This recital began as the rain started Friday afternoon. It could be heard falling lightly on the roof and made for a nice moment of repose.
The recital ended up being in two halves since Trio TANTRAMAR was unable to attend. The first half of the program featured the Conundrum Reed Trio: Jennifer Johnson, oboe, Peter Cain, clarinet, and Darrel Hale, bassoon. They performed Sonatine by Michal Spisak in three movements as well as Sonatina by Sandor Veress, also in three movements. Their sound was beautifully balanced and light. These modern works were the perfect start to a rainy afternoon recital.
On the second half of the program was a premiere of a piece titled Hollywood Counterpoint for clarinet and bassoon by Robert Fruehwald performed by Michael Dean, clarinet, and Scott Pool, bassoon. This work is inspired by motion pictures and the composer’s time in Los Angeles. The first movement, Immoral Beloved, is a reaction to many overly sentimental movies about the romances of great composers. It combines a famous theme by Beethoven with a lesser known melody from Bizet’s Carmen. The second movement, Miracle on Wilshire Boulevard seeks to paint the picture of holiday memories as the street is lined with giant candy canes and palm trees. This movement combines the familiar sound of Christmas music with modern compositional technique, so the warm fuzzies one might expect to hear are substituted by a darker, misterioso flavor reminiscent of Stravinsky. The third movement, The Kentuckian, is inspired by many “B” list movies that romanticize frontier life in America. A song by pianist and violinist Anthony Philip Heinrich is used as subject matter for this movement. The movement is bouncy and uses a motive that sounds like the opening four notes of When the Saints Go Marching In. This movement is a rhythmic dialogue between the bassoon and clarinet during which they often have question and answer statements.
–Notes by Senior Airman Jennifer M. Daffinee
Jennifer is a member of the United States Air Force Band of the West and is also finishing her DMA at the University of North Texas with Kimberly Cole Luevano.