Monday, May 5, 2014

Music @ Main presents, May 21 @ 7:30pm

The Ritz Chamber Players' Spring Finale

Limited Seating -- First-come/First-served

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NOTE - Preregistration will not guarantee admittance. 
Once capacity is reached, safety regulations prohibit further admittance. 

  • Kelly Hall-Tompkins,violin
  • Kenneth Law, cello
  • Terrence Wilson, piano
  • Alison Buchanan, soprano

BEETHOVEN Violin Sonata No. 5 in F major, Opus 24, "Spring"

  • You Can Tell the World (arr. Florence Price)
  • Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Chile (arr. Moses Hogan)
  • City Called Heaven (arr. Hall Johnson)

MILHAUD Quatre poèmes de Catulle

RAVEL Piano Trio in A minor

THE RITZ CHAMBER PLAYERS is hailed by The Baltimore Sun as “one of the most interesting and dynamic ensembles to emerge in recent years.” Boasting some of the world’s preeminent musicians spanning the African diaspora, it brings a fresh, new energy to the classical music genre. Its members perform with prestigious organizations such as the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra and the London Symphony.

Founded in 2002 by clarinetist and Artistic Director Terrance Patterson, the Ritz Chamber Players present a landmark subscription series at the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts in Jacksonville, Florida which combines exceptional artistry on stage with inspiring educational programs in schools and throughout the community. Through its concert series in Jacksonville and performances across the United States, the Ritz Chamber Players continues to build the participation of multicultural audiences that reflect our diverse society.

The Ritz Chamber Players made its highly successful début concert at New York’s Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall to a standing room only crowd, with critics proclaiming the group’s performance “extraordinary” and “vital and fresh.” Most recently, the ensemble's performances have been enthusiastically received in Miami, Atlanta, Baltimore, Los Angeles, Raleigh, the British Virgin Islands, Chicago, and Seattle, and in several New York venues, including Rockefeller University and Lincoln Center.

The Ritz Chamber Players, one of the country's most significant chamber ensembles, celebrated its international radio début on the BBC World Service and WYNC New York with a concert broadcast to more than 40 countries, and its first national television appearance on the 37th Annual NAACP Image Awards. The Ritz Chamber Players have been guests of the highly-praised National Public Radio and the Tavis Smiley Shows and are regular guest of the Madison and Amelia Island Chamber Music Festivals.

BEETHOVEN : Sonata for Violin & Piano No. 5 in F major, Op. 24 “Spring”
      1. Allegro—2. Adagio molto espressivo
      3. Scherzo: Allegro molto—4. Rondo: Allegro ma non troppo
The works of the transcendent German-born composer Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) have come to represent the culmination of the Classical era, and during his "late" period (ca. 1815-1827) he forged the way beyond the Classical tradition into the Romantic, despite the gradual and eventually total degeneration of his hearing. Beethoven’s Violin Sonata No. 5 was published in 1801, placing it in the composer’s “early” period, but contemporary critics were already noticing some of his innovations, even if they didn’t always understand them. Among Beethoven’s 10 violin sonatas the “Spring” Sonata is second in popularity only to his “Kreutzer” Sonata (No. 9).

TRADITIONAL / arranged by FLORENCE PRICE : You Can Tell the World
Having received her first musical training from her mother, at age 14 years Arkansas native Florence B. Price (1887-1953) entered the New England Conservatory, from which she was graduated with honors in 1907. In 1927 Price and her husband left the racial unrest of Arkansas and moved to Chicago, where Mrs. Price was able to concentrate on composing while also resuming her studies. She became teacher/mentor to Margaret Bonds (1913-1972), and together Price and Bonds became among the first African-American women  to gain national recognition as composers. Included among Price’s landmark achievements was the 1933 premiere by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra of her Symphony in E minor (1932). As hinted at in her arrangement of You Can Tell the World, Price frequently drew inspiration from African-American sacred and traditional music.

TRADITIONAL / arranged by MOSES HOGAN : Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Chile
Before succumbing to cancer, composer and choral director Moses Hogan (1957-2003) was much sought after as one of the world's leading interpreters of Spirituals. He arranged and conducted selections for the 1995 PBS television documentary, The American Promise, and his arrangements remain a staple of school, community and professional choirs.

TRADITIONAL / arranged by HALL JOHNSON : City Called Heaven
Born in Athens, Georgia, Hall Johnson (1888-1970) began his career as a violinist, but in the 1920s he changed his focus to choral music. He was particularly interested in showcasing the African-American Spiritual, which he identified as "an art-form which was, and still is, unique in the world of music." In 1925, he formed the Hall Johnson Negro Choir, and he became famous as one the foremost arrangers of Spirituals, especially after the release of the Choir's first recording, issued by RCA Victor in 1928. In addition to concerts, Johnson and his singers were active in radio broadcasts, Broadway musical productions, and motion pictures.

MILHAUD: Quatre poèmes de Catulle, Op. 80
    1. La femme que j'aime dit qu'elle ne voudrait pas s'unir à un autre que moi
     (The woman I love says she does not want to unite with someone other than I)
    2. Voilà où mon âme en est venue (Here is where my soul has come)
    3. Ma chérie, aimons nous (My darling, we are in love)
    4. Ma chérie, en présence de son mari (My darling, in the presence of her husband)
Modernist French composer Darius Milhaud (1892-1974) rose to fame as on of Les Six, a group of young Parisian composers linked to Jean Cocteau and Erik Satie. Published in 1926, these Quatre poèmes de Catulle (Four Poems of Catulle) are settings for voice and violin of verses adapted from the Roman poet Gaius Valerius Catullus (c.84 bce-c.54 bce), considered among the finest lyric poets of ancient Rome.

RAVEL : Piano Trio
     1. Modéré—2. Pantoum: Assez vif—3. Passacaille: Très large—4. Final: Animé
French composer Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) composed his magical PianoTrio in 1914 while working as a volunteer truck driver during World War I. At once elegant, exotic, subtle and brilliant, the Trio was first performed in Paris the following year.  Considered among the finest piano trios ever written, it continues to enthrall both performers and listeners.

¨ 785 LEDERER 2012 Beethoven's chamber music : a listener's guide / Victor Lederer.
¨ 780.8996073 A1W186fr 2002 From spirituals to symphonies : African-American women composers and their music / Helen Walker-Hill.
¨ 782.42 SOUL 2005  Soul praise : amazing stories and insights behind the great African-American hymns and Negro spirituals.
¨ 780.92 R252I  2000 Maurice Ravel : a life / Benjamin Ivry. 

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