Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Summer Song Fest!!

Singers, strings, and of course, piano!
Soprano Carol Menke and tenor Corey Head will be singing on June 18 at 7pm. With Marilyn Thompson, pianist and string players tossed into the mix as well! Violinist Hilary Powers, and cellists Judiyaba and Gwyneth Davis will supplement the song session.

And....it will be a benefit for the music scholarship fund at Sonoma State University!
Which is where the concert will be...in room 1028 in the education wing of the new Green Music Center. The same place where the "P" concert was...a fun big room....so tell your friends!

Other attendees, once removed, will be Schubert, Schumann, Richard Strauss, Halsey Stevens and Robert Sheldon. A sumptuous summer spread....

Friday, May 20, 2011

Quantzert Views


QR Concert Photos.......by A-Zed photographer Charlie Lucke. Taken May 8 as the Alphabet Players quaffed Quantz, rollicked through
Rameau, recreated Rossini, reveled in Reina, rejoiced with Rosenm├╝ller, resurrected Roman and continued their rumbustious romp through the alphabet.
Lower: Maria, Tyler and Phebe (Kathleen hiding behind) Upper: Gwyneth and David

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Those "R"'s!

Let's start with Johann Rosenm├╝ller, probably the earliest composer on our program. He was born in 1615 and by 1650 was doing well as Director on Music of the Leipzig churches and to the Altenburg Court. Unfortunately he got into a spot of bother with the school boys and found himself in prison. But...he escaped, and by 1658 he was apparently composing and playing trumpet at St. Marks in Venice.

Then we have Johan Helmich Roman. Born in 1694 and known as the Swedish Handel, as he had studied in London for 6 years and idealized Handel. In 1721 he became Chief Master if the Royal Swedish Orchestra, and in 1731 organized the first public concerts in Sweden. In 1744, for the wedding of the Crown Prince Adolf Frederick of Sweden and Louisa Ulrika of Prussia, he composed one of his best pieces......Drottningholmsmusique. (I just wanted to write that)

Onward to our most modern composer on this program, Gioacchino Rossini, 1792-1868. He got off to a fast start compositionally....the quartet we are playing was written when he was 12!
He was fortunate enough to achieve great success with his comic operas early in life. His best known is Barber of Seville, from which we are stealing the Finale for our concert. He was a bit lazy about deadlines. Barber was composed in under 2 weeks! And he said, about composing overtures, "Wait until the evening before the opening night. Nothing primes inspiration more than necessity, whether it be the presence of the copyist, or the prodding of an impresario tearing out his hair. In my time, all the impresarios of Italy were bald before 30."
The last 40 years of his life were devoted to pleasure, mostly of food. The dish "Tournedos Rossini" was created for him, probably by Escoffier. It is filet mignon on toast, topped with sliced foie gras, garnished with black truffles and completed with a Madeira demi-glace.
Not the diet most composers enjoy! The only piece written late in his life is one called "The Sins of Old Age"