Category Archives: Lagniappe Recital

Lagniappe Recital: Wilkens-Wang-Bartnik

Opening the concert, Crowl’s work was performed with energy and enthusiasm. Jairo Wilkens, from the Symphony Orchestra Campinas-Sao Paulo, displayed a wonderful command of the contemporary techniques required. This work was extremely challenging both technically and endurance-wise. Bravo to both performers for sharing it with us.

Next up was clarinetist Alice Wang with soprano Misook Yun. They performed James Sclater’s Four Songs on Texts by Emily Dickinson. They blended wonderfully and both the voice and clarinet had a pleasant warmth. They were then joined by pianist Cicilia Yuhda for Schubert’s Shepherd on the Rock, a cornerstone of the repertoire. This was a beautiful performance, sensitive and emotional.

The recital concluded with two pieces performed by Louisiana native and professor from Nicholls State, Dr. Michael Bartnik. First up, Rosita Iglesias by Carlos Guastavino performed alongside Luciana Soares (Steinway Artist, Nicholls State University). Bartnik had a very expressive color palate and it suited the work. He then performed Liduino Pitombeira’s Suite for Clarinet (which was commissioned by Patty Martin). This work is in three movements for solo clarinet. The first and third (“Maracatu “and “Frevo”) are Brazilian dances used for carnaval. The second, “Acalanto,” is a lovely lullaby. Bartnik’s sensitivity and beautiful colors and tones were shown off here most of all. This was a lovely work and a perfect ending to a wonderful recital on this beautiful day in Baton Rouge!

–Notes by Dr. Dawn Marie Lindblade
Dr. Lindblade is the Assistant Professor of Clarinet at the University of Central Oklahoma and is a Clinician at Clarinet Pro Workshops, Austin Texas.

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Lagniappe Recital: Musco-Copeland-Keogh-Monroe

The recital opens with Ms. Musco and Mr. Copeland performing Wood and Wind by Carlos Velez. The first movement, “Willow’s Litany,” begins pianissimo in the lowest range of the clarinet duo requiring excellent breath control and intonation throughout the movement. Written in a soulful medieval-esque counterpoint, the music at times soars into the strident upper range. The second movement, “Maelstrom,” has a feeling of perpetual motion. Ms. Musco and Mr. Copeland play almost constantly, creating a shimmering, glittering texture.

Next, Ms. Keogh performs Ventus et Unda by David Ikard, with Mr. Ikard performing as live sound technician.

The opening sounds from the amplified bass clarinet and recorded electronic tracks are primeval, eerie, ethereal. At one point Ms. Keogh furiously clacks the keys on her bass clarinet without playing, creating a crackling sound unique to that instrument. The music builds to an apocalyptic climax, and then gradually fades to nothing. Before the end, at times in the electronic track one can faintly hear B-flat clarinets.  There’s a story in this intriguing work; I don’t know what it is, but I like it!

–Notes by Sam Davies
Sam Davies recently completed his first year of DMA study with Dr. Guy Yehuda at Michigan State University. At MSU Davies can be heard performing with the Wind Symphony, Symphony Orchestra, chamber ensembles, and new student compositions.

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Lagniappe Recital: Lori Ardovino

Lori Ardovino presented a charming work for voice, clarinet, and piano. Filled with colorful text, the piece wistfully combines the vocal and clarinet lines in a clever manner. Through the use of independent lines, Walker’s piece sets the clarinet in a manner that never distracts the listener from clearly hearing the sung and spoken text. A diverse texture adds variety and contrast throughout the movements. Lori’s beautiful execution of the work was evident in her precise attention to the vast articulations and musical nuance necessary when working with voice. Soprano Melanie Williams’ beautiful voice soared seamlessly with clear diction and finesse.  Brava ladies!

–Notes By Dr. Victor Chavez, Jr.
Dr. Victor Chavez, Jr. teaches at The University of Tennessee in Knoxville as Lecturer in Clarinet and currently performs with the Tri-Cities Opera Company in Binghamton, New York.

