ALERT: This week’s FREE Friday Noon Musicale at the First Unitarian Society of Madison, 900 University Bay Drive, features oboist Laura Medisky and pianist Vincent Fuh in sonatas by Paul Hindemith, Henri Dutilleux and Malcolm Arnold. The concert runs from 12:125 to 1 p.m. On Saturday night at 7 p.m., the same performers will repeat the same program in a FREE concert at Oakwood Village West auditorium, 6201 Mineral Point Road, on Madison’s far west side near West Towne.
By Jacob Stockinger
The Ear’s friends at the Willy Street Chamber Players (below), which The Ear named as Musicians of the Year for 2016, write:
We wanted to let you know about the upcoming kickoff of the Willy Street Chamber Players’ “Community Connect” series. We are committed to our mission of making classical music accessible to all.
The Willy Street Chamber Players’ Northside Community Connect Concert is on this coming Sunday, Feb. 19, at noon at the Warner Park Community Recreation Center.
Enjoy hot coffee, exciting classical music and great conversation with the Willy Street Chamber Players.
This program is FREE, family-friendly and will last about 60 minutes. All are welcome.
The program is: String Quartet in C Major, K. 157, by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; String Quartet No. 5, “Rosa Parks” by Daniel Bernard Roumain; “Entr’acte” for String Quartet by Pulitzer Prize-winner Caroline Shaw (you can hear the piece, which The Ear loves for its pulsing and hypnotic rhythm plus unusual and interesting string textures, in the YouTube video at the bottom); and “Four, for Tango” by Astor Piazzolla.
There was an announcement about this series in the January string quartet program at A Place to Be (below, in a photo by John W. Barker), and it included a couple more concerts. But we have decided to make Community Connect a self-produced series.
We are planning a second Community Connect concert in July during our regular summer series, and have listed our other free appearances on our regular calendar.
The concert is made possible in part by Willy Street Co-Op and the North/Eastside Senior Coalition (NESCO).
For more information go to: www.willystreetchamberplayers.org
By Jacob Stockinger
This is the time of the academic year, the end of a semester, when performers and venues at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music really get a workout.
Take this weekend and especially this coming Sunday, which features seven events.
There will be two popular Winter Choral Concerts at Luther Memorial Church, 1026 University Avenue (below, in 2014) plus performances by the Concert Band and University Bands and a couple of recitals by students. Mills Hall, Morphy Hall and Music Hall will all be in use.
Here is a link to the full Sunday schedule with information about the many concerts, but which, unfortunately, does NOT include programs for the choral concerts and a band concert:
This Friday and Saturday are also busy, though less so.
At 4 p.m. in Room 2441 of the Mosse Humanities Building is a FREE public colloquium about the pioneering Romantic French composer Hector Berlioz (below).
Here is a description by the presenter, Professor Francesca Brittan of Case Western Reserve University:
“Against Melody: Neology, Revolution, and Berliozian Fantasy.”
“Complaints levied against Hector Berlioz’s music during his lifetime (and after) were many: deafening, terrifying, “too literary,” “too imitative.” But by far the most pervasive anxiety voiced by critics revolved around Berlioz’s illegibility. In particular, his music was ungrammatical, failing to adhere to the rules of syntax, the tenets of “proper” melody, and the laws of rhythm.
“These were not just idle or irritated complaints but urgent ones, linked by 19th-century critics to fears of social unraveling and even revolutionary violence. Berlioz’s musico-linguistic perversion, as one reviewer put it, was tantamount to Jacobinism. This strand of the criticism began in earnest with the “Symphonie fantastique,” a work that usually claims our attention for its orchestrational innovations and autobiographical resonances.
“In this talk, I redirect attention to the symphony’s syntax, arguing that melodic-linguistic deformation was at the heart of the work’s radicalism. I link Berlioz’s notions of “natural” grammar (borrowed in part from Victor Hugo) to notions of “natural” sound, and the “natural” rights of man. More broadly, I examine relationships among grammar, revolution, and 19th-century fantasy, between musical neology and the Berliozian imaginary.”
The event is funded by the University Lectures Anonymous Fund.
For more about Francesca Brittan (below) go to:
At 6:30 p.m. in Morphy Recital Hall, a student brass quintet will perform a FREE concert of music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Malcolm Arnold, Kevin McKee and Victor Ewald. Performers are Nicole Gray, Brandi Pease, Kirsten Haukness, Hayden Victor and Michael Madden.
At 8 p.m. in Mills Hall is a FREE public master class with David Wakefield (below), a former member of the American Brass Quintet who now teaches at The Hartt School. Sorry, no program of works to be played.
At 8:30 p.m. in Morphy Recital Hall is a FREE graduate student concert of chamber music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Rayna Slavova is a second-year Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) student in collaborative piano, studying with professor Martha Fischer.
