By Jacob Stockinger
Grace Presents, now entering its seventh year offering FREE public concerts at Grace Episcopal Church (below), located at 116 West Washington Avenue on the Capitol Square, will host resident organist Mark Brampton Smith with violinist Maureen McCarty on this Saturday, Nov. 19.
The concert begins at noon and ends at 1 p.m. Audience members are invited to bring their lunch.
The program — an asterisk indicates that both the violin and organ will play — includes:
Psalm 19: “The Heavens Declare the Glory of God” by Benedetto Marcello (1686-1739)
Partita on “Werde munter, mein Gemüte” (Sing not yet, my soul, to slumber) by Johann Pachelbel (1653-1706)
*”Ornament of Grace” by Bernard Wayne Sanders (b. 1957)
Variations on ‘Cwm Rhondda’ by Mark Brampton Smith (b. 1954) Introduction – Allegro – Duo – Reflection – Finale
*Meditation from “Thaïs” by Jules Massenet (1842-1912)
Concerto in a minor, after Vivaldi (BWV 593) – Johann Sebastian Bach Allegro
Toccata and Fugue in d minor (BWV 565) – Johann Sebastian Bach
The final concert of 2016 will feature the widely renowned Russian Folk Orchestra on Dec. 10.
Mark Brampton Smith Biography:
Mark Brampton Smith (below) serves as the current organist at Grace Episcopal Church. Mark began his church music career as a boy soprano at St. Paul’s Parish on K Street in Washington, D.C., eventually serving on the music staff of churches in seven states. He holds degrees in organ performance from the Eastman School of Music and the University of Michigan.
As an organist, Mark won prizes in the Fort Wayne, Ann Arbor, and American Guild of Organists National Competitions, and he’s performed solo recitals at venues such as Overture Hall. As a collaborative pianist, Mark has worked with numerous singers, instrumentalists, and ensembles, including the Ann Arbor Cantata Singers, University of Michigan choirs, Colgate University Chorus, and currently the Wisconsin Chamber Choir.
Maureen McCarty Biography:
Maureen McCarty (below) began the violin in the Madison public schools, and played in the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras for many years. She received a BA in violin performance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
While working on her degree, she performed as a musician with American Players Theatre for five seasons. She has extensive orchestral experience playing in such local ensembles as the Madison Symphony Orchestra and Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, as well as various orchestras in five Midwestern states, the Barcelona City Orchestra and the Orquesta Filarmónica de Gran Canaria in Spain.
Maureen returned to UW-Madison for a teaching certificate in music education in 1999, and taught strings and general music for students in grades 3-12 in Monona Grove during her fifteen years in the district. Recently retired from public school teaching, she now teaches privately, performs with the Camerata String Quartet, tutors Spanish, and takes photographs for her local newspaper. Formative violin teachers include Eva Szekely, Sharan Leventhal, Thomas Moore and Vartan Manoogian.
For more information, visit www.GracePresents.org
By Jacob Stockinger
The Ear has received the following announcement from UW Opera Props, the support organization for University Opera at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music.
We invite you to attend a benefit concert showcasing the University of Wisconsin-Madison opera program’s talented students, along with special guest artist, distinguished alumna and mezzo-soprano, Lindsay Metzger (below top) who will be accompanied by pianist Daniel Fung (below bottom).
Please join us for a program of songs and arias, followed by a reception. Enjoy conversation with the singers, faculty and other musical friends, along with light refreshments including artisanal cheeses, fruit, wine, juices and chocolatier Gail Ambrosius’s delicious creations.
The concert is this Sunday, Sept. 18, at 3 p.m. followed by light refreshments and conversation. Sorry, no word about the composers or works to be sung.
The concert will take place in the Landmark Auditorium at the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed First Unitarian Society of Madison Meeting House, 900 University Bay Drive, Madison
Admission is a contribution of $25 in advance ($30 at the door), and $10 for students. All proceeds go to UW Opera student scholarships.
