob Stockinger

Today’s posting is by guest blogger Ron McCrea (below). McCrea, a longtime Madison journalist, is the author of “Building Taliesin: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Home of Love and Loss,” published by the Wisconsin Historical Society Press in 2012. McCrea traveled to Pittsburgh last weekend to see a chamber adaptation of American composer Daron Hagen’s opera “Shining Brow” performed on the decks of Fallingwater, Wright’s famous 1937 summer home, built beside a stream and over a waterfall deep in the woods of western Pennsylvania. Here is a report by McCrea (below), including photos mostly  taken by him.

ron McCrea headshot

By Ron McCrea

Do you go to the opera to see the opera, or to admire the opera house? Do you go to see the action onstage, or to see who has shown up in the boxes? For opera fans, the answer is probably a bit of both, though if the opera is truly grand the setting quickly recedes when the house lights dim.

The setting never receded at Fallingwater on Saturday night. The competition posed by this stupendous woodland summer palace, with the sound of its rushing waterfall (below bottom) constantly playing in the background and the light changing on its ivory decks as the sun set, was too much for six singers and seven instrumentalists to overcome, as cleverly and effectively as the opera “Shining Brow” was staged.

Fallingwater 1

Fallingwater's waterfall

June 8 was Wright’s 146th birthday. It was also another visit by composer Daron Hagen to Fallingwater. He snapped photos from the terraces before the performance, while the 120 ticket-holders, who paid $350, were allowed to roam the Edgar Kaufmann House with drinks and hors d’oeuvres (below), as though they were regular guests of the Pittsburgh department store magnate who commissioned Wright to build a summer place that would make them both immortal.

It worked for Wright: His face appeared on the cover of Time magazine in 1938 with his color rendering of Fallingwater in the background. (For a full account, see “Fallingwater Rising” by Franklin Toker, Alfred A. Knopf, 2003.)

Fallingwater Al fresco buffet

Hagen, who graduated from UW-Madison in 1982, stood rapt as he watched the floating performance on the terraces. “Shining Brow,” an early work originally commissioned by the Madison Opera, received its world premiere in Madison in 1993. For the performances by the Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, Hagen cut down his work from two hours to 70 minutes, eliminating choruses, scenes and an amusing barbershop quartet sung by Chicago journalists who have come to Wisconsin to cover the scandal at Taliesin, Wright’s “love bungalow.”

Hagen also reduced his instrumental forces from a full orchestra to a chamber ensemble consisting of a violin, viola, cello, oboe/English horn, three kinds of clarinets with one player, and keyboard (below).

The re-orchestration had a good, full sound, and everything was well amplified and lighted for the outdoor stage. The action, directed by Jonathan Eaton and conducted by Robert Frankenberry, moved among four levels of terraces and used the approaches to the house.

Musicians at Fallingwater

The opera tells the story of Wright (baritone Kevin Kees, below); his mentor, Louis Sullivan (tenor James Flora); his lover, Mamah Borthwick Cheney (soprano Lara Lynn Cottrill); her husband, Edwin Cheney (bass-baritone Dimitrie Lazich); and Wright’s wife Catherine (soprano Kara Cornell).

It spans the years 1903-1914, which cover Wright’s commission to build a home for the Cheneys, his break with Sullivan, his liaison and elopement to Europe with Mamah, his breakup with Catherine, and the murder and fire at Taliesin that leave Mamah dead and Wright bereft.  The role of a maid who brings the angry, disillusioned Sullivan his drinks is sung by soprano Anna McTiernan.

Fallingwtaer Kevin Kees sings Wright

Librettist Paul Muldoon, now the poetry editor for The New Yorker magazine, plays fast and loose with history while having fun making double-entendres out of Sullivan’s description of the skyscraper as “every inch a proud and soaring thing.”

The opera really is less about history than about the competing claims of love and ambition, the jealousies between mentor and pupil, and the passion to create a new American art not tied to Europe.

Hagen, in a 40-minute talk on the bus (below) to Fallingwater, said the argument between Sullivan and Wright over whether Wright had “borrowed” his ideas or “purloined” them was much like the dispute that caused a rift between Arnold Schoenberg and his protégé Marc Blitzstein.

