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Member Program - Dec 13, 2018

Date: 
Thursday, December 13, 2018 - 10:00am
Type: 
Music by Members
Location: 
Westminster Presbyterian Church, 2080 Boulevard, West Hartford, CT
Admission: 
$5.00
Chair: 
David Schonfeld
Program: 
This holiday-season program features the Musical Club of Hartford Vocal Ensemble, soprano Adrienne Milics, and an unusual work of chamber music.
 

PROGRAM

 
Musical Club of Hartford Vocal Ensemble
Gail Tanguay, director
Dorothy Bognar, accompanist
 
Velvet Shoes       Randall Thompson, 1899-1984
    Suzanne Hertel, organist  
 
This is a stunning setting of the famous winter poem by Elinor Wylie. The text reveals several metaphors for purity and delicacy, while the music suggests an awesome purpose of preserving that beauty.
 
She Sings       Amy F. Bernon
 
The haunting, yet whimsical quality of this piece, almost folk-like, is truly refreshing. The lyrics center on a child who loves to sing, and who is saddened by those who do not know that joy. Amy Bernon is a contemporary Connecticut composer and a graduate of the Yale School of Music and the Hartt School. She is the founding director of the Amanda Women's choir.
 
Hark, I Hear the Harps Eternal  traditional American; text, F.R. Warren, arr. Mark Hayes               
    accompanists, Dorothy Bognar & Colette Switaj
 
This piece is a song of celebration and joy. The four handed accompaniment enhances the busy vocal arrangement, and is an extra treat for the audience.
 
Carol of The Bells   music by M. Leontovich (1877- 1921), arr. P. Wilhousky
 
Mykola Leontovich's "Shchedryk" contains one of the most famous four note ostinati in the world. The composition was given English lyrics and is known as Carol of the Bells. (Coincidentally, the Ukrainian composer, Mykola Leontovych, was born on this day, December 13, in the year 1877.)
 
Nativity Carol       music & lyrics by John Rutter
    Suzanne Hertel, organist
 
Nativity Carol is one of John Rutter's earliest acknowledged pieces. It exhibits much of what became a Rutter staple: a predictable structure made richer by complex harmonies and contemporary approaches. This carol uses the centuries-old form of verse followed by a communal chorus. The four topics are traditional: the stable of the incarnation, the mother of God, the wise men, and universal love born in a stable.
 
A'Soalin'     Paul Stookey, Tracy Batteast, Elena Mezzetti
 
According to Paul Stookey, A'Soalin' was not originally a Christmas song. He said he melded the old wassailing tune with the Celtic tradition of soul/soal-ing and then added God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen at the end. The Celts didn't like their ghosts hanging around, so they served a banquet for all the year's deceased, to encourage the ghosts to depart. That tradition merged with All Souls Day, and eventually into the Christmas holidays. In spite of the characters in the lyrics being in times of crisis it is a hopeful tune, not bleak, and lifts your spirits.
 
Hymn to Freedom    music by Oscar Peterson, lyrics by Harriette Hamilton

    Ms. Bognar is joined by Walter Mayo on string bass, and Dave Woodward on drums
 
Recognized as one of Oscar Peterson's most significant compositions, Hymn to Freedom was written in 1962 and was swiftly embraced by people around the world as the anthem for the Civil Rights Movement. For inspiration, Peterson drew upon various church renderings of Negro spirituals recalled from his childhood in Montreal. He maintained the unadorned yet poignant melody of the early Baptist hymns. The added lyrics express in a very simple language the hope for unity, peace, and dignity for mankind.
 
***
 
Öt Magyar Népdal (Five Hungarian Folk Songs) by Béla Bartók (1881-1945)
[from Hungarian Folksongs, for voice and piano (1906), BB 42 (Sz 33 / W 13)]
Adrienne Milics, mezzo-soprano
Lean-Cheng Tan, piano
 
1. Elindultam szép hazámból ("I left my beautiful country")
2. Által mennék én a Tiszán ladikon ("I would cross the Tisza in a boat")
3. A gyulai kert alatt ("In the summer fields")
4. Nem messze van ide ("Not far from here" - The Horseman)
5. Végig mentem a tárkányi sej, haj, nagy uccán ("Walking through the town")
 
We think of Béla Bartók primarily as a composer, but he was also a brilliant pianist and a serious ethnomusicologist. Through his collection and analytical study of folk music, he was one of the founders of comparative musicology, which later became ethnomusicology. Bartók wrote the Ten Hungarian Songs for voice and piano 1906. These were originally intended to be a second series to follow the first publication, Hungarian Folk Songs, in collaboration with Zoltán Kodály and later titled Twenty Hungarian Folk Songs. Bartók subsequently determined that some of the items were not folk songs.
 