For more information, visit:
Lindsay Metzger (below) hails from Mundelein, Illinois. She spent two summers as an apprentice artist with Des Moines Metro Opera and was a studio artist in 2014-15 with Milwaukee’s Florentine Opera (Gannett in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore).
Among her other recent portrayals have been Daphne/Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s La descente d’Orphée aux enfers (Chicago’s Haymarket Opera Company), Cherubino in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro (La Musica Lirica in Novafeltria, Italy), Nella in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi (DuPage Opera Theatre), the title role in Handel’s Ariodante, Béatrice in Berlioz’ Béatrice et Bénédict, and Beppe in Mascagni’s L’amico Fritz (all at the University of Wisconsin-Madison).
With Lyric Unlimited’s community-engagement program “Opera in the Neighborhoods,” Metzger was heard in the title role in Rossini’s La Cenerentola.
A soloist featured frequently in numerous Chicago-area venues, Metzger debuted with the Grant Park Symphony singing the soprano solo in Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem.
She was awarded the Paul Collins Fellowship from University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Virginia Cooper Meier Award from the Musicians’ Club of Women, and an Encouragement Award from the Metropolitan Opera National Council District Auditions.
Metzger is an alumna of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and DePaul University. Last season at Lyric she was featured in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro (debut) and Richard Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier. In the 2016-17 season the mezzo-soprano will perform in Massenet’s Don Quichotte and Bizet’s Carmen.
ALERT: TONIGHT at 7:30 p.m. in Old Music Hall (below) at the foot of Bascom Hill, student singers in the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music opera department, under the direction of UW-Madison professors Mimmi Fulmer and David Ronis, will perform a FREE Opera Workshop. Sorry, The Ear has no word on the specific program — and it is not on the UW-Madison School of Music website at http://www.music.wisc.edu/events/uw-opera-workshop/ But it usually features popular arias and familiar scenes from popular operas, all done with piano accompaniment. (JUST IN: The program includes excerpts from: Ludwig van Beethoven‘s “Fidelio,” Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Le nozze di Figaro” and “Cosi fan tutte”; Claudio Monteverdi’s “L’incoronazione di Poppea”; Gioachino Rossini’s “Il barbiere di Siviglia“; Gaetano Donizetti’s “Don Pasquale”; Jules Massenet’s “Cendrillon”; Johann Strauss’ “Die Fledermaus”; Vincenzo Bellini’s “I Capuleti ed i Montecchi“; and Stephen Sondheim‘s “A Little Night Music.”)
By Jacob Stockinger
Our friends at the Oakwood Chamber Players, known for the quality of its performance and its unusual repertoire, send us the following information:
The Oakwood Chamber Players (below) continues to celebrate its 30th anniversary season when the ensemble presents “Remix! Christmas Lights Memories” this coming Friday afternoon and Sunday afternoon.
The two concerts this coming weekend continue the group’s tradition of kicking off the holiday season over Thanksgiving weekend with Christmas-themed music. The concerts will revisit favorite holiday music from the past 30 years.
Guest musicians include Heather Thorpe, soprano, Mary Ann Harr, harp (below top), Jennifer Morgan, oboe (below bottom), and Mike Sczyzs, horn.
The concerts are on Friday, November 28, at 1 p.m. and Sunday, November 30, at 1:30 p.m. Both concerts will be held at the Oakwood Center for Arts and Education, 6209 Mineral Point Road, on the far west side of Madison.
This is the second concert in their celebratory 30th anniversary season series titled “Reprise! Looking Back Over 30 Years”
Upcoming concerts include:
The Oakwood Chamber Players is a group of Madison-area professional musicians who have been affiliated with the Madison Symphony Orchestra, the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra and the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music. They have rehearsed and performed at Oakwood Village for 30 years.
Tickets are available at the door. Admission is $20 for the general public, $15 for seniors and $5 for students.
Visit www.oakwoodchamberplayers.com for more information.