Daron Hagen lectures on fallingwater bus

Hagen recalled with affection the commission for “Shining Brow,” which came by phone from Madison while he and Muldoon were both young unknowns at the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire. He remembered playing and singing the first act of “Shining Brow” for Leonard Bernstein at his Manhattan apartment, and playing through the entire opera in the same apartment (without Lenny) for a Madison delegation that included the Madison Opera’s General Director Ann Stanke (below top) and the Madison Symphony Orchestra‘s Music Director and the Madison Opera’s Artistic Director Roland Johnson (below bottom) both recently deceased.

ann stanke

Roland Johnson

The premiere in 1993 was well reviewed by The New York Times (the review was a first for the Madison Opera, Hagen said) and a Chicago Tribune critic in 1997 called the opera “one of the most universally praised new American works of the decade.” Madison music critic and this blog’s host, Jacob Stockinger, also wrote in The Capital Times that the opera deserved the Pulitzer Prize for music.

Nevertheless, Hagen said he had to wait a full decade before the opera was revived. After thinking he would become an overnight sensation, he came to realize that “Shining Brow” was “a home run in a Triple-A league.” Madison was too regional to win the attention of the Coasts -– a problem Wright himself had until he created Fallingwater.

A recording of the full opera by the Buffalo Philharmonic is available on Naxos. Pittsburgh Opera General Manager Scott Timm said a video of the Fallingwater performance might be issued if the unions agree to it.

SummerFest in Pittsburgh, whose theme this year is “Up Close and Passionate,” will run from July 6-21 at the historic Beaux-Arts Twentieth Century Club. “Shining Brow” will be performed on July 11 and July 19, with tickets priced between $20 and $40 and a pre-theater dinner available. For full information, visit http://otsummerfest.org/seasonbrochure.html

Fallingwater program


Classical music: April is jam packed with classical music — and this weekend is no exception for chamber music, brass music, baroque vocal and instrumental music, plus piano trios and string trios.

April 10, 2013
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By Jacob Stockinger

In “The Wasteland,” poet T.S. Eliot wrote that “April is the cruelest month.”

Well, for classical  music-lovers, the cruelty lies in the abundance of riches. It is hard to keep up with it all this month, or even this week.

I have already posted some big events. But there are other concerts to attend – almost all FREE — especially at the UW-Madison School of Music.

Here is a round-up of ones I haven’t yet covered:

FRIDAY

The weekly FREE Friday Noon Musicale Friday from noon to 1:15 p.m. at the First Unitarian Society Meeting House, 900 University Bay Drive, features Mozart’s Divertimento in E-flat, K. 563, with Eugene Purdue, violin (below); Rami Solomonow, viola; and Tom Rosenberg, cello.

Eugene Purdue 1 Thomas C. Stringfellow

SATURDAY

Saturday from noon to 1 p.m. in Grace Episcopal Church (below), “Grace Presents” will offer a FREE concert featuring the Madison-based wind quintet “Black Marigold.”

The program will feature excerpts from the program for the three Spring concert dates: Anton Reicha’s Quintet in E-flat, Op. 88, No. 2; Robert Muczynski’s Quintet for Winds; György Ligeti’s Six Bagatelles; and Bill Douglas’ “Suite Cantabile.”

MBM Grace altar

For the Madison dates (April 13 at Grace Episcopal and Friday, April 19, the FREE Noon Musicale from 12:15 to 1 p.m. at the First Unitarian Society, 900 University Bay Drive) the group will be selecting from this program. For the Platteville concert at 7:30 p.m. on April 22 at the UW-Platteville, the program will be performed in its entirety. The Overture EngAGES programs are still To Be Determined but the dates are May 15 at Madison Senior Center at 1:30 p.m.; May 16 at Attic Angels West at 10 a.m.; and May 17 at Oakwood Village West, 7 p.m. 

Members of Black Marigold are Elizabeth Marshall, flute; Laura Medsiky, oboe; Bethany Schultz, clarinet; Kia Karlen, horn; and Cynthia Cameron Fix, bassoon.

Find more information at www.blackmarigold.com

Black Marigold 2

On Saturday night at 8 p.m. in Mills Hall, the UW Concert Choir (below), under Beverly Taylor and her assistant Brian Gurley, will present its Spring Concert. Admission is FREE. 

The concert will include a motet group of works by Philips, Mouton, Bruckner and Vulpius,  a group of Debussy works, Britten works, Poulenc works and a mixture of Americana including works by Barber, Copland, and folksong arrangements.

The top-tier choir of 45 members sings a variety of primarily a cappella choral literature from all eras. Singers in Concert Choir have significant vocal and choral experience, as well as high sight reading ability, and many are voice majors. In late May, the group will embark on a performance tour of France.

Concert Choir

The Wisconsin Baroque Ensemble will close out its current season this Saturday night at 8 p.m. in the historic Gates of Heaven Synagogue (below) in James Madison Park, 300 East Gorham St., in downtown Madison.

