ALIAS February 2003

February 16, 2003, 7:30PM
East Nashville Center for the Creative Arts

Fratres for violin and piano Arvo Pärt (1935-)
  • Zeneba Bowers, violin
  • Laura Donohue, piano
Sonata for cello and piano, op. 6 Samuel Barber (1910 – 1981)
  • Christopher Stenstrom, cello
  • Amy Dorfman, piano
Flugel Blues / Flugel Bop Matt Walker (1968-)
  • Matt Walker, cello
  • Jeff Bailey, flugelhorn
  • David Huntsinger, piano
  • Christopher Donohue, bass
  • Christopher Norton, drums
– Intermission –
Quartet for the End of Time Olivier Messiaen (1908 – 1992)
  1. Liturgie de cristal
  2. Vocalise, pour l’Ange qui annonce la fin du Temps
  3. Abîme des oiseaux
  4. Intermède
  5. Louange à l’Éternité de Jésus
  6. Danse de la fureur, pour les sept trompettes
  7. Fouillis d’arcs-en-ciel, pour l’Ange qui annonce la fin du Temps
  8. Louange à l’Immortalité de Jésus
  • Lee Levine, clarinet
  • Zeneba Bowers, violin
  • Michael Samis, cello
  • Melissa Rose, piano

Proceeds from this performance benefited the East Nashville Center for the Creative Arts Scholarship Fund, which provides tuition assistance to students of the ENCCA Young Artist Program.

Program Notes

Arvo Pärt: Fratres for violin and piano
Pärt worked as an Estonian radio sound director before studying at the Tallinn Conservatory of Music and graduating in 1963. Like many composers of the 20th century, Pärt writes in a number of different styles including post-Romanticism and serialism.

Fratres looks back to ancient forms and harmonies, employing tonal elements and imagery of Gregorian chant. Pärt arranged this piece a number of times for various instrumental combinations. His arrangement of Fratres for eight cellos will be performed on the May 4 ALIAS concert at ENCCA.

Samuel Barber: Sonata for cello and piano, op. 6
Barber began studying piano at age six and began composing a year later. He entered the Curtis School of Music at age 14 and studied voice, piano, conducting, and composition. He had a special interest in vocal music as is evidenced by the long, lyrical melodic lines prevalent in his instrumental work.

With the exception of his forays into serialism Barber wrote in fairly traditional forms, and his harmonic language, while sometimes far-reaching, is almost always grounded by a recognizable tonal center. The Cello Sonata is an excellent example of this. Formally, the outer movements could have been constructed by Brahms. Barber’s insertion of a Scherzo during the typically slow middle movement is an unusual departure from classical sonata form.

Matt Walker: Flugel Blues/Flugel Bop
This pair of pieces was written for Mr. John Almeida, Professor of Trumpet at the University of Florida in Orlando. The first is a standard twelve-bar slow blues form, employing the flugelhorn’s characteristic mellow voice and a guitar technique on the cello. The second piece is a modified rhythm changes progression, upbeat with an old-time feel, and briefly features a jazz rhythm section.

Olivier Messiaen: Quartet for the End of Time
French composer Olivier Messiaen expanded the classical music tradition to include the sounds of nature and world music. From 1930 until his death in 1992, Messiaen served as organist and composer at l’Église de la Trinité in Paris.

Messiaen’s musical career, which officially began at age 11 with his acceptance into the Paris Conservatory, was interrupted when he enlisted as a medical orderly in the French army in 1939. Captured by German forces the following year, he was taken to a prisoner of war camp in Silesia. While imprisoned, he continued to work on his music. He composed the Quartet for the End of Time for the only instruments available in the camp, and premiered it for an audience comprised of more than five thousand prisoners.