Thursday, November 3, 2011

Intermezzo Sunday Concert, 12/11/2011 @ 2:30 p.m

The Sterling Brass

Music of the Season & Year-round Classics

BRUCE BYRD trumpet
AMY SCOTT trombone

  • Serenade (1st movement from Eine kleine Nachtmusik, by W.A. Mozart, arranged by Jeff Tomberg)
  • Nessun Dorma (from Turandot, by Giacomo Puccini, arranged by Angelo Anton)
  • 3 Elizabethan Madrigals (by Thomas Morley and John Dowland, arranged by Walter Barnes)
        1. Morley: My Bonnie Lass -- 2. Dowland: Come Again, Sweet Love Doth Now Invite -- 3. Morley: Now is the Month of Maying
  • Gloria (from Nelson Mass, by Joseph Haydn, arranged by Walter Barnes)
  • Rondeau (by J.J. Moret, arranged by Walter Barnes)
  • My Heart Ever Faithful (by J.S. Bach, arranged by Walter Barnes)
  • March (1st movement from Second Suite in F, by Gustav Holst, arranged by Jerry Nowak)

  • From A Celebration of Carols, arranged by Lani Smith
          Joy to the World -- O Come, All Ye Faithful -- The First Nowell
  • Sleigh Ride (by Leroy Anderson, arranged by Tim Jameson)
  • From A Celebration of Carols, arranged by Lani Smith
          Angels We Have Heard On High -- Away in a Manger -- Silent Night (F.X. Gruber) -- We Wish You a Merry Christmas
  • Hallelujah Chorus (from Messiah, by. G.F. Handel, arranged by Walter Barnes)

The Sterling Brass was formed in May 2010, and in addition to providing music for weddings and other private functions, the quintet is committed to introducing audiences to new music for brass quintet, and especially to introducing the genre to young audiences and inspiring young performers.
By day, Jason Boddie (trumpet) is in the Financial Services industry, but musically he is a regular at Frankie's Jazz Jam in Fernandina Beach, and he is a mentor to beginning brass players.
Fernandina Beach native Bruce Byrd (trumpet) plays both the trumpet and cornet in the Nassau Community Band, and he is graciously sitting in with The Sterling Brass while trumpeter Megan Yates is on Maternity leave. Bruce is a Process Control Engineer, and some of his hobbies, in addition to music, are fishing and his grand kids.
Shaun Bennett (horn) has a degree in Music Theory and Composition from Jacksonville University, and his studies also included a semester at the New Zealand School of Music in Wellington, New Zealand. In addition to playing horn with the Coastal Symphony of Georgia in Brunswick, Shaun is the brass instructor at North Florida Music Academy in Orange Park.
Amy Scott (trombone), a graduate of the University of Indianapolis, is a music educator and professional trombonist. She is the conductor of the Nassau Community Band at the Amelia Arts Academy in Fernandina Beach.
Paul Mullen (tuba) holds a Masters in Music Composition from the University of Missouri, and a degree in Music Theory from Stetson University. Paul teaches privately and is active as a clinician, and also plays with the Nassau Community Band.

Austrian-born Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791), unquestionably one of the greatest composers in history, began his career touring Europe as a 6-year-old piano prodigy, and he absorbed and mastered all the contemporary musical trends he was exposed to along the way. Mozart wrote 22 operas, 40 symphonies (“No. 37” is by Michael Haydn, but with a new introduction by Mozart), 27 concertos, chamber music, piano sonatas, and choral music, numbering over 600 works all together. From among all of these, the first movement of Eine kleine Nachtmusik