The program features music of the 17th and 18th centuries, specifically Baroque vocal and instrumental chamber music.

Tickets are at the door only: $15 for the public, $10 for students.

Gates of Heaven

The musicians in the Wisconsin Baroque Ensemble (below) are: Eric Miller – viola da gamba, cello; Chelsie Propst – soprano; Monica Steger – harpsichord; Anton TenWolde – cello, viola da gamba.

The program includes selections from “Pieces de Viole,  Book 2” by Main Marais; “Dulcis amor” by Isabella Leonarda; Sinata in E minor for cello and basso continuo by Giovanni Battista Bononcini; “Susanne” by Elisabeth-Claude Jacquet de la Guerre;

Madison: “Canzon prima a 2 bassi” by Giralamo Frescobaldi; and “L’Astratto” by Barbara Strozzi.

For more information, call (608) 238-5126 or visit

www.wisconsinbaroque.org

Wisconsin Baroque Ensemble composite

SUNDAY

This week’s “Sunday Afternoon Live from the Chazen” – broadcast live by Wisconsin Public Radio from 12:30 to 2 p.m. from Brittingham Gallery 3 of the Chazen Museum of Art — features the Wisconsin Brass Quintet (below), which is celebrating its 40th anniversary as artists in residence at the UW-Madison.

The program includes Gesualdo’s Suite of Madrigals, arranged by Mark Hetzler; John Harbison’s “Magnum Mysterium”; Macmillan’s “Adam’s Rib”; and Daniel Grabois’ “Grabois: Gravilord.”

Wisconsin Brass Quintet Cr Katrin Talbot

Founded in 1972, the Wisconsin Brass Quintet is a faculty ensemble-in-residence at the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Music.

The quintet’s musical expertise has been acknowledged by Verne Reynolds, Jan Bach, Karel Husa, John Harbison, Daron Hagen and many other composers.

In addition to performing with the WBQ, the players have also been members of the American Brass Quintet, Empire Brass Quintet and Meridian Arts Ensemble.

Quintet members John Stevens and Daniel Grabois and former member Douglas Hill have also composed many works for the group.

With extensive performances throughout the Midwest and nationally, including appearances at New York’s Carnegie Recital Hall and Merkin Concert Hall, the quintet’s educational programs and master classes have been presented in such prestigious settings as The Juilliard School and the Yale School of Music.

Members of the Chazen Museum of Art or Wisconsin Public Radio can reserve seats for Sunday Afternoon Live performances. Seating is limited.

All reservations must be made Monday through Friday before the concert and claimed by 12:20 p.m. on the day of the performance. For reservations or membership information contact the Chazen Museum at (608) 263-2246.

A reception will follow the performance with coffee, tea, and treats donated by local businesses. Donors this semester include Fresh Madison Market, Steep & Brew and the University Club.

A free docent-led tour in the Chazen galleries begins every Sunday at 2 p.m.

SAL3

On Sunday night at 7:30 p.m. in Mills Hall, the Trio Antigo will present a FREE concert of music by Shostakovich and Mendelssohn.

This trio (below) is comprised of cellist Stefan Kartman of UW-Milwaukee; Felicia Moye, UW-Madison Professor of Violin; and pianist Jeannie Yu.

(Note: Kartman and Moye also will present a master class on Saturday at 3 p.m. in Humanities Building, Room 1341.)

The program will include Piano Trio, Op. 67 by Dmitri Shostakovich and Priano Trio in C minor, Op. 66 by Felix Mendelssohn. (A sample of the beautiful Mendelssohn trio performed by cellist Yo-Yo Ma, violinist Itzhak Perlman and pianist Emanuel Ax can be heard in the YouTube video below.)

Trio Antigo

This concert is part of a reciprocal residency between UW-Madison and UW-Milwaukee, funded in part by a Bolz grant for Faculty Research. The trio will be in residence at UW-M April 19-21, and will present a concert at the Peck School of the Arts on April 21.

The trio also received a Dane Arts grant to present outreach concerts in Dane County, which will be taking place on April 27 and 28. In fact, the April 28 concert will be a fundraiser to benefit local nonprofit Music Con Brio, Inc., which provides high-quality, low-cost music lessons to underprivileged children on Madison’s East Side.

Felicia Moye (below) is currently Professor of Violin at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a member of Trio Antigo. She has also served as Professor of Violin at The Glenn Gould School of The Royal Conservatory of Music in Canada, the University of Oklahoma, the New World School of the Arts in Miami, Florida and the pre-college division of The Juilliard School as Ivan Galamian and Margaret Pardee’s assistant.