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Lagniappe Recital: Memphis and Tara Winds

memphisClarinetFest 2014 prides itself on showing outstanding clarinet ensembles and chamber groups from across the United States and the world, and this afternoon’s recital at Shaver Theater was no exception.  The Memphis Clarinet Quartet, comprised of students from the University of Memphis Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music, provided the opening performance, while a clarinet choir from Tara Winds, an adult group of performers centered in Atlanta, Georgia, provided the lion’s share of the afternoon’s musical selections.

Memphis opened the recital with Jack Cooper’s Three Movements. The four players were very attentive to one another, with many varieties of coordination seen in their bodies and instruments from the audience. The group seemed very comfortable with itself, and it would be a great pleasure to hear them again in the future.

tarawindsTara Winds took the stage in matching blue polo shirts, with a confident demeanor to boot. Their hilarious rendition of Julius Fucik’s March of the Gladiators was a great introduction for their ensemble.  The group sported a delightful blend of high and low timbres that were both highly noticeable and easily blended together in the ear. Other highlights of their performance included an unpublished arrangement of Franz Lizst’s Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2. Tara’s very own Dickson Grimes provided the interesting orchestration, which made heavy use of all auxiliary instruments, as well as the B-flat clarinets. Tara’s two conductors, each taking the baton for half of the program, displayed great skill in addition to their performers. It is clear that some hard work has been done in Georgia!

–Notes by Joel Auringer
Joel Auringer is a recent graduate of Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He currently maintains a private studio in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas metroplex, and will begin doctoral study at the University of North Texas in the fall.

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Lagniappe Recital: Webb-Morrison-Geller

This evening’s Lagniappe recital was a veritable potpourri of old favorites and new and neglected works.

Jody Webb opened the recital with two infrequently performed works by eclectic English composer Josef Holbrooke. Webb’s first selection, Eileen Shona, was originally included in Holbrooke’s quintet Mezzotints, but was later reassigned (as Holbrooke was often wont to do) as the second movement of his Quintet Op. 27. This piece’s conversational style was well executed by clarinetist Jody Webb and accompanist Willis Delony. Webb’s second selection, Cyrene, was originally a movement in Holbrooke’s saxophone concerto. It was filled with Debussian flourishes in the piano, as well as melodic lines reminiscent of Debussy’s La fille aux cheveux de lin. Webb’s final selection, Holbrooke’s Apollo Quintet was omitted.

duetAmanda Morrison, joined by flautist Dan Parasky, presented a very interesting duet, Kurt Knecht, 3 Pieces in 3 Styles. Each of the three movements, Duel, Suspension, and Rikud, quite accurately and literally described the overall styles! The first movement particularly showed off the range of the clarinet through use of small, repetitive note groupings. Morrison and Parasky’s communication was excellent throughout their performance, but perhaps best demonstrated in the third and final movement, Rikud. Knecht brought the Rikud (an Israeli folk dance) to life through use of minimalist-style repeated rhythmic cells. Morrison and Parasky did an excellent job of bringing out the variances in articulation styles (particularly the slap-tonguing).

Geller

Geller

The recital concluded with a performance by Jeff Geller of two works, the much loved and oft-performed Osborne Rhapsody, and a little known work by Edward MacDowell, Three Pieces for Clarinet and Piano. Geller’s performance of the Osborne was nuanced and thoughtful. The MacDowell, new to the reviewer’s ears, was a lovely ramble. Geller’s chalumeau was particuflarly lovely in the first movement, Lover. The final movement, from Dwarfland, was a sparky, fun little romp, and an excellent finish to a lovely recital.

–Notes by Nora Shaffer
 Nora Shaffer, a recent DePaul University graduate (CER ‘14, MM ‘12), is a passionate performer and dedicated teacher in the ChicagoLand area. Additionally, she is Principal and E-flat Clarinetist with the Lake Effect Clarinet Quartet.

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Lagniappe Recital: Conundrum Reed Trio—Trio TANTRAMAR–Dean/Pool

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.

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Lagniappe Recital: Nichols-J.L. Quartet-Cavell Trio-Carolina Clarinet

friduoThe 9:00 AM recital on Friday featured a full program with four ensembles performing. The opening piece, Cuicani by Mario Lavista, was performed by Mary-Elizabeth Thompson, flute and Christopher Nichols, clarinet. This soft and mysterious work displayed the performer’s dark tones and sensitivity to pitch and intervals with microtones and different tones enhancing the sounds of the duo.

