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Music by Members - Jan 12, 2017

Thursday, January 12, 2017 - 10:00am
Music by Members
Westminster Presbyterian Church, 2080 Boulevard, West Hartford, CT
Gail Tanguay

The Musical Club of Hartford will present its first concert of 2017 on Thursday at 10 a.m., January 12th at the Westminster Presbyterian Church, 2080 Boulevard, West Hartford. Admission is free for members of the Musical Club and $5 for members of the general public who are warmly welcome. The concert features 19th and 20th Century works, as well as music for the hmmered dulcimer and for the alto saxophone.

First on the program will be pieces for the hammered dulcimer and guitar, played by Ami Monstream and Laura Mazza-Dixon respectively:

  • “Hole In The Wall,” by Henry Purcell (1659 -1695), one of the most famous English composers who incorporated Italian and French stylistic elements into his compositions, at the same time as writing in a uniquely English Baroque form;

  • “Pieces For A Musical Clock,” by George Frideric Handel (1685 –1759), a German, later British Baroque composer who spent the bulk of his career in London, and;

  • “Romanza,” by an anonymous Spanish composer from the 19th century.

The second performance will be the Brahms Sonata in F Minor, Op. 120, No.1 which was originally composed in 1894 for clarinet and is often heard as a viola transcription. At this concert, the audience will hear Eugene Pousseau’s transcription for alto saxophone performed by Tony Gibbs, alto saxophone and Benita Rose, piano.

Next, three pianists Colette Switaj, Lean-Cheng Tan, and Gail Tanguay, will perform on the same piano (6 hands) “Valse” and “Romance” by Sergei Rachmaninoff. These two pieces were written in 1890 and 1891 when Rachmaninoff was just a teenager, but they are solidly representative of Rachmaninoff’s romantic and thoroughly pianistic style.

Next on the program soprano Christine Fote Macaluso (a guest to the Musical Club), accompanied on piano by Gail Tanguay, will perform the following:

  • “Si mes vers avaient des ailes,” by Reynaldo Hahn (poem by Victor Hugo), Reynaldo Hahn (1874 –1947) was a Venezuelannaturalised French, composer, conductor, “Hymne.”

  • “Lia’s Recitative and Aria” from L’enfant prodigue (1884), by Claude Debussy L'enfant prodigue (The Prodigal Son) is a cantata in one act by Claude Debussy with a text by Édouard Guinand.[1] The cantata premiered in Paris on June 27, 1884, as part of the Prix de Rome for composition competition which was awarded to Debussy with this piece The prize win garnered Debussy a scholarship to the Académie des Beaux-Arts, which included a four-year residence at the Villa Medici, the French Academy in Rome, to further his studies (1885-1887).

  • Hermit Songs (excerpts) by Samuel Barber. Written in 1953, it is based on a collection of anonymous poems written by Irish monks and scholars from the 8th to the 13th centuries, in translations by W. H. Auden, amd other poets. Hermit Songs was first performed in 1953 at the Library of Congress, with soprano Leontyne Price and Barber himself as pianist.

Finally, two works by Francis Poulenc (1899-1963). will be played by Annette Shapiro, piano:

  • Intermezzo No. 3 in A-Flat Major - About the Three Intermezzi: The first two were composed in 1934, the last, in A-Flat Major, in 1943. As described by Marina and Victor Ladin, in Piano Music Volume I: “Poulenc once declared music to be his portrait, and nowhere is this more true than in the Intermezzi…The music simply seems to roll off the pages, each sound following another in such an honest and natural way with elegance and unmistakable Frenchness

  • “Hymne” from Trois Pièces . Trois Pieces, based on an earlier work by Poulenc, was presented in 1928. “Hymne” is the second movement and reflects Poulenc’s acclaimed Concert Champêtre (Pastoral Concerto) of 1927-28, for Harpsichord and Orchestra, inspired by Wanda Landowska, one of the great harpsichordists of the first part of the twentieth century. It was one of Poulenc’s earliest neo-Classical works, showing the influence of seventeenth and eighteenth century style, coupled with his own unique harmonic and rhythmic language.i


i Much of the information in this press release, unless otherwise noted, was taken from Wikipedia.