Felicia Moye color

Stefan Kartman (below) has served on the faculties of Drake University, Illinois Wesleyan University and Rutgers University, and is currently Associate Professor of Cello and Chamber Music at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Here is a link to his site:

http://stefankartman.com/Stefan_Kartman_Website/Concert_Schedule.html

Stefan Kartman cello

Pianist Jeannie Yu was awarded first prize in the Frinna Awerbuch Piano Competition in New York, the Flint Symphony International Concerto Competition, the Portland Symphony International Concerto Competition, and the Kingsville Piano Competition in Texas. She also earned the prestigious Gina Bachauer Memorial Scholarship Award, a full scholarship for the master’s degree program at The Juilliard School of Music where she also received the bachelor’s degree. Subsequently she was awarded an accompanist fellowship at the Peabody Conservatory of Music where she received her Doctor of Musical Arts Degree.


Classical music: The Wisconsin Brass Quintet marks 40 years with a FREE concert and a world premiere this Friday night at the University of Wisconsin.

October 18, 2012
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REMINDER: On Saturday, Oct. 20, at 8 p.m. in Morphy Recital Hall, UW clarinetist Linda Bartley (below, in a photo by Katrin Talbot) will perform a FREE concert  with Jeannie Yu, piano; and Sally Chisholm, viola. The program includes “Sonata in D” by Nino Rota; “Liquid Ebony” by Dana Wilson; “Cantilene” by Louis Cahuzac and “Scarlattiana for ClarinetViola and Piano” by Walter Mays.

By Jacob Stockinger

The acclaimed Wisconsin Brass Quintet (below in a photo by Katrin Talbot from 2011) will mark its 40th anniversary as artists-in-residence at the University of Wisconsin School of Music with a FREE concert tomorrow night (Friday, Oct. 19) at 8 p.m. in Mills Hall.

This program is dedicated to the memory of tuba player Jeff Hodapp (1957-2009, below), a former student, colleague and friend of members of the quintet  (below, who are, from the left,  Daniel Grabois, horn; Jessica Jensen, trumpet (unpictured); John Stevens, tuba; John Aley, trumpet; and Mark Hetzler, trombone.)

The concert will feature “Concert in D” by Igor Stravinsky, arranged by the group’s trombonist Mark Hetzler (below top, in a photo by Katrin Talbot); “Four English Madrigals” transcribed for brass quintet by Stephanie Frye; “Brass Quintet” by Ira Taxin; the world premiere of “Hodesanna” by UW composer John Stevens (below bottom), composed in memory of Jeff Hodapp; and “Quintette Victoria” by Ivan Jevtic.

Here is a link to a history with biographies of the five members:

http://www.music.wisc.edu/wisconsin-brass

Founded in 1972, the Wisconsin Brass Quintet is a faculty ensemble-in-residence at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music. The quintet’s musical expertise has been acknowledged by Verne Reynolds, Jan Bach, Karel Husa, John Harbison (below), Daron Hagen and many other composers.

In addition to performing with the WBQ, the players have also been members of the American Brass Quintet, Empire Brass Quintet and Meridian Arts Ensemble.

Quintet members John Stevens and Daniel Grabois and former member Douglas Hill (below) have also composed many works for the group.

With extensive performances throughout the Midwest and nationally, including appearances at New York’s Carnegie Recital Hall and Merkin Concert Hall, the quintet’s educational programs and master classes have been presented in such prestigious settings as The Juilliard School and the Yale School of Music.

They perform annual live radio broadcast concerts on Wisconsin Public Radio. Their three CD recordings, on the Summit, Mark and Crystal labels, feature music by John Stevens, Douglas Hill, Verne Reynolds, Daron Hagen, John Harbison (below) and Enrique Crespo.

An earlier LP recording features the only recording of Jan Bach’s “Rounds and Dances” and Hilmar Luckhardt’s “Brass Quintet.” (A photo of Jan Bach is below.)

Each of these works was composed for the Wisconsin Brass Quintet, in keeping with the WBQ’s commitment to commissioning and performing new music of the 20th and 21st centuries. Barry Kilpatrick writes for the American Record Guide: “I’ve reviewed over 250 brass recordings in the past five years, and this is one of the very best. The WBQ is a remarkable ensemble that plays with more reckless abandon, warmth, stylistic variety and interpretive interest than almost any quintet in memory.”


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