In 1908, Bartók and Kodály traveled into the countryside to collect and research old Magyar folk melodies. Their growing interest in folk music coincided with a contemporary social interest in traditional national culture. They made some surprising discoveries. Magyar folk music had previously been categorized as Gypsy music. The classic example is Franz Liszt's famous Hungarian Rhapsodies for piano, which he based on popular art songs performed by Romani bands of the time. In contrast, Bartók and Kodály discovered that the old Magyar folk melodies were based on pentatonic scales, similar to those in Asian folk traditions, such as those of Central Asia, Anatolia and Siberia. (from Wikipedia) 
 
***
 
Trio in E-flat major Op. 43 for Clarinet, Bassoon, and Pianoforte, KWV 5105 by Conradin Kreutzer (1780-1849)
David Schonfeld, clarinet
Fred Fenn, bassoon
(Pianist TBA)
 
  I. Maestoso - Romanze: Allegro moderato
 II. Andante grazioso
III. Rondo: Allegro
 
Conradin Kreutzer was a German composer and conductor. His works include the opera Das Nachtlager in Granada, and Der Verschwender (Incidental music), both produced in 1834 in Vienna. He spent 1811–12 in Stuttgart, where at least three of his operas were staged, and where he was awarded the post of Hofkapellmeister. From 1812 to 1816, he was Kapellmeister to the king of Württemberg. He became a prolific composer, and wrote a number of operas for the Theater am Kärntnertor, Theater in der Josefstadt, and Theater an der Wien, in Vienna. In 1840 he became conductor of the opera at Cologne. His daughters, Cecilia and Marie Kreutzer, were sopranos of some renown.
Kreutzer owes his fame almost exclusively to Das Nachtlager in Granada (1834), which kept the stage for half a century in spite of changes in musical taste. It was written in the style of Carl Maria von Weber. The same qualities are found in Kreutzer's part-songs for men's voices, which at one time were extremely popular in Germany. His Septet for winds and strings, Op. 62, remains in the chamber music repertory. He was one of the 50 composers who wrote a Variation on a waltz of Anton Diabelli for Part II of the "Vaterländischer Künstlerverein" (published 1824). (from Wikipedia)
 
Note: Although Conradin Kreutzer's time in Vienna overlapped with Beethoven's, he was not the Kreutzer to whom Beethoven dedicated his 1803 Violin Sonata, Op. 47. (That was the French violinist and composer, Rodolphe Kreutzer).
 
The Trio in E-flat major Op. 43 is a charming work in three movements full of catchy tunes and virtuosic piano writing, probably intended as salon music for talented amateurs.


BIOS

 
Gail Tanguay
 
Gail Tanguay
Gail Tanguay will be the director for the Musical Club of Hartford's Vocal ensemble for the 2018-19 season. Ms. Tanguay is a graduate of the Shenandoah Conservatory of Music, with a Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance. She then earned a Master of Music Education degree from the Hartt School of Music. She has 35 years' experience in the Wethersfield school system, directing both high school and middle school choirs. She also had an active career as a vocal accompanist in the Central Connecticut area. Gail has done extensive theater work, and has played at The New Britain Repertory Theater, The Hole In the Wall Theater, The Producing Guild, and the Goodspeed Opera House.
 
Dorothy Bognar
 
Dorothy Bognar
Dorothy Bognar holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in music from the University of California (Santa Barbara and Berkeley) and an MLS from UC Berkeley. She served as Head of the University of Connecticut Music Library from 1969-1998. Subsequently she has been teaching piano, playing keyboard in the swing band Flamingo, and performing both solo and ensemble music. She has performed in numerous duo-piano concerts and as a solo pianist.
 
Adrienne Milics
 
Adrienne Milics
Adrienne Milics, MBA, PCC, is an Executive Coach specializing in leadership and communication with focus areas in executive presence, presentation skills and women in leadership. She brings a unique background in executive leadership, voice performance, coaching and training as well as extensive business experience in financial services, insurance, and technology. Along the way, Adrienne received a Master of Music in Opera Performance from the Boyer College of Music at Temple University and has over 30 years of professional experience performing opera, song recitals and jazz.
 
Lean-Cheng Tan

Lean-Cheng Tan was born in Penang, Malaysia. She began her piano studies at age eleven at the Royal School of Music of England. She was a school music teacher before she moved to the United States. In 2006-2008 she served as the Co-President of the Hartford Chapter, Connecticut State Music Teacher Association. She also volunteered for the position of Recording Secretary of the Connecticut State Music Teacher Association in 2000-2005. Lean-Cheng sings in the Musical Club's Vocal Ensemble and she is also an active performer in an 8 hands piano ensemble. She has taught piano for over 30 years and has accompanied school choirs and the Chinese Community Choir. She has also taught the Chinese Language School children's chorus on Sundays at Trinity College.
 
David Schonfeld
 
David Schonfeld
David Schonfeld grew up in the Bronx. Although exposed to classical music as a child, his interest was not kindled until his teens. His first instrument was the recorder. In college he played clarinet, then switched to oboe, studying with Lois Wann. David received a B.A. in Music from CCNY and an M.Phil. in Music Theory from Yale. In 1971, he won a Fulbright scholarship to study South Indian classical music on the vina in Madras, India, where he spent a number of years (also studying yoga).
In Connecticut, he performed with international folk-dance bands for 20 years, on clarinet, oboe, recorder, guitar, and double bass. He also did some composing and arranging for these bands. During this period, he took classical clarinet lessons with Curt Blood and Greek-style folk clarinet with George Stathos. From 2011-2013, he studied oboe with Marilyn Krentzman. Since then, he has been concentrating on Baroque oboe. David has been a volunteer broadcaster at WWUH Radio since 2002. He can be heard on Tuesday Evening Classics.
 
Fred Fenn
 
Fred Fenn
Frederick Fenn has been playing the bassoon for many years. He has played with the Vermont Philharmonic, the Torrington Symphony, the Litchfield Chamber Orchestra, Laudate Orchestra, the Nutmeg Woodwind Quintet, and the Simsbury Community Band. Fenn is a retired special education teacher now enjoying a music-infused retirement.