The Well-Tempered Ear

From Beethoven to today: The next five days at the UW-Madison are busy with FREE online concerts of new music, string music, brass music and more

April 8, 2021
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By Jacob Stockinger

From now through Monday, April 13, there are many FREE online concerts – virtual or pre-recorded – at the UW-Madison’s Mead Witter School of Music.

The schedule includes three different concerts on Saturday, April 10, alone. (All times are central and many concerts will be available for longer than a day.)

The variety of music is terrific and features all kinds of instruments and genres of music.

Here is a link to all of them, which will appear on YouTube. If your click on “Show More,” you will see more information about the performers and the programs. You can also set a convenient Reminder Timer to help you remember to listen: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZZ2F66Bu2yAfccvsugEtsA

You can read all of them by yourself. But the Ear wants to single out several of special interest.

NEW MUSIC: TONIGHT

If you are a fan of new music, there are two concerts you should consider listenIing to.

TONIGHT, April 8, at 7:30 p.m. and then at 8:30 p.m. are two concerts of new music.

The first concert is by the Contemporary Chamber Ensemble.

Titled “Colors” (below is the poster) the concert features music by Debussy, Lang, San Martin, UW-Madison professor Laura Schwendinger and Edgard Varese.

The performance are by faculty performers violist Sally Chisholm, flutist Conor Nelson and pianist Christopher Taylor, as well as alumni and students Eric Tran, Eric Delgado, Heidi Keener, Ben Therrell and Ben Yats.

Here is a link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5Gxe7yTWpI

Then at 8:30 p.m., a studio recital by composition students (below) at the UW-Madison will take place. No names of performers or pieces are listed. But here is the link that is given: https://youtu.be/WmTBoLD9IQc

BEETHOVEN QUARTET CYCLE 7: FRIDAY NIGHT

At 7:30 p.m. is the seventh installment of the cycle, which is part of the Pro Arte Quartet’s yearlong retrospective of Beethoven’s string quartets to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the composer’s birth.

Members are David Perry and Suzanne Beia, violins; Sally Chisholm, viola; and Parry Karp, cello.

The program has two late quartets: the famous last one, Op. 135, in F major (1826) with the :”Muss es sein” (Must It Be?) motif, which can be heard in the YouTube video at the bottom of the final movement played by the Cypress String Quartet;  and the famous “Grosse Fuge” quartet and ending in B-flat Major, Opp. 130 and 133 (1825-6).

The Ear — who particularly likes Beethoven’s return to clarity and classicism in his final quartet — has listened to all the installments and they have all been superb. There’s no reason to expect anything different with this installment.

UW professor of musicology Charles Dill will give short introductory talks before each quartet. You can find extended program notes about the quartet and the program here: https://www.music.wisc.edu/event/pro-arte-quartet-beethoven-string-quartet-cycle-program-7/

And here is the link to the live-streamed concert from the Mead Witter Foundation Concert Hall in the Hamel Music Center: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIW_5NVgGaA

UNIVERSITY OPERA SINGS SONGS OF RACIAL AND SOCIAL JUSTICE: SATURDAY AND SUNDAY

This spring, University Opera follows up its groundbreaking video production on the life and times of composer Marc Blitzstein with another video.

What’s Past is Prologue: The Unfinished American Conversation, a program of staged and filmed songs and song cycles with social and racial justice themes, will be released on the Mead Witter School of Music YouTube channel at https://youtu.be/7Up_OXD6K2U this Saturday, April 10, at 7:30 p.m., with an encore stream this Sunday, April 11, at 2 p.m. David Ronis, Director of University Opera, is the director, and Thomas Kasdorf is the musical director, who accompanies the singers on piano.

For more background, go to: https://www.music.wisc.edu/event/university-opera-presents-whats-past-is-prologue-the-unfinished-american-conversation/

For the performance, go to: https://youtu.be/7Up_OXD6K2U


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Classical music: This week brings FREE concerts of wind music and new music, including works by faculty composer Laura Schwendinger, to the UW-Madison School of Music.

November 3, 2014
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By Jacob Stockinger

This week brings FREE concerts of wind music and new music, including two works by UW-Madison faculty composer Laura Schwendinger (below) to the UW-Madison School of Music.

Here are details:

UW WIND ENSEMBLE CHAMBER WINDS

On Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. in Mills Hall, the UW-Madison Wind Ensemble Band and the Chamber Winds (below top) perform a FREE concert under the direction of Scott Teeple (below) and a graduate student.

UW Wind Ensemble performance

Scott Teeple

The Wind Ensemble is the premier wind/percussion ensemble in the UW-Madison School of Music. Its repertoire varies from classical wind compositions to contemporary works.

The Wind Ensemble actively commissions new works from world-renowned composers, often performing with internationally acclaimed soloists and guest conductors.  This program features an ear-catching smorgasbord of chamber works for mixed winds.

The program includes Old Wine in New Bottles by Gordon Jacob with Jacob Klingbeil, graduate conductor.

La Creation Du Monde by Darius Milhaud (below):

darius milhaud

Funeral Music for Queen Mary by Steven Stucky (below):

Steve Stucky

Good Soldier Schweik Suite by Robert Kurka (below):

robert kurka

NEW MUSIC and A WORLD PREMIERE

On Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m., new music — including two works by award-winning UW-Madison professor Laura Schwendinger (below) — will be presented in a FREE concert.

Schwendinger,_Composer

Performers are the UW-Madison Contemporary Chamber Ensemble (below) – which is directed by Schwendinger – and guest artist Vicennium Void.

Contemporary Chamber Ensemble

Vicennium Void, in collaboration with the UW Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, presents a concert featuring Christopher Janwong McKiggan (at bottom in a YouTube video), Geoffrey Herd, Leah Gastler, Kevin Downs, and UW clarinetist Kai-Ju Ho.

Here is the program:

Song for Andrew                        Laura Schwendinger

Sunyata                                        Narong Prangcharoen

Cantos for Slava                         Augusta Read Thomas

Incorporeal Spaces*                 Christopher Walczak (School of Music alumnus) (*world premiere)

Secret Alchemy                           Pierre Jalbert

White Granite                             Joan Tower

Also included in Laura Schwendinger’s Wet Ink, which was premiered at the Bennington Chamber Music Conference and as featured in the New York Times.

Here is some background from the UW School of Music website on guest artist Vicennium Void:

Vicennium Void (below and at bottom in a YouTube video) is a unique new music ensemble committed to commissioning and performing new works at the highest level, while maintaining a repertoire of contemporary masterpieces. The ensemble focuses on music composed during the last 20 years in addition to pieces that are being composed right now specifically for Vicennium Void.

Both internationally renowned composers as well as up-and-coming composers are represented in the group’s repertoire, providing an exciting mixture of programming.

The core ensemble consists of four musicians with solo and chamber music careers that span the globe – from North America and Latin America, to Europe and Asia. Among the four members, they have performed in famous concert halls across the world such as Carnegie, Wigmore in London, and the Amsterdam Concertgebouw.

The ensemble’s piano quartet formation allows for a variety in programming, from quartets to piano trios, string trios and duos, which provides for exceptionally versatile collaborations with composers.

Based in Houston, Texas, Vicennium Void presents a concert series at venues around Houston, combined with national and international touring and recording.

Members include pianist Christopher Janwong McKiggan; violinist Geoffrey Herd; violist Leah Gastler, and cellist Kevin Downs.

Use this link to listen to the group on SoundCloud:

Listen to Vicennium Void on SoundCloud. 

Vicennium Void wide

 


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