Thursday, April 28, 2011

May 8 is almost here!

The 2pm concert will be of 17th and 18th century music.......harpsichord, strings, baroque flute.....
The music is by Quantz (our token "Q") a specialist in baroque flute. He wrote masses of flute music and a huge tome on playing flute, and many other things, which we will quote from.
The "R"s are Rossini, a man who appreciated life. He spent the first half of his life writing music (Barber of Seville and other comic operas) and the second half of his life wining and dining and enjoying. Also Rameau (a chicken piece for solo harpsichord, and a chamber piece) Rosenm├╝ller, Roman, and Reina ( a gorgeous little gem played by 2 cellos and harpsichord).

Hope to see you there!
Sebastopol Center for the room....6780 Depot Street...just down from Screaming Mimi's Ice Cream.

Monday, April 11, 2011


Photographer Charlie Lucke caught Rufus and Zack announcing their encore.......
a duet by PDQ Bach (sure it starts with "P"!) called "The Lowland Fling." involved deep knee bends......

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

"QR" Concert is on the way......

May 8, at 2pm at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts Music Studio.
That is the place to be to hear "Q" and "R" composers played by Phebe Craig, harpsichord; Kathleen Kraft, baroque flute; Maria Caswell and Tyler Lewis, violin; David Bowes, viola; Judiyaba and Gwyneth Davis , cello.

Bring your Mother....bring your kids...escape Mothers Day altogether!

Questions and Answers....all here!

You will not see this man at the next concert. Or should I say Quantzert..... But you will hear quintessential quartets and quintets (and trios...) of a quality and quantity that will make you quake and quiver and possibly make you want to quaff something quickly to recover from this questionable and queer writing. Perhaps a quiz is what we need!
Who is this man??
What do we need him for??
Where are the "R"'s???

Johann Joachim Quantz (1697-1773) composed prolifically for the flute, and wrote a tome on flute playing and performance in general, including chapters on ornamentation. His writing is opinionated, informative and educational. We will play his music and also choose bits to read from the book, and demonstrate how ornament is used to enhance the performance of baroque music.
And then we will move on to our favorite "R"'s: Rosenmuller, Roman, of course Rossini, and a couple others.....

Friday, April 1, 2011

Sergei Prokofief

This Sunday, April 3, the Prokofiev Sonata for Cello and Piano will be on the "P" program.

I have been reading about Prokofiev's life to help understand his music, and what interesting times he loved in! He was born to an affluent parents in Russia in 1891. His mother was a pianist and his interest in music and composition was nurtured through his early years. By age 11 he had written 2 operas and several piano pieces (funny, I don't think those operas are in the repertoire anymore...) At age 19 his father died and he realized he would have to be finding his own way financially. He stayed at the Conservatory but was already finding commissions for his work and performing widely as a pianist. In 1917 things were heating up politically in Russia but he just kept moving to avoid trouble. In 1918 he decided to try his luck in the US, as new music was not the hot topic during the Russian Revolution. He had some successes here but in 1922 went to Paris, where he had better support for his music, where he joined his mother, and where he married a Spanish singer. He worked with Diagelev, knew Stravinsky, toured, and was doing well. But something called him back to Russia. In 1936 he returned, with wife and kids to Moscow, possibly not fully aware of the impact of Stalin's regime even on music. It was in 1936 that Shostakovich was being heavily criticized by the government. Didn't he notice?
It may be impossible to know how people really felt during that time. Prokofiev did write quite a bit of patriotic music. In 1939 it was a cantata "Zdravitsa" Hail to Stalin. Was this a survival technique? He split from his wife in 1941 and and a few years later she was charged with espionage and sent to a labor camp. He had taken up with a young woman who had strong party ties and who stayed with him for the rest of his life. And yet, in 1948, he was denounced for writing music that was "alien to the Soviet people". His response was to write an opera about a WWII Soviet hero. It flopped but he was left alone. And then, in poor health and a few years before his death.....he wrote the Sonata for Cello and Piano.