The Oakwood Chamber Players are a professional music ensemble proudly supported by Oakwood Lutheran Senior Ministries and the Oakwood Foundation.
By Jacob Stockinger
For some musicologists and audiences, the French Baroque composer Jean-Philippe Rameau (below) is wholly misunderstood, under-performed and underappreciated. Some even see him as the French counterpart to Johann Sebastian Bach.
But a year-long project by the University of Wisconsin School of Music aims to correct that lack of knowledge and appreciation.
That effort starts with two FREE concerts this week.
Here is a link to a Q&A about Rameau done with UW-Madison musicologist Charles Dill for the UW-Madison School of Music blog:
On Thursday night, Nov. 13, at 7:30 p.m. in Room 180 of Science Hall, at the intersection of Langdon Streets and North Park Street, the FREE program “Rameau and Musical Expression” will take place. The subject is the French composer Jean-Philippe Rameau. The 250th anniversary of his death is being marked this year around the world.
Music of the mid-18th century can strike modern audiences as stilted or dispassionate, but composers of the time, like society at large, thought about the passions a great deal — how to describe them, what their physical properties were, and how to depict them on stage for the benefit of audiences.
David Ronis (below top, in a photo by Luke Delalio), a stage director who has specialized in Baroque staging practices, and Anne Vila (below bottom), a scholar specializing in 18th-century theories of the emotions, will discuss passion in the thought of Rameau’s contemporaries, suggesting cues for listening to Rameau’s music. The evening will include a performance of cantata Les Amants trahis by Paul Rowe, Chelsie Propst, John Chappell Stowe and Eric Miller.
Then on this Friday might, Nov. 14, at 8 p.m. in Mills Hall, UW-Madison bassoonist and native Frenchman Marc Vallon (below, in a photo by James Gill) will present a FREE all-French program that highlights his own works and arrangements as well as the music of Jean-Phillippe Rameau in one of his most well-known works, “Les Indes Galantes.”
Vallon will be joined by other performers and period instruments will be used in historically informed performances.
Here is the program:
Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) Pièce en forme de Habanera for bassoon and piano
Marc Vallon (b.1955) Serbian Songs for viola and bassoon – Tuzbalica-Harvest Song-Trezkavica
Marc Vallon Ami for Baroque flute
Jules Massenet (1842-1912) (arr. M. Vallon) La Lettre
Georges Bizet (1838-1875) (arr. M. Vallon)
Emmanuel Chabrier (1841-1894) L’Invitation au Voyage
Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683-1764), Les Indes Galantes, a 45-minute version. Ouverture; Menuets 1 & 2; Musette en Rondeau; Air; L’Amour “Ranimez vos Flambeaux”; Ritournelle, “Le Turc Généreux,”; Air, “Osman Il faut que l’amour s’envole”; Récit et Orage; Choeur des Matelots; Emilie; Rigaudons; Air pour les esclaves Africains; Tambourins; “Les Incas du Pérou,” Scène 1; Air “Le calumet de la Paix”; Air et Choeur “Traversez les plus vastes mers.”
Marc Vallon has split his impressive performing career between the modern and baroque bassoons. In addition to appearances with many of Paris’ orchestras and celebrated contemporary ensembles, Vallon has played baroque bassoon with leading early music ensembles such as La Chapelle Royale, Les Arts Florissants, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and Tafelmusik. In this recital, Marc Vallon will bring his skill on both instruments and thorough knowledge of and feeling for baroque music to works by Jean-Philippe Rameau and J.S. Bach, two great masters of the late baroque period.
Other participants include: Thomas Kasdorf, piano; Sally Chisholm, viola; Nathan Giglierano, Ilana Schroeder, Gene Purdue, baroque violins; Micah Behr, baroque viola; Martha Vallon, Andrew Briggs, baroque cellos; Jeanne Swack and Mili Chang, baroque flute; Konstantinos Tiliakos, baroque oboe; Brian Ellingboe, baroque bassoon; John Chappell Stowe, harpsichord.
