Sunday, December 1, 2013

Alphabet Players return to the Nursery!

For the 3rd year the Alphabet Players will serenade friends and plants at Grow Gardens Nursery! A festive concert of baroque music by Marais, Schmelzer, Biber, Buxtehude, Corrette and perhaps even a familiar seasonal tune…..just one.
The Players are Phebe Craig, harpsichord; Maria Caswell, violin; Gwyneth Davis, viola da gamba; Judiyaba, treble viol and cello.
The plants are too numerous to name, but available to those who want to shop at intermission.

Grow Gardens….1841 Gravenstein Hwy South.



Sunday, May 26, 2013

and the players are....

The Hindemith duet: Judiyaba and Gwyneth Davis, celli

Lili Boulanger Trio: Terrie Baune, violin. Karen Rosenak, piano and Judiyaba

Pierrot Lunaire: Karen Clark, voice. Leslie Chin, flute. Roy Zajac, clatinets and Terrie, Karen R., and Judiyaba.

Facade: Elly Lichenstein and Michael van Why, speakers. Dan Gianola-Norris, trumpet. Steve Parker, saxaphone. Kevin Heuhoff, percussion,  and Leslie, Roy and Gwyneth.

A great crop of Bay Area musicians!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Boulanger sisters

Nadia Boulanger (1887-1979) was arguably the most important teacher of music in the 20th century. I would guess that most composers of that time studied either with her or one of her students. Copland, Philip Glass, Piazzolla, Piston, Francaix, Vigil Thompson......the list goes on. Aaron Copland said "she knew everything there was to know about music....pre-Bach and post-Stravinsky included". She taught rigorously using traditional harmony, counterpoint and sight-singing. She was the first woman to conduct a symphony orchestra (London, 1937) and between the World Wars brought Monteverdi into the musical mainstream, as well as bringing back French baroque and Renaissance music, and championing Stravinsky's music.

I would go on about this amazing musician, but it is actually her sister Lili (1893-1918) whose music we are playing on this concert. Nadia had always believed that Lili was the more gifted composer. Unfortunately most of her short life was spent in ill health, so her output was not huge. The 2 short trios  on the program have a wonderful character and a rather forward looking harmonic sense.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Two poetry settings

Arnold Schoenberg (born in 1874) wrote Pierrot Lunaire in 1912. It is in 21 parts; 3 groups of 7 and uses the poems of Albert Giraud. It's weird. And wonderful. The sprechstimme vocal part is a bit eerie and the small instrumental accompaniment changes with each poem. The first set of seven deals with love, sex and religion. That is enough for this concert!

William Walton (born in 1902) wrote his 21 part piece on poems of Edith Sitwell. It premiered in 1923 (the poems were written in 1918) And the vocal parts in this are spoken. This isn't sounding like a coincidence! We know that Walton had heard Schoenberg's music because he criticized his own string quartet from 1923 as "full of undigested Bartok and Schoenberg".  Yet he borrowed the form of Pierrot Lunaire very closely. Presumably it was well digested.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Made it to the 20th Century!

We covered the 18th Century on February 3rd.....everything from a treble viol solo to Beethoven Quartet Opus 18 number 2 (written in 1798)
And on April 28th we celebrated the 19th Century with a Brahms wallow. A talk by Will Johnson and then the Piano Trio in B Major and the String Sextet in B flat Major. It B a happy day......

And NOW!!!   Stories of the 20th Century!
The first part of the weirdly wonderful Pierrot Lunaire by Schoenberg; Facade by Walton;  A cute little duet by Hindemith and trios by Lili Boulanger (the younger sister of Nadia Boulanger)

June 2 at 2pm at Cinnabar theater in Petaluma.
763-8920 for tickets.

Friday, August 24, 2012

A-Zed starts in the 17th century.....

Our first in the A-Zed through the centuries starts September 9 with a Purcell program.
Called Magic in the garden, the program includes music from the Fairy Queen, a juggler, a hula hoopist and a comedian and an actor.
Soloists are Eileen Morris, Kira Dills-Desura, Corey Head and Eugene Walden. They will be joined by other singers and the Alphabet orchestra. This is a benefit for Cinnabar Theater so there will also be a Silent Auction and refreshments available at intermission. And the garden itself is the stunning creation of Sandy and Borue O'Brien.
Tickets and more info at cinnabartheater.org

Saturday, June 2, 2012

A-Z thru the centuries

We have dates!
September 9, 2012....17th century. Purcell's Fairy Queen set in a gorgeous private garden.
February 3, 2013.....18th century program at Cinnabar Theater, Petaluma
April 28, 2013......19th century. An all Brahms program with one of the sextets
June 2, 2013....20th century. Hopefully Schoenberg's wonderfully weird "Pierrot Lunaire"