Thursday, November 12, 2009

12/14/2009 @ 6:16pm: Linda Minke & Edith Moore-Hubert

Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra cellist Linda Minke and Community Foundation of Jacksonville's 2008 Artist Award winner Edith Moore-Hubert team up for an evening of music for cello and piano or harpsichord.

  • A. Vivaldi: Sonata No. 3 in A minor, RV 43
  • J. S. Bach: Viola da Gamba Sonata II in D major
  • Claude Debussy: Romance
  • G. Faure: Sicilienne, op. 78 ; Apres un Reve ; Au bord de l'eau
  • Alan Hovhaness: Suite for Cello and Piano, op. 193
  • Christopher Norton: Selections from Microjazz

    The harpsichord for this recital is an Italian style instrument built in 2003 by Paulo Maurici, New York, courtesy of Henson Markham.

    Cellist Linda Minke has been an active performer and teacher in the Jacksonville area since 1993. Ms. Minke teaches cello at Jacksonville University, performs with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, and is a member of the Magnolia String Quartet. She plays contemporary music with Ponte Vedra singer/songwriter Mark Williams, frequently performs at Friday Musicale, and has been an active member of the Chamber Music Society of Good Shepherd since its inception in 2003. Additionally, every August since 1983, Linda has had the privilege to play with the Peninsula Music Festival in Door County, Wisconsin.

    Having served as Assistant Principal Cello with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra from 1983-1993, Minke was also a founding member of the Rhodes College Piano Trio. Linda's Master's degree in Cello Performance was earned at University of Memphis (formerly Memphis State University,) where she also received extensive training in Suzuki Violin and Cello Pedagogy. Minke holds two bachelors degrees (one in Cello performance and the other in Music Education) from Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Michigan.

    While home-schooling her son Victor, Linda became well acquainted with the Waldorf Education method, and has integrated Suzuki and Waldorf into her teaching style. She teaches class violin for the Childrens' Enrichment Workshop at the Church of the Good Shepherd and for Jacksonville Symphony's Jumpstart Strings program at Reynolds Lane Elementary. Minke also maintains an active private teaching studio in her home.

    After completing her bachelor’s degree with Hugh Thomas at Birmingham-Southern College, Edith Moore-Hubert continued her piano studies with Herbert Stessin of the Juilliard School. She obtained her master’s degree in piano performance from Manhattan School of Music, where her professors included Solomon Mikowsky, Robert Abramson, Raymond Lewenthal, Gary Graffman and Earl Wild. She has been a member of the music faculties at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Birmingham-Southern College Conservatory, and currently teaches at Jacksonville University and Florida State College at Jacksonville.

    A 2008 winner of an Individual Artist Award from The Community Foundation of Jacksonville, Edie has performed as accompanist in Leipzig, Weimar, Nurnberg, Bern, Strasbourg, New York, Philadelphia, and throughout the Southeast. She is an active chamber musician, performing recently with the San Marco Chamber Music Society and St. Augustine Music Festival, and is organist/pianist at the Fourth Church of Christ, Scientist.

    Edie is working toward a Certificate in the Arts in Healthcare from the University of Florida. Her CD, Music for Body and Soul, funded through the generosity of The Community Foundation of Jacksonville and Polymusic Studios in Birmingham, Alabama, is a collection of classical works suitable for the healthcare setting.

    Program Notes by Ed Lein, Music Librarian

    Music historians often refer to the Venetian violin virtuoso Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) as the composer most representative of the mature Italian Baroque style, and in addition to sonatas and sacred choral music he wrote nearly four dozen operas and over 500 concertos. Nicknamed il Prete Rosso ("The Red Priest") owing to his hair color and day job, as the composer of "The Four Seasons" Vivaldi wrote what have become among the most recognized violin concertos of any era, so it is perhaps surprising that after he died his music remained virtually unknown until the 20th Century. Vivaldi is among the earliest composers to treat the cello as a solo instrument, with almost 30 cello concertos and nine (or so) cello sonatas with continuo accompaniment. This Sonata in A minor, RV 43, is one of six published together in 1740 as “Opus 14,” but it is doubtful that Vivaldi himself had anything to do with their grouping or publication. The movements follow the “slow-fast-slow-fast” pattern of the typical Baroque sonata da chiesa (i.e., “church sonata”), providing the soloist opportunity to display in alternation contemplative elegance and sprightly good humor.