Trois Scèces pour J.L. was conducted by composer Dan Welcher, who wrote the piece in dedication to former University of Louisville clarinet professor James Livingston. Performers in the J.L. Quartet included Sheri L. Rolf (E-flat clarinet), Matthew Nelson (clarinet), Solomon Baer (clarinet), and Richard Nunemaker (bass clarinet). Each movement represents different elements of Livingston’s life and interests, focusing on his love of everything French. Idée Fixes was based on the music of Berlioz, and introduced the ensemble’s powerful sound. Rêves des oiseaux was a serious movement featuring independent lines for all players, Callimachus, Le chat de la bibliothèque was inspired by Livingston’s wife’s librarian career, and their cat named after the first librarian, Callimachus. This movement concluded the quartet with a fun Ravel-style waltz.

fritrioShelly Myers (oboe), Osiris J. Molina (clarinet), and Jenny Mann (bassoon) of the Cavell Trio performed two pieces on the recital. Two Girls and a Boy by Amir Zaheri began with slow, staggered lines that showed off the trio’s fantastic ensemble blend and cohesion. Sept Vignettes by James Chaudoir is a work that includes several styles and tempi. The ensemble frequently uses the piece to help younger audiences think about musical imagery. It moves through perky and dissonant selections to more lyrical and expressive moments, creating a nice variety to close the trio’s set.

Carolina Clarinet, including Brent Smith (clarinet), Katie Vedder (bass clarinet), Shirley Violand-Jones (clarinet), Jim Williams (clarinet), closed the concert with three quartet pieces. Arrangements were done by Katie Vedder and Jim Williams. Denneriana by André Bloch had a memorable melody and nice blend in the ensemble accompaniment. Rhapsody, Op. 72, No. 2 by Johannes Brahms was a very nice quartet arrangement of the piano solo. The final work, Grand Waltz by Nobuo Uematsu ended the recital with an upbeat waltz featuring active parts for all performers.

–Notes by Jennifer Tinberg
Jennifer Tinberg is currently Adjunct Clarinet Faculty at Troy University and a doctoral student at Florida State University.

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Lagniappe Recital: Bish-Scott-Andrus

Friday morning started bright and early with a wonderful offering of different pieces by clarinetists Deborah Bish, Shannon Scott, and Deborah Andrus. The concert was filled with different instrumentations and timbres and was sure to please even the sleepiest convention attendee!

bish

Dr. Bish and pianist Reed Gainsford

Dr. Deborah Bish, Associate Professor of Clarinet at Florida State University, began the morning wish a rousing arrangement of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. Her jazzy glissandos and rich timbre brought great excitement to the performance. Her collaborative pianist, Read Gainsford, played with richness, power, and wonderfully balanced balanced with Dr. Bish’s playing.

Next on the recital was Dr. Shannon Scott, Instructor of Clarinet and Music History at Washington State University, performing Ryan Hare’s Drei charakteristische Übungen. The work showcased a different clarinet for each of the three movements, so Dr. Scott had ample opportunity to play on E-flat clarinet, B-flat clarinet, and bass clarinet. The work had many different moods, alternating between soft and musing tones in the bass clarinet to strong flutter-tongue passages in the E-flat clarinet.

andrus

Dr. Deborah Andrus (left) and NoraNohraku Suggs (right)

The recital ended with Dr. Deborah Andrus, Artist-Lecturer in clarinet at Moravian College, in conjunction with Nora Nohraku Suggs, a professional shakuhachi and flute performer. The work was an arrangement of a traditional Japanese tune, Shika no Tone, which depicts the embrace of two deer during the mating season. The shakuhachi was particularly noticeable, with a distinct timbre. Both performers, through the use of several music stands, came closer together throughout the work to depict the closeness of the deer. The balance between players was outstanding and the work was very memorable.

-Joel Auringer is a recent graduate of Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He currently maintains a private studio in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas metroplex, and will begin doctoral study at the University of North Texas in the fall.