The all-Mozart program includes the Violin Sonata in F, K. 376, with Biffa Kwok, violin (an excerpt, played by Hilary Hahn, can be heard in the YouTube video at the bottom); the Piano Duo Sonata in C, K 521, with Alberto Pena, piano; and the Piano Quintet in E flat, K 452, with Juliana Mesa, bassoon, Kai-Ju Ho, clarinet, and Dafydd Bevil, horn.
At 4 p.m. in Mills Hall, the University Strings – made up of talented non-music majors — will play a FREE concert. Sorry, no news about the program.
At 4 p.m. in Morphy Recital Hall is a FREE Fall concert by the Flute Studio at the UW-Madison. Sorry, no word about the program or players.
At 8:30 p.m. in Morphy Recital in a FREE recital by Seth Bixler who is a senior violinist studying with Professor Soh-Hyun Altino. He will perform works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Peter Tchaikovsky and Eugene Ysaye.
By Jacob Stockinger
Attention all BRASS FANS!
A big and loud fanfare is in order.
The schedule includes master classes (on the trumpet, trombone, tuba and horn) and performances.
The major concerts require tickets – adult admission is $20 for the Friday night concert and $15 for the Saturday night concert with $5 admission for students and children for both concerts.
The star of the festival is the Stockholm Chamber Brass (below), which is on its first tour of the U.S.
Concerts are on Friday and Saturday nights at 8 p.m. in Mills Hall. There will be a reception after the Saturday night concert.
Players from several area high schools will also be featured in the festival and performances.
For more information, including background on the Stockholm Chamber Brass and a link to the complete programs, which includes music by Gabrieli, Mahler, Shostakovich and Scandinavian composers, visit this link:
By Jacob Stockinger
The Oakwood Chamber Players (below) continue the concert season theme of “Play” with playful whimsy in a concert entitled Fairy Tales and Other Stories, on this Saturday, Jan. 16, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 17, at 1:30 p.m.
This concert features the chamber ensemble’s talented pianist Vincent Fuh (below top) who will perform solo selections from “Scenes from Childhood” By Robert Schumann (below bottom, in 1850). This piece captures a wide range of expressivity and shifts in energy illuminated by the composer‘s musical imagination. (You can hear “Scenes From Childhood” performed by Martha Argerich in a YouTube video at the bottom.)
The program will also include “Voces di mi Terra” (Voices of My Land) by the compelling Catalan/American composer Elisenda Fabregas (below), written for flute, cello and piano.
The Quintet for violin, viola, flute, horn and bassoon by British composer Malcolm Arnold is a clever and varied composition that shows an upbeat and playful approach to a non-traditional combination of instruments.
Robert Schumann’s Fairy Tales, Op. 132, for clarinet, viola and piano will give the audience a glimpse into a dream world of music that is sometimes uplifting and sometimes mysterious.
This is the third of five concerts in the Oakwood Chamber Players 2015-2016 season series titled “Play.” Remaining concerts include Children’s Games on March 5 and 6; and Summer Splash on May 14 and 15.
The Oakwood Chamber Players is a group of Madison-area professional musicians who have rehearsed and performed at Oakwood Village for over 30 years.
By Jacob Stockinger
The Oakwood Chamber Players (below) has announced its new season for 2015-16. It has the theme of serious “Play.”
As usual, the eclectic programs feature well-known masterpieces but also neglected repertoire and new music. Notice that you don’t see anything by Johann Sebastian Bach, George Frideric Handel, Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Johannes Brahms, Antonin Dvorak, Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel and many other standard composers on this season. That is unusual — and most welcome!
All concerts take place on Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons in the Oakwood Village West auditorium (below) – now known as the Oakwood Center for Arts and Education — at 6201 Mineral Point Road, on Madison’s far west side.
For more information about the players, the programs, the group’s history and individual or season tickets, visit: http://www.oakwoodchamberplayers.com
Here is the press release:
“The Oakwood Chamber Players welcomes you to our 2015-16 season, which promised to be FUN! We often refer to our work in music as “play,” and this season we look forward to sharing the fun with you.
“Our concerts will stir memories of fun and games in the outdoors! Join us for musical performances that contemplate the beauty and pleasure of nature. This season will lift your spirits and please your ears. We love to play for you … now come play with us!
Saturday, Sept. 19, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 20, at 1:30 p.m.
Amy Beach (below) – Pastorale and Caprice for flute, cello and piano
Ole Bull/Edvard Grieg – Dairy Maid’s Sunday for violin, viola and cello
Alec Wilder – Suite for clarinet, horn and piano
Sunday, Nov. 29, 2015 at 1 and 3:30 p.m.
Annual Christmas Lights Concert
FAIRY TALES AND OTHER STORIES
Saturday, Jan. 16, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 17, at 1:30 p.m.
Malcolm Arnold (below) – Quintet for violin, viola, flute, horn and bassoon
Elisenda Fábregas – Voces de mi Tierra (Voices of My Land) for flute, cello and piano
Robert Schumann — Fairy Tales, Op. 132 for clarinet, viola and piano
Saturday, March 5, at 7 p.m. and Sunday March 7, at 1:30 p.m.
