Soglie, Serenate, Sfere

I’m looking forward to performing this terrific work, by composer Jeremy Gill, on Sunday’s concert.  From my perspective, as an oboist, it’s got everything I like best to play – expressive, expansive solos, quick articulation and fancy technique, adorable little bird peeps in the high register – and this is perhaps unsurprising as I first knew Jeremy as an oboe minor at the Eastman School of Music while I was attending as an oboe major.  He’s not an oboist any more, though, but an impressive and accomplished composer, and I’m honored to present this smart and thoughtful work. 

 

Here are Jeremy Gill’s own program notes, to mull over and to admire. 

 

Soglie, Serenate, Sfere (2009), for oboe and two percussion

Soglie, Serenate, Sfere is a fantasy on the aria “Care soglie” from Alarico (1687) by Agostino Steffani, the first work in Western music to explicitly call for the oboe in its orchestration. “Soglie” (“thresholds”), the first movement of this three-movement work, and “Sfere” (“spheres”), the last, act as bookends to the much longer middle movement, “Serenate” (“songs”), thus recalling the da capo structure of the aria.

Soglie, Serenate, Sfere is also an exploration of the oboe’s pre-history, and reflects on, in “Serenate”, its past rolls in religious rituals (as the Arabic zurna, and paired with cymbals) and warfare (as the zurna, and the shawm in medieval Europe, paired with drums), as well as its bucolic associations (paired with the tambourine). In “Soglie” and “Sfere”, the evocation is again of the outdoors, but in these movements it is the wide open spaces of the outdoors that is of primary interest: the oboe begins at the back of the hall and ends at the front, while the percussion (playing wood blocks and claves, then chimes) begin at the front and end at the back. Heightening this effect is the imitation of bird calls in the oboe and insect sounds in the wood blocks and claves.

Soglie, Serenate, Sfere was premiered by ToniMarie Marchioni, Luke Rinderknecht, and Chihiro Shibayama at the Juilliard School on 31 October 2009.

Concert #3 is Coming!

Percussion!

Have you ever gotten up close and personal with orchestral percussionists?  It is amazing to watch the precision and control and physicality of what they do.  They are not often featured in chamber music, so this concert will be a great opportunity to really stare and admire.

I’m thrilled about the music we’re presenting.  An ambitious and thoughtful work by an old school buddy of mine, Jeremy Gill.  A rollicking active work by renowned composer Libby Larsen.  A peaceful solo marimba showpiece by Christopher Deane.  And a theatrical exploration of the paranormal by South Bend’s own Marjorie Rusche.

The Music Village has been our partner in this venture since the beginning.  We are delighted to be able to give back, by donating all of this concert’s proceeds directly to them with no strings attached.

So please come! Bring your friends! Enjoy!

Claricello TOMORROW

Please join us on Sunday, March 2, at 2pm at The Music Village, 108 N. Main St, South Bend.
This second event will benefit Hannah and Friends, a great local non-profit dedicated to improving the lives of people with disabilities.  Our musicians are Claricello, the duo consisting of Jason Gresl on clarinet and Lara Turner on cello.

Here’s what Jason has to say about the program they’ve created:

“In life we struggle to find the balance between the individual and the community. While many times the whole is greater than its parts, maintaining individuality is paramount to staying human.  The first thing that struck me when I went to visit the Hannah and Friends Neighborhood was how the organization provides various options that residents might choose to find their balance.  Some residents get together and cook for themselves, others use assistance. Recreational activities bring residents together and yet any individual can find plenty to do on his/her own. There was a strong sense of community.  And of course like any community, one must find the balance of staying in one’s comfort zone and exposing oneself to new life situations.

“We have come to understand that chamber music deals with this same balancing act.  Two instruments…  Does the composer have them work together to blend their sounds into something new or perhaps does each instrument carve out a musical gesture on its own?  

“The pieces on this program show various ways that composers explore the balancing act of community/individuality both with compositional techniques and source material.  Participatory activities will give audience members an inside look at some ways that composers work and will collectively create a new piece for Claricello to play.”

I don’t know about you, but I am COMPLETELY eager to hear this concert.
 
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Upcoming Event – Oboe Recital

MFM’s followers may be interested to hear about founder Jennet Ingle’s upcoming programs. Although they have no particular social agenda, the four concerts should be enjoyable, informative, and perhaps even AMAZING!

Music That SHOULD Have Been Written For the Oboe, with Jennet Ingle, oboe, and Paul Hamilton, piano.

We are featuring a variety of transcriptions, including the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto, George Gershwin’s Three Preludes, and Bach’s E Major Partita. My own opinion is that if these great composers were unwilling to write great solo works for the oboe, it is up to me to correct that injustice.

Performances on Tuesday, 2/25, at 7:30 CST at Valparaiso University’s Duesenberg Recital Hall, Friday, 3/7, at 7:30 EST at Goshen College’s Rieth Recital Hall
Saturday, 3/8, at 3pm CST at the First Presbyterian Church in Michigan City, IN
Sunday, 3/9, at 4pm EDT at the Howard Performing Arts Center at Andrews University

More information, and links, and details, are HERE.

A Grateful Response

I got the loveliest thank you note from Sara Stewart, founder of Unity Gardens, after our first concert. I’ll quote a part of it, because it speaks so perfectly to our goals –

“We are so grateful for your vision and efforts on behalf of Unity Gardens and the other non-profit partners of ‘Musicians for Michiana.’ The event was a huge success in all the ways you predicted. We introduced garden folks to music and musical fans to our garden work! … Kellirae from The Music Village could not have been more hospitable and welcoming! We very much look forward to continuing all our collaborations!”

Ooh, I am glowing, glowing – and excited for the next three collaborations.

Where is This Concert, Anyway?

Thanks for checking in!  We are performing today at 2 in The Music Village.  This is in the JMS Building at 108 N. Main St, South Bend, IN 46601.  We’re in their temporary flood-caused space on the second floor – but if you get to the building we will get you up to the performance venue, no problem.