DR. BRICE ADDISON
2021 - 2022
Chamber Music Series
FRIDAY May 13 7pm
SUNDAY May 15 2pm
Journey from the springtime of Mozart’s K155 to Pitombeira‘s jazzy, lyrical and playful use of the saxophone to Bartok’s quintessential quartet no.5: an otherworldly painting of night sounds and folk rhythms, taken to unprecedented heights of the string quartet.
606 Central Avenue
First Congregational Church
2900 9th Ave S
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
1756 - 1791
Quartet No. 2 in D Major
Andante in A major
Mozart’s String Quartet No. 2 in D major was composed at the tender age of 16, while the young composer was based in Salzburg and traveling the European countryside, performing and absorbing the fashionable musical styles of the day. Though we often think of Mozart’s string quartet writing as being inspired by the work of the grandfather of the string quartet, Franz Joseph Haydn, this early piece is more like the Italian quartets popular at the time. The three movement style celebrates youthful exuberance, flowing themes and sparkling good humor.
1881 - 1945
String Quartet No. 5
Bartok’s Fifth String Quartet was composed in a mere month, during the fall of 1934. As his penultimate string quartet, the work characterizes many elements of Bartok’s mature style. The entire piece is in an arch form, a sectional style based on repetition in reverse order, so that the overall work is symmetrical around a central movement (ABCBA). The first movement is itself a smaller arch form, opening with banging rhythmic motives and melodic materials that return in mirror image, backwards or inverted, later in the movement.
The second movement is a prime example of Bartok’s Night Music style. Strange, haunting and nocturnal sounds emerge from the string quartet, evoking the hum of insects, or the rustling of a lonely field at night.
Here we encounter Bartok’s reverence for the music of nature, his curiosity for the sounds all around us. Similarly, the third movement is a Scherzo in the style of Bulgarian folk music, a complex, uneven, rhythmic tradition that had previously not found its way into many classical concert pieces. At the true center of our arch form is the Trio to this Scherzo, with the viola and cello calling out like searchlights in the darkness.
After a fourth movement of intensified Night Music, the piece closes with an urgent, ferocious finale, spilling forward and suddenly abated by an out-of-whack carousel-like tune, introduced by the second violin. After this unexpected irony, the ferocity returns, and the work closes breathlessly, much like it began.
—Program notes by Megan Karls
Feast in the Tribe
The Old Wizard's Dance
Liduina Pitombeira’s Xingu for string quartet and saxophone is a piece inspired by the indigenous people of Brazil who lived along the Xingu river, in the Amazon. The composer states that the central idea of the piece is the contrast between two elements: a rhythmic motive that represents the Xingu people, and a waltz motive that represents the Portuguese colonizers.
The first movement, A Feast in the Tribe, features the rhythmic Xingu motive in the strings, giving way to the waltz, first introduced by the saxophone. The two motives dialogue, with an energetic conclusion of the Xingu music to close the movement.
The composer describes the second movement as a meditation invoking the Xingu goddess Jacy, the goddess of the the moon.
The final movement, the Old Wizard’s Dance, introduces a twelve-tone row to portray a wise shaman. This tone row is employed in cannon, against a brief return of the waltz, to build excitement as the Xingu motive from the first movement returns in triumphant conclusion of the work.
Jesse Dochnahl teaches band and music technology at Big Sky High School in Missoula, Montana, and is Visiting Instructor of Saxophone at the University of Montana (sabbatical replacement).
An active chamber musician, clinician, and conductor, he has worked with young musicians across Montana, Wisconsin, and Illinois. Prior to his appointment at Big Sky, Jesse taught instrumental music at C.S. Porter Middle School (2013-2016) and Sheboygan Falls (WI) High School (2007-2010). In the 2012-13 academic year, he served as Instructor of Saxophone and Freshman Studies at Lawrence University.
He was awarded First Prize in the MTNA Woodwind Young Artist (2005) and Chamber Music (2012) National Competitions, and was the winner of the Lawrence Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition.
He has performed as concert soloist with the Manitowoc Symphony Orchestra and the Lawrence Symphony Orchestra and in recitals at the NASA 2012 National Conference, SEAMUS 2012 National Conference, 13th World Saxophone Congress, the 2005 & 2012 MTNA National Conferences, and the U.S. Navy International Saxophone Symposium. Jesse has performed with Sinfonia da Camera Chamber Orchestra, Eugene Symphony, Green Bay Civic Orchestra, Sheboygan Symphony, Missoula Symphony, and Helena Symphony.
A staunch advocate of new music, Jesse has presented world premieres of music by Javier Arau, Ming-Ching Chiu, Andrew Seager Cole, Joanne Metcalf, Asha Srinivasan, Scott Unrein, and Stephen Wood, among others. Jesse earned his Master of Music at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he studied with Debra Richtmeyer. He holds degrees in music education and saxophone performance from Lawrence University, where he studied saxophone with Steven Jordheim. Jesse also worked ten seasons as a trails technician with the Forest Service near Ennis, Montana, his hometown.