Georges Bizet – Jeux d’Enfants for flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and horn
Jack Gallagher – Ancient Evenings & Distant Music for flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn
Saturday, May 14, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, May 15, at 1:30 p.m.
Craig Bohmler – Six Pieces After Shakespeare for flute, oboe, clarinet, horn and bass
By Jacob Stockinger
Three items deserve attention today.
J.S. BACH TURNS 330 ON SATURDAY
This Saturday is the 330th birthday of composer Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). That means you can expect to hear a lot of Bach played on Wisconsin Public Radio and streamed by other radio stations and music institutions from around the country and world.
To mark the occasion, the program “Grace Presents” – which takes place at Grace Episcopal Church, 116 West Washington Avenue, on the Capitol Square – is presenting a FREE concert by the early music group the Madison Bach Musicians from noon to 1 p.m.
Explains MBM founder and director Trevor Stephenson: “Madison Bach Musicians (MBM) was formed to foster a love of music and to provide education about great music within the community. MBM is dedicated to presenting the music of Bach-as well as works by other great composers of the Baroque, Renaissance and Classical periods — to both the general public and to educational institutions through performances, lectures, and workshops.
“Bach’s music was chosen as a focal point because of its outstanding beauty, variety and profundity, and because it speaks with urgency to modern audiences.
In pursuit of the greatest clarity of musical texture, MBM performs primarily on period instruments, using historically informed performance practices, and the ensemble sizes are typical of those used by Bach himself. MBM provides a unique forum for experienced professional and exceptionally talented young professional musicians to work together in an exciting period performance style.”
Grace Presents is a FREE monthly concert series that takes place in the historic Grace Church on Madison’s Capitol Square. The series features a diverse range of music, everything from classical and folk to jazz and bluegrass.
Members of the Madison Bach Musicians (below) include: Kangwon Kim, baroque violin; Martha Vallon, viola da gamba and baroque cello; Chelsea Morris, soprano; and Trevor Stephenson, harpsichord.
Here is the program for Saturday’s concert:
Sonata No. 4 in D major from Sonatae unarum fidium by Johann Heinrich Schmelzer (below, 1623-1680)
Sonata in G Major, BWV 1027, by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Adagio; Allegro ma non tanto; Andante; Allegro moderato
Prelude & Fugue in E-flat minor, from The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I by Johann Sebastian Bach
Violin Sonata in F major, HWV 370, by George Frideric Handel (below, 1685-1759)
Adagio; Allegro; Largo; Allegro
Aria from “Gott, wie dein Name, so ist auch dein Ruhm” BWV 171, by J.S. Bach
The harpsichord (below) to be played in Saturday’s concert was made by area instrument builder Norman Sheppard in 2009 and is modeled on a circa 1720 German double-manual instrument by Michael Mietke of Berlin, one that Bach bought and used.
PLEASE NOTE: Madison Bach Musicians will repeat the FREE concert on this Sunday, March 22, at 3 p.m. in the West Middleton Lutheran Church, 3763 Pioneer Road in Verona.
WISCONSIN BRASS QUINTET PERFORMS SATURDAY NIGHT
The Wisconsin Brass Quintet (below, in a photo by Megan Aley) performs a FREE concert SATURDAY night at 8 p.m. in Mills Hall — NOT tonight as incorrectly first stated here.
The program includes music by William Mathias, James Stephenson, Anders Hillborg and Malcolm Arnold.
Here is a link to background about the members of the faculty ensemble that was founded in 1972 at the UW-Madison School of Music:
Here is link to the program:
ON SUNDAY AFTERNOON, MADISON-BORN PIANIST KATHRYN ANANDA-OWENS STREAMS MOZART’S D-MINOR PIANO CONCERTO WITH HER OWN CADENZAS
The following news has come to the attention of The Ear: Pianist Kathryn Ananda-Owens (below), is a graduate of James Madison Memorial High School on Madison’s far west side and the first winner of Wisconsin Public Radio’s Neale-Silva Young Artists Competition. She was promoted to full professor at St. Olaf College in February.
On this Sunday at 3:30 p.m., with the St. Olaf Orchestra, she will perform the dark, dramatic and lovely Piano Concerto in D Minor, K. 466, by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (below) — with her own cadenzas. (The concert will be live-streamed. St. Olaf officials say to tune in 10 minutes ahead).
For anyone who might be interested, here is the link to the streaming part of the website, and scroll to March 22:
By way of background, the Mozart piano concerto cadenzas were the study of Ananda-Owens’ doctoral dissertation and lecture recital at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore that is attached to Johns Hopkins University.
Mozart wrote cadenzas for some, but not all, of his 27 piano concertos. No one else has analyzed the topic in-depth, and she is more than halfway through turning her dissertation into a book, thanks to a sabbatical during academic year 2012-13. She annually lectures at the Juilliard School (and occasionally at some other places, including internationally) on this topic.