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Lagniappe Recital: Berberian-Hunt-Berti

Ms. Berberian opens the recital with a mournful and languishing piece called Oror (Lullaby) by Hampartzoum Berberian. Interjections of brilliant technical runs punctuate a mostly subdued texture.  Dreamily, a rhapsodic opening leads to more energetic technique in the first movement of Armenian Stirring by Joseph Spaniola. The middle movement is another somber Oror, and the last movement, Through the Darkness, A Light, gradually grows out of the somewhat solemn atmosphere and ends on a joyous and triumphant note.

Mr. Hunt performs two pieces on bass clarinet. The first is unaccompanied, Saeta by Alvaro Bertrand. Mr. Hunt showcases his formidable bass chops, switching easily from barely audible pianissimos to forceful blurs of arpeggios. The next piece features Ms. Myers as narrator for Allan Bank’s Fantasy Variations on the Turkish Lady. She reads an exciting Turkish tale of the high seas, prison, and love, with bass accompaniment. Or is the story the accompaniment to the bass? At times when the story and bass both grow agitated and intense it becomes difficult to follow both at the same time. The addition of spoken word provides a distinct contrast to a bass clarinet and bassoon duet.

Mr. Berti continues with Chips Off the ‘Ol Block by Eric Mandat, displaying extended techniques including some truly gorgeous multiphonics and a delightful swinging flutter tongue section. Next is Sonata for Bass Clarinet and Piano by Arthur Gottschalk. Sharp, short piano chords immediately set up a quick and agitated atmosphere, starkly different from much of the music in this recital. This vibrant music leaves Mr. Berti unable to stand still; he dances and bounces next to the piano as he effortlessly blazes through franticly difficult technical passages. The second movement, Motet – Ancient Incantations, Mr. Berti slowly drones with a beautiful, lyrical sound. The finale Green Dolphy Street Boogie is upbeat and lively. Ms. Andrist (piano) at time claps, as well as playing with one hand and slapping the piano with the other, while Mr. Berti occasionally stomps and snaps his fingers. Together they form a bass clarinet, piano, percussion quartet! Near the end Mr. Berti jumps with both feet, gaining considerable altitude, and landing with a resounding thud that provides both an amusing and rhythmically appropriate effect for this movement.  The piece closes with a dazzling riff soaring up and down the range of the instrument, a spectacular end to the concert!

–Notes by Sam Davies
Sam Davies recently completed his first year of DMA study with Dr. Guy Yehuda at Michigan State University. At MSU Davies can be heard performing with the Wind Symphony, Symphony Orchestra, chamber ensembles, and new student compositions.

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Lagniappe Recital: Rowlett-Rodgers-Grantier-Turner-Forward 4 Quartet

The Lagniappe recital at 1:00 Thursday was well attended and opened with a spirited performance of Kenji Bunch’s Cookbook by Michael Rowlett and Stacy Rodgers. The duo navigated the difficult piece with ease.

The second work was Luigu Bassi’s Gran Duetto Concertato sopra motivi dell’opera La Sonnambala. The two clarinet performers, Laura Grantier and Tia Perdomo Turner, were both technically dazzling. A difficult and impressive performance from two of the United States Navy Band’s finest.

The last group to perform was the Forward 4 Clarinet Quartet: Henry Caceres, Kattiusca Marin, Samuel Noyce, and Jairo Velazquez. They opened their portion with Jorge Montilla’s Four for Four. Next up was a wonderfully silly performance of Clownery for Clarinets by Harry Stalpers complete with red noses, large polka dot bow ties and clown hats! They closed the concert joined by John Coppa performing Klezmer Dances by Goran Frost arranged by their own Henry Caceres. The last piece especially was a hit. Some impressive multiple tonguing and flutter tonguing was employed.

The crowd enjoyed a break from the serious side of classical clarinetting with this recital. Fun had by all!

–Notes by Dr. Dawn Marie Lindblade
Dr. Lindblade is the Assistant Professor of Clarinet at the University of Central Oklahoma and is a Clinician at Clarinet Pro Workshops, Austin Texas.

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