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L’Arlésienne Suite No. 1 - Carillon (Georges Bizet, 1872): Georges Bizet’s music reveals his remarkable gifts for melody, orchestration, rhythmic energy, and ability to capture regional flavors. Bizet was invited to write incidental music for the 1872 production of Alphonse Daudet’s play L’Arlésienne which dramatized the unrequited love of a peasant, Fréderi who falls desperately in love with a woman from Arles (who never appears in the play). While Daudet’s play was not successful, Bizet ensured the survival of this music by combining four numbers from the original score into the concert suite now known as L’Arlésienne Suite No. 1. The Butte Symphony Orchestra will perform the suite’s fourth number, Carillon in which audiences will recognize village church bells (French Horns, and later other brass) forming a backdrop for a festival dance, that in Daudet’s play, celebrated the Feast Day of Saint Eloi.
Solo De Concours (André Messager, 1899): French composer André Messager composed this virtuosic clarinet solo in 1899 as a Paris Conservatory Contest Piece. There are countless Solo de Concours written for clarinet, as each year the Paris Conservatory would hold these contests. Messager’s Solo De Concours has a very light-hearted and inviting opening laced with triplet figures floating over the orchestra. In the middle section, the composer inserts a beautiful, very French, melody that he passes back and forth from orchestra to clarinet. At the end of this section, the clarinet plays a seemingly effortless cadenza that explores much of the instrument’s range and that ends in trills leading into the final section. Finally, in a fast, virtuosic drive toward the end of the piece, the clarinet playfully rises above the orchestra.
Scenes from “The Louvre” (Norman Dello Joio, 1957): By age 12 young Norman Dello Joio was substituting for his father on organ performances and then went on to study at Juilliard where he shifted his focus from the organ to composition; studying with Paul Hindemith. As a composer, Dello Joio wrote for a wide range of ensembles and won accolades from all corners of the music world, including a Pulitzer Prize in 1957 and an Emmy in 1965 for his score for NBC's documentary, The Louvre. In Scenes from the Louvre, Dello Joio chose to use Renaissance-era music to match the film’s historical depth. He later modified the Emmy-winning orchestral score into a five-movement suite for band, on a commission from Baldwin-Wallace College. The version we will hear tonight is an orchestratin by Maestro Millán that returns the piece to its original orchestral setting. The ‘Louvre’ includes: (I) Portals, which is entirely of Dello Joio’s original material, complete with strident rhythms and bold 20th-century harmony; (II) Children’s Gallery, a light-hearted theme and variations of Tielman Susato‘s Ronde et Saltarelle; (III) The Kings of France, based on themes by Louis XIV’s court composer, Jean Baptiste Lully; (IV) The Nativity Paintings, which uses the medieval theme In Dulci Jubilo; and, (V) Finale, which uses the Cestiliche Sonate of Vincenzo Albrici as its source material to which Dello Joio adds his own harmonic flavor.
Capriol Suite (Peter Warlock, 1925): ‘Peter Warlock’ was the pen name of Philip Arnold Heseltine. Warlock never settled into a conventional career but did engage in serious musical scholarship by editing, transcribing, and arranging early music manuscripts, and writing a major study of the music of Fredrich Delius. Warlock’s first compositions, mainly songs, began to appear in 1917. In 1922 he completed his first widely acknowledged piece, the song cycle Curlew. His creative period continued only for a few years culminating in the composition of his most famous work in 1925 - the Capriol Suite.The Capriol Suite is a set of dances in the renaissance style based on tunes found in a manual of Renaissance dances by the French priest Jehan Tabourot. Warlock treated the source material very freely and many regard Capriol as an original composition rather than an arrangement. The six contrasting movements are: Basse Danse, a lively dance in which the dancers’ feet for the most part slide along the floor; Pavane, a far more stately dance; Tordion, a spirited dance similar in mood to the opening movement; Bransles (pronounced “Brawl”), is a fast country dance continuously building in speed and excitement; Pieds en l’air, is named after the dancers’ instructions which are that the feet should move so gently that they barely touch the floor; and finally, Matachins, an exhilarating sword dance by four men in pretend combat.
Six Studies in English Folk Songs (Vaughan Williams, 1926): Ralph Vaughan Williams is perhaps best known for his work for strings Fantasia on Greensleeves. However, his catalog of works includes: six operas, ballets, film scores, church music, hymn tunes, choral works, partsongs, symphonies, concerti, and many songs. Chamber music plays a rather small part in his total output. The Six Studies in English Folk Songs are one of a handful of Vaughan William's chamber works and was composed in 1926 for cellist May Mukle. There are many alternate versions for violin, viola, clarinet, bassoon, and tuba with piano. Vaughan Williams’ admonition on the setting was that they be "treated with love," and so they are; each song tastefully and skillfully matted and framed to reveal its beauty. The songs are: Lovely on the Water (The Springtime of the Year), Spurn Point, Van Dieman’s Land, She Borrowed Some of Her Mother’s Gold, The Lady and the Dragon, and As I Walked Over London Bridge. This piece was orchestrated by Luis Millán for Kelly Lignitz-Hahn and the Butte Symphony.
Pomp and Circumstance March No. 4 in G (Sir Edward Elgar, 1907): When we say ‘Pomp and Circumstance’, most Americans think of the trio from March No. 1, which is commonly used as a processional for graduations of all kinds in the United States. Actually, Elgar’s Opus 39 is a series of five military marches in various keys of which No. 4 is the second most well-known. The fourth was completed on June 7, and first performed on August 24, 1907 in the Queen’s Hall with Henry Wood conducting. No. 4 is similar to No. 1 in having a lively, rhythmic march section and a very broad lyrical trio melody; it was the first of Elgar’s pieces to be marked ‘nobilmente’. After the trio completes the first time, the march- and then the trio return again. Finally, Elgar shows us that the trio melody and the march theme can fit together in the coda.
Georges Bizet (1838 - 1875)
André Messager (1853 - 1929)
Norman Dello Joio (1913 - 2008)
Sir Edward Elgar (1857 - 1934)
Peter Warlock (1894 - 1930)
Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872 - 1958)
Program notes: October 12, 2013
Program notes for tonight’s performance have been abstracted and modified from: http://communitywomensorchestra.org/ wordpress/cwo-store/program-notes; http://andypease.word press.com/2012/07/26/scenes-from-the-louvre-by-norman-dello-joio/; http://programnotes.wikia.com/wiki/Warlock_-_Capriol _Suite-Matthew Lynch, 2009; http://www.fuguemasters.com/ williams.html), and http://www.elgar.org/ 3pomp.htm.
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