Mesdames singers: Elizabeth Hagedorn, Chelsie Propst, Christina Kay.
Messieurs singers: Paul Rowe, Dennis Gotkowski, Antonio De Souza.
There will also be an Introduction to the second half by UW-Madison School of Music musicologist Charles Dill (below, in a photo by Katrin Talbot), who has been speaking about Rameau in the U.S. and France.
This concert is part of the school’s year-long retrospective of the work of Rameau. Click here for more information.
By Jacob Stockinger
It will be a busy weekend at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music.
Events include a FREE orchestra concert on Sunday afternoon for the Wisconsin Academy’s marking of the centennial of the extinction of the passenger pigeon.
But there is also a FREE cello recital on Saturday night and a voice faculty showcase concert on Sunday evening.
Here are details.
At 8 p.m. in Mills Hall, cello Professor Parry Karp (below left), who also plays in the Pro Arte Quartet, will play a FREE recital with his longtime pianist partner Eli Kalman (below right), who teaches at UW-Oshkosh and did his doctoral work at the UW-Madison School of Music.
The program includes the Sonata in C Minor for Piano and Violin, Op; 30, No. 2 (1802), by Ludwig van Beethoven as transcribed for cello by Parry Karp, who also transcribed all the violin sonatas by Johannes Brahms; the Sonata in E-flat Major for cello and piano (1922) by Ettore Desderi; and the Concerto for Cello and Orchestra, Op 22 (1945) by Samuel Barber.
REMEMBERING THE PASSENGER PIGEON
On Sunday, Nov. 2, at 2 p.m. in Mills Hall, the UW Symphony Orchestra will perform the Wisconsin premiere of “The Columbiad,” preceded by a talk by acclaimed emeritus wildlife professor Stanley Temple (below).
The concert is part of a two-day symposium on the 100th anniversary of the demise of the fabled passenger pigeon. It features a short talk by Stanley Temple, Beers-Bascom Professor Emeritus in Conservation, University of Wisconsin-Madison and Senior Fellow, Aldo Leopold Foundation.
Learn more here.
On the occasion of the 2014 centenary of the extinction of the passenger pigeon, the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters and the UW-Madison Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology invite the public to join in an exploration of the sobering story of the passenger pigeon (below is a photo of a stuffed real passenger pigeon) and what it can tell us about the ongoing extinction crisis and our relationship with other species.
Events include the Wisconsin premiere of The Columbiad, a symphony by Anthony Philip Heinrich, performed by the UW Symphony Orchestra. The Columbiad created a sensation at its premiere in Prague in 1858 and will be performed once again this fall at UW-Madison and Yale University. (You can hear the beginning of the work as performed at Yale in early October in a YouTube video at the bottom.)
Heinrich was inspired by witnessing vast flocks of passenger pigeons in 1831. Known in his day as “the log cabin composer” and “the Beethoven of America,” Anthony Philip Heinrich is the only important composer of the early 19th century to have experienced the North American frontier as he did. He saw Niagara Falls, he encountered Native Americans and slave musicians, and he witnessed the astonishing migration of giant flocks of passenger pigeons.
To learn about the national effort, please see Project Passenger Pigeon.
Here are related events and links:
A staged reading of a new play about the passenger pigeon by The Bricks Theatre
Saturday, November 1, 2014 from 7 to 9 p.m.
UW-Madison Biotechnology Auditorium, 425 Henry Mall
An afternoon documentary screening and panel discussion on the demise of the passenger pigeon
Saturday, November 1, 2014 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
UW–Madison Union South, Marquee Theater
1308 W. Dayton St.
Stanley A. Temple is the Beers-Bascom Professor Emeritus in Conservation in the Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology and former Chairman of the Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development Program in the Gaylord Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at UW–Madison. For 32 years he held the academic position once occupied by Aldo Leopold, and during that time he won every teaching award for which he was eligible. Temple has a PhD in ecology from Cornell University where he studied at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. (below is a photo of one mass shooting of passenger pigeons.)