    Although he was dismissed by many of his contemporaries as being too old-fashioned, the great German composer Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) ranks with Beethoven (who himself studied Bach’s music) as among the most influential composers of all time. Bach composed three sonatas featuring the viola da gamba, an instrument typically with guitar-like frets and six strings that was very popular during the Renaissance and was already somewhat archaic in Bach’s time. But the “duo sonata” texture, with the harpsichord sharing in the presentation of thematic material as an equal soloist (rather than merely providing harmonic support as a continuo instrument) was then a new thing. Like Vivaldi, Bach casts Sonata No. 2 in D major, BWV 1028, in the four-movement layout of the sonata da chiesa.

    Achille-Claude Debussy (1862-1918) was a quintessentially French composer, pianist and music critic whose own revolutionary music ushered in many of the stylistic changes of the 20th Century. Debussy is usually identified as the chief proponent of musical “Impressionism,” but he did not approve of that label himself. Debussy’s hauntingly beautiful Romance was the second of two songs for voice and piano published in 1891 as Deux romances. The transcription is by legendary cellist Gregor Piatigorsky (1903-1976), called “the greatest string player of all time,” who became principal cellist first of the Bolshoi Theater at age 15 and then of the Berlin Philharmonic at age 18.

    Composer, organist, pianist and teacher Gabriel Urbain Fauré (1845-1924) was the foremost French composer of his generation. Although he greatly admired the chromatic music of Richard Wagner, Fauré remained relatively free of Wagner’s highly-colored influence and instead led his own harmonic revolution by treating chords with added 7ths and 9ths as consonant and by introducing modal inflections into an essentially diatonic framework. The cello and piano version of Fauré’s Sicilienne, Op.78, was completed by the composer in 1898, salvaged from the incidental music begun in 1893 for an unproduced play, and ironically it became one of its composers best-known works after being orchestrated and inserted into the incidental music for an 1898 production of a different play, Pelléas and Mélisande. Fauré is widely regarded as the greatest master of the French art-song, and the heart-wrenching Après un rêve (“After a Dream”) is perhaps his greatest song. Au bord de l'eau (“On the Bank of the River,” 1875) demonstrates Fauré’s uncanny ability to marry music to words, as the flowing melody and accompaniment conjure the image of the flowing water, and the subtle shifts between major and minor echo doubts about the permanence of love while watching passing clouds and distant smoke dissolve and observing how a flower’s fragrance dissipates--but the belief in love is ultimately affirmed in the optimism of a major chord.

    American composer Alan Hovhaness (born Alan Vaness Chakmakjian, 1911-2000) is perhaps best known for his early works that reflect his Armenian heritage, but his evolving, highly original style eventually incorporated influences from a wide variety of ethnic music from around the world, especially from India and the Far East. With over 500 works to his credit, he was among the first composers to include aleatoric or “chance” passages in some of his works, and he has been credited with anticipating both the minimalist techniques of composers such as Philip Glass and Steve Reich, and the mysticism of John Taverner, Arvo Pärt, and Henryk Gorécki. Hovhaness believed that melody was the most important musical element, and he maintained that good music should communicate directly with all listeners and not only with academically trained music theorists. Consequently, during the early days of his career many "establishment" musicians dismissed him, but his supporters included composers as diverse as John Cage and Howard Hanson, and he maintained a lasting relationship with his daughter’s godfather, Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. Hovhaness's three-movement Suite, Op. 193, was first published in 1962, and lasts about five minutes.

    Following early successes as a composer, concert pianist and rock musician in his native New Zealand, Christopher Norton (b.1953) moved to the United Kingdom in 1977 to study composition at York University. Also a successful arranger and record producer, his compositional output includes a wide variety of music styles ranging from orchestral pieces and ballets to pop songs and music for television programs, but he is most famous for his best-selling Microjazz series, called a “stimulating blend of contemporary popular genres and classical values.” Beginning as a series of piano pieces, the composer has expanded Microjazz to include works featuring the entire range of orchestral instruments.
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