CNM Concert Season 34

David Gompper, Director



1999-2000
Concert VIII


Notes & Bios
   Wayne Peterson
 Lawrence Fritts
 Jeremy Dale Roberts
 Stefan Wolpe
 

   SEASON: 
   CONCERT: 


 PROGRAM NOTES & BIOS



Concert VIII

Sunday, February 13, 2000, 8:00 p.m. at Clapp Recital Hall







Doubles for 2 flutes and 2 clarinets (1999) Wayne PETERSON
  Kara DeRaad, flute
Sonja Feig, flute
Christine Bellomy, clarinet
Annette Machetta, bass clarinet
David Gompper, conductor
Pre-images for bassoon and tape (2000) Lawrence FRITTS
  Benjamin Coelho, bassoon
Vers Libre . . . (1979-80) Jeremy DALE ROBERTS
  Antonio Guimaraes, flute
Christine Bellomy, clarinet
Jacqueline Schimdt, viola
Cora Kuyvenhoven, violoncello
David Gompper, conductor
Piece for trumpet and seven instruments (1971) Stefan WOLPE
  David Greenhoe, trumpet
Christine Bellomy, clarinet
Catherine Jackson, horn
Miki Yuasa, violin
Jacqueline Schmidt, viola
David Arato, violoncello
Kyle Gassiott, double bass
David Gompper, conductor


 




  WAYNE PETERSON
Doubles for two flutes and two clarinets

In recent years the large number of good flute and clarinet players enrolled in our PRO MUSICA NOVA ENSEMBLE has created the chronic problem of finding new, suitable works for them to play. This compositional effort addresses itself to that need. I have endeavored to provide music which, while contemporary in spirit, is within the technical and rhythmic reach of our better University students.

Scored for two flutes, B flat and bass clarinet, this piece involves the frequent pairing of instruments, thus the title, Doubles. There are three large sections; slow, moderate and fast. These share the common intervallic source of minor seconds on either side of a perfect fourth. The first section is tentative and fragmentary with occasional larger threads of melody emerging, if only for a moment. The fragments carry over into the second section as accompaniment to a broad melody stated in the clarinet. After a high point is reached, various aspects of the melody are used vertically to create a variety of textures. The bass clarinet resumes the melody against a density, played by the other instruments, which gradually rises, changing one note at a time. Through the process of metrical modulation the pace quickens, and the final, fast section emerges without a break. It has the character of a scherzo. The light, somewhat jazz-like material announced in the flutes undergoes a series of contrapuntal intensifications, twice interrupted by a solo flute cadenza, before reaching an ultimate "furioso" climax.
Wayne Peterson (b. Minnesota, 1927; living in San Francisco since 1960) was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Music in 1992 crowning a distinguished career which began in 1958 with Free Variations premiered and recorded by the Minnesota Orchestra under Antal Dorati. Peterson's recent orchestral compositions include And The Winds Shall Blow a fantasy for saxophone quartet, symphonic winds, brass and percussion, premiered by the Rascher Quartet and the Freiburg Orchestra in Germany, Theseus for chamber orchestra and The Face of the Night, The Heart of the Dark, commissioned by the San Francisco (awarded the Pulitzer). The recent chamber works include Vicissitudes premiered by the New York New Music Ensemble in recognition of the ensemble's twentieth season, Peregrenations for solo clarinet, Windup for saxophone quartet, a percussion quartet, Monarch Of The Vine, a string quartet (his third), Can This Grass Be Blue? and Herrick Settings, for a cappella chorus.

Peterson has been professor of music at San Francisco State University for more than three decades and from 1992-94 was a guest professor of composition at Stanford University. He received his PhD from the University of Minnesota and was a Fulbright Scholar at the Royal Academy of Music in London from 1953-54. Peterson's music is published by C.F. Peters Corporation, Boosey and Hawkes, Seesaw Music and Lawson-Gould.

Link to Wayne Peterson

 

LAWRENCE FRITTS
Pre-images, for bassoon and tape

The conceptual notions of "image" and "pre-image" can arise in music in very provocative ways. A common example is formed by the relationship between pitch-class (a class of notes sharing the same note name but not register) and pitch (which is register-specific). Here, a pitch-class is said to be an image of a pitch; conversely, a pitch is a pre-image of a pitch-class. Compositional manipulations that act directly on pitch-classes also act indirectly on their pre-image pitches. This idea is extended in a number of ways in the work, Pre-images. Particularly notable is the dialogue between the digitally-processed image of a recorded bassoon and the live instrumental pre-image. Pre-images was written for Benjamin Coelho in early 2000.
Lawrence Fritts (b.1952, Richland, Washington) received his PhD in Composition from the University of Chicago, where he studied with Shulamit Ran, John Eaton, and Ralph Shapey. He is Assistant Professor of Composition and Theory at the University of Iowa, where he directs the Electronic Music Studios. Recent compositions have been presented conferences and festivals including ICMC 1997, 1998, SEAMUS 1999, FUTURA 1998, Discoveries 1997, MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music 1999, Conference on Musical Informatics 1998, as well as in concerts in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Minneapolis, Glasgow, and Paris. His music is recorded on the Innova and Frog Peak labels. A new CD of his works is forthcoming on Scarlatti (Roma).

Link to Lawrence Fritts

 

JEREMY DALE ROBERTS
Vers Libre. . . for alto flute, clarinet, viola and cello

dates from 1979 and was written for members of the Gemini Ensemble. It is scored for flute, clarinet, viola and cello-the title being an ungrammatical pun, referring to the supple rhetoric of St. John Perse and Ezra Pound, as well as to the ideas of escape and emancipation. A transitional, inconclusive work-in a continual state of becoming: of its three movements existing at present, only the first two will be performed tonight.
Jeremy Dale Roberts (b. 1934, Gloucestershire, England), who recently retired as the distinguished Head of Composition at the Royal College of Music, London, is a Visiting Professor of Composition at the University of Iowa.

He studied with William Alwyn and Priaulx Rainier at Marlborough College and the Royal Academy of Music, and his compositions have been performed at the Edinburgh and Aldeburgh Festivals, the Venice Biennale, the Diorama de Geneve, and the festivals of Avignon and Paris. They include the Cello Concerto - 'Deathwatch' written for Rohan de Saram; Tombeau for piano, written for Stephen Bishop Kovacevich; Croquis for string trio, written for members of the Arditti Quartet (BBC commission); In the Same Space, nine poems of Constantin Cavafy, written for Stephen Varcoe; Lines of Life, lyric episodes for ensemble, written for Lontano (BBC commission); and 'Casidas y Sonetos - del amor oscuro', for solo guitar (Arts Council commission) for Charles Ramirez. Professor Dale Roberts was the subject of a BBC "Composer's Portrait" in April, 1981.

Link to Jeremy Dale Roberts

 

STEFAN WOLPE
Piece for Trumpet and Seven Instruments

Commissioned by the New York trumpeter Ronald Anderson and completed in 1971, Piece for Trumpet and Seven Instruments is one of the last compositions Stefan Wolpe completed before he died after a ten-year struggle with Parkinson's disease. Although the illness left less and less time for composing, Wolpe's musical imagination continued on the trajectory that had carried him from his early explorations in Berlin after World War I through his proletarian music of the 1920s to the development of his mature language during the 30s, 40s and 50s.

In the Piece for Trumpet he continues to explore the "coincidences of opposites" that always absorbed his attention: tonality and atonality, exaggeration and restraint, fantasy and logic, symmetry and asymmetry, elegance and vulgarity. But in the late works he achieves a new economy of means and transparency of language. Every gesture is rich in imagery and the music moves in an electric space perfectly poised between light and dark, order and chaos.

The piece ends as it begins with the solo trumpet. From the opening elegiac invocation to the victorious close, the trumpet leads the proceedings, now whimsical and waggish, now ardent and assertive. After the short, almost processional overture rich in cadences and symmetrical phrases, the trumpet leads a concertante engagement of all the instruments in a series of fantasias on the opening thematic material. When the other instruments attempt a fugato, the trumpet breaks it up. Towards the end the trumpet takes over in a cadenza that leads on to the final, insistent, passionate affirmation of high C. A tone that seems to lead us onward even as it brings the piece to a close.
For more information on Stefan Wolpe (b. 1902 - d. 1972), visit the site devoted to his life and work.