At 7:30 p.m. on Sunday night, Nov. 2, in Mills Hall the UW-Madison voice faculty presents an evening of chamber music featuring the solo voice. Featuring a premiere, “White Clouds, Yellow Leaves,” written by composer and saxophone professor Les Thimmig (below).
Participants includes: Mimmi Fulmer and Elizabeth Hagedorn, sopranos; Paul Rowe, baritone; with Karen Atz, harp; Thomas Kasdorf, piano; Marc Vallon, bassoon; Parry Karp, cello; and many students and faculty from the UW-Madison School of Music.
Tickets are $10 with students getting in for FREE. Tickets will be available at the door as well as online or at the box office. Please see this link.
Here is the full program:
“Don Quichotte à Dulcinée” (1934) by Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) Chanson Romanesque; Chanson épique; Chanson á boire with Paul Rowe, baritone, with Thomas Kasdorf, piano.
“La lettre” by Jules Massenet (1842-1912)
“Absence” by Georges Bizet (1838-1875)
“L’invitation au voyage” by Emmanuel Chabrier (1841-1894) with Elizabeth Hagedorn, soprano; Marc Vallon, bassoon, with Thomas Kasdorf, piano, and Karen Atz, harp.
“Barcarolle” by Charles Gounod (1818-1893) with Elizabeth Hagedorn, soprano; Paul Rowe, baritone, with Thomas Kasdorf, piano.
“Long Pond Revisited” (2002) by Lori Laitman (below, b. 1955). From poetry by C.G.R. Shepard: “I Looked for Reasons,” “The Pond Seems Smaller,” “Late in the Day,” “Days Turn,” “Long Pond Revisited” with Paul Rowe, baritone; Parry Karp, cello.
“White Clouds, Yellow Leaves” (2013) by UW-Madison composer Les Thimmig (b. 1943) fromTexts derived from 8th- and 9th-century Chinese poetry with Mimmi Fulmer: mezzo-soprano; Mi-Li Chang: flute, piccolo, alto flute; Kostas Tiliakos,: English horn; Marc Vallon: bassoon; Sean Kleve: percussion; Karen Atz, harp; Paran Amirinizari: violin; Rachel Hauser: viola; Andrew Briggs: violoncello; and Les Thimmig: conductor.
Here is a link to the full program with program notes:
Tickets are $10 for the public; students get in free.
By Jacob Stockinger
A while ago, The Ear put out a call for guest bloggers.
Madison resident Janet Murphy has since responded with several blog posts. The latest one is about a concert by mezzo-soprano Kitt Reuter-Foss (below) that is coming up this coming Saturday night, Jan. 18, at 7 p.m.
The concert is last of two concerts — a very successful appearance by Madison keyboard player Trevor Stephenson of the Madison Bach Musicians was the first — this season will benefit the restoration of the historic Mason and Hamlin grand piano at Arboretum Cohousing (below bottom) at 1137 Erin Street. Tickets are $25. Adds Murphy: You’d be wise to reserve ahead at: www.ArboretumCohousing.org or ArbcoPiabo@gmail.com or call 608-204-7131.
Here is some information about Janet: “I received my bachelor’s and masters in musicology from the University of Michigan. After toiling in the music industry for 20 years, I got a bachelor’s in nursing from UW, and have worked as an RN (Registered Nurse) ever since.
“Music is now my hobby. I sing in the UW Choral Union, play with an informal recorder group, and I am currently taking banjo lessons. Needless to say I am a big fan of The Well-Tempered Ear.”
Here is the guest post, with many of her own photos, by Janet Murphy (below):
By Janet Murphy
Mezzo-soprano Kitt Reuter-Foss came to the University of Wisconsin-Madison — ostensibly as an early childhood education major — with her real objective being admission to the UW Swing Choir. Fortunately for all of us, music professor Lois Fisher heard something in Kitt’s voice and told her she could do it.
