DR. BRICE ADDISON
Drs. John & Susan Avery
2022 - 2023
Chamber Music Series
FRIDAY February 17 7pm
SUNDAY February 19 2pm
This concert features members of the Cascade Quartet and Chinook Winds Quintet in harmonious combinations.
420 Central Avenue
First Congregational Church
2900 9th Ave S
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Oboe Quartet in F Major
III. Rondo: Allegro
with Trevor Mansell, OBOE
Mozart often wrote his music with specific musicians in mind, and often tailored his musical ideas to fit the talents of those musicians. It is no surprise then that some of the greatest of his works were reserved for his close friends. Take for example the famous Clarinet Concerto (arguably the greatest woodwind concerto) written for his close friend Anton Stadler and his four horn concerti for his friend Joseph Leutgeb.
Similar to these works, the Oboe Quartet was also written for one of his acquaintances, Friedrich Ramm. When Mozart visited the Mannheim court in 1777 he was impressed with Ramm’s playing, writing to his father in a letter that he had a “delightfully pure tone.” This resulted in the composition of his Oboe Concerto in C, which subsequently became a staple of Ramm’s repertoire. When Mozart returned to Mannheim 1781, he composed yet another work for him, the Oboe Quartet in F.
Mozart was clearly struck by Ramm’s virtuosity, and incorporated techniques that are still difficult on modern and far more sophisticated instruments. Each movement puts the oboe through rigorous tests; The outer movements with their exuberance, large leaps, dazzling runs and turns, to the soulful and heart aching middle movement. Mozart also skillfully incorporates the high ‘F’, which had been added to the classical oboe and was clearly a speciality of Ramm. The Rondo requires a particularly technical nimbleness, with quickly articulated passages and fast passage work. The most infamous of these sections occurs in the middle of the movement, where the strings continue in 6/8 while the oboe suddenly breaks out in a fury in 2/2.
While this work is fairly short, it demonstrates Mozart’s ability to write effectively for the oboe in addition to incorporating the talents of Ramm. Today the work is now regarded as one of the greatest pieces of chamber music for the instrument.
– Note by Trevor Mansell
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Flute Quartet in D Major
with Norman Menzales, FLUTE
The Flute Quartet in D Major, K.285, is the first in a set of three flute quartets commissioned by a wealthy Dutch amateur flutist named (according to Mozart) “de Jean,” but whose real name appears to have been one Willem Van Britten Dejong. It was composed in Mannheim in late 1777 or early 1778. Dejong’s commission was to have included three flute concertos and “a couple” of flute quartets for the handsome fee of 200 gulden. The first of the three quartets is a complete work in three movements, but the second and third are in two movements only. Mozart also wrote only two of the three flute concertos, K.313 in G major and K. 314 in D major. Given the incomplete state of the commission, it is not surprising that Dejong was reluctant to pay in full and accordingly withheld a substantial portion of the original offer. Mozart eventually settled for about half his fee, 96 gulden.
One further reason for the incomplete state of Dejong’s commission is the fact that Mozart is known to have disliked the flute. In a letter to his father, Leopold, written from Mannheim on 14 February 1778 during the period of composition on these works, Mozart complained petulantly “you know I become quite powerless whenever I am obliged to write for an instrument I cannot bear.” Fortunately for lovers of flute music, the composer’s prejudice is not apparent in these attractive and appealing works. Indeed, Mozart was far too polished a professional to allow his personal bias to affect the quality of his public work. In the same letter to his father quoted above, Mozart also affirmed “a composition goes into the world, and naturally I do not want to have cause to be ashamed of my name on the title page.”
– Note by Edmund Trafford
Brush Strokes for Woodwind Trio
III. Van Gogh
Norman Menzales, FLUTE
Trevor Mansell, OBOE
Dorian Antipa, BASSOON
Brush Strokes is a musical depiction of specific works of art. Each movement briefly tells the story of a particular artist and their painting technique.
The first movement, Monet, depicts the constant movement of water that is present in many of Claude Monet’s paintings. Water lilies are the subject for approximately 250 of his paintings. I also chose to rely on the water lily theme because there are many different images of water to portray. In one part of a stream the water may be calm, while further down, the water may rage. Running water is ever changing, much like the swift brush strokes of Claude Monet. An impressionist, Monet’s paintings reflected his immediate impression of a particular subject or scene. He strived to capture the subject in a particular light before the light changed. When the light changed, Monet started painting on a new canvas. I wanted to depict Monet’s swift painting and the constant changing of light with frequently shifting chord progressions.
The second movement, Seurat, is a musical representation of the pointillist works by Georges Seurat. This movement is primarily inspired by Seurat’s paintings A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte and The Circus. Seurat’s brush stroke technique is very formulaic. If inspected closely, one can see that Seurat’s paintings are comprised of tiny strokes or “points” of pure color on the canvas. When the painting is viewed from a distance, the colors appear to blend and shimmer. This color blend effect is called “optical mixing.” The music in the movement Seurat aims to depict the pointillist aspects of this artwork by frequently shifting the instrumentation and bouncing the melody from one player to another, and also by the pointed and light attack of every note.
The third movement is Van Gogh. This movement depicts one of his best known paintings, Starry Night. Van Gogh lived a life of loneliness and sorrow. Despite his talent as a painter, he was mentally disturbed. In 1889, Van Gogh committed himself to an asylum in Saint-Remy. It was here that he was inspired to paint Starry Night. Though at this point in his life Van Gogh was disillusioned by religion, he had not lost belief in the afterlife. He expressed that he felt a strong need for religion, so he looked to the stars. Starry Night is filled with curves and rhythm while the cypress tree in the foreground exudes a dark loneliness. The movement, Van Gogh, moves with a slow, rhythmic pulse and a curving melodic contour. The overall darkness of the movement depicts the loneliness of the cypress tree and of Van Gogh.
Pollock is the final movement, and is a musical representation of the works of Jackson Pollock, who used the “drip” technique. Paintings such as One were created by pouring paint onto a canvas with hardened brushes, sticks, or syringes. Pollock laid his canvas flat on the floor to paint. His process was called action painting. The movement in Pollock is fast and full of energy, with chromatic and scalar flourishes depicting the paint being dripped, poured, and flung onto the canvas.
– Note by Alyssa Morris
Corrado Maria Saglietti
Suite for Horn & String Quartet
with Madeleine Folkerts, HORN
Suite for Horn and Piano (or String Quartet) by Corrado Maria Saglietti is a colorful, twelve-minute character piece, consisting of three short movements: “Tango,” “Canzone,” and “Speedy.” The brief program notes provided describe it as “a cocktail of passion, nostalgia and virtuosity that captures and amuses both the performers and the audience.”
Saglietti is currently the principal horn of the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI (Turin, Italy) and holds a degree in composition from the Turin Conservatory. His work Virtuoso for horn and piano (Hans Pizka Edition) won first prize in the IHS 1988 Composition Contest.
The tango is appropriately passionate, and the last movement has “a slightly jazzed-flavor” resulting from some syncopated rhythms. The canzone is an attractive surprise, because while it is a song-like Andantino, it does not have a simple “slow movement” quality: at the beginning, the accompaniment figures are staccato eighths and sixteenths. Because of the light style, distribution of rests, and tessitura, this charming work makes a fresh and practical addition to any program.
– Adaptation of program note by Virginia Thompson