The “it” was opera.
The “it” was the Metropolitan Opera.
(For more about her and her history, see the extended and very cordial interview done by John Roach with Kitt for The Big Ten Network, in a YouTube video at the bottom of the page.)
That bit of history helps explain why Kitt — I love that she is affectionately known about town as “Kitt” — has theatrical chops and stage presence as remarkable as her voice, and why she moves between so many musical genres with ease. She even did back up vocals on Do You for rapper Bow Wow.
So, if Kitt were free to put together a concert … anything she likes … what would it look like?
You have the chance to find out this coming Saturday at Arboretum Cohousing (below) when she’ll perform an up-close-and-personal concert with accompanist Jennifer Hedstrom (a member of the Madison-based group Clocks in Motion). What a rare treat!
Here’s what Kitt herself has to say about the program:
“I am planning to take a little trip “musically” through my journey from Oconomowoc High School to the stages of the Metropolitan Opera and others throughout the world. I will include some Broadway and jazz selections which have always kept me busy, too.”
Kitt’s journey includes Mozart, Puccini and Saint-Saens, but also Lerner and Lowe, Sondheim and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Wicked. Carmen. My Fair Lady. Faust. Plus, a bit of art song and jazz for good measure.
It will be a fascinating musical night to hear this all stitched together.
As always, creative sweets and savories will be provided by the hosts (below).
More from Kitt (below): “Hi there: Here is the program — I will say a few words about the pieces and why I chose them.”
Se tu m’ ami, se sospiri (attributed to Pergolesi) Parisotti
Pieta, Signore! Stradella
Faites lui, mes aveux (Faust) Gounod
L’ amour est un oiseau rebelle: Habanera (Carmen) Bizet
Voi che sapete (Le Nozze di Figaro) Mozart
Mon coeur s’ ouvre a ta voix (Samson et Dalila) Saint-Saens
O mio babbino caro (Gianni Schicchi) Puccini
The Letter Scene (Werther) Massenet
INTERMISSION (a little break of 10 minutes)
Where is love? As long as he needs me (Oliver) L. Bart
I could have danced all night! Show me! (My Fair Lady) Lerner/Loewe
Anyone can whistle! No one is alone (Anyone can Whistle and Into the Woods) Stephen Sondheim
I’m not that girl For good (Wicked) S. Schwartz
Memory (Cats) Andrew Lloyd Webber
By Jacob Stockinger
These days, about the only piece by the 19th century French composer Jules Massenet (below, in a photo from Getty Images) you hear often is the lovely “Meditation” from the opera ‘Thais,” usually scored for violin and orchestra or violin and piano but also available in transcriptions.
But recently the director of NPR’s “Deceptive Cadence” classical music blog Tom Huizenga (below) made the case for rediscovering and reviving Jules Massenet. The occasion was the centennial of Massenet’s birth and the issuing of a 23-CD box set by Decca, from which he took samples. He also cited some interesting statistics about the popularity of performances of Massenet’s usually sentimental works.
True, Massenet was an unabashed sentimentalist, but he certainly had an undeniable great gift for melody and harmony. He knew how to write a line that sings and music that pleases.
Huizenga’s essay is even filled with several audio snippets to help make his case and to help you decide or reach a verdict.
Here is a link:
Maybe it is just more proof that the great rediscoveries made in the 17th and 18th centuries, in the Baroque and Classical periods, that took place over the past several decades with early music and period instrument groups are now reaching into the 19th and early 20th centuries.
We will see.
Let’s think about it. Let’s meditate on it.
And while we do, here is the popular, famous and beautiful – though some would even say banal or trite – “Meditation” from “Thais,” first from superstar violinist Itzhak Perlman with an orchestra, then from superstar cellist Yo-Yo Ma with pianist Kathryn Stott. You can decide which version you like more, and then let us know in the COMMENT section along with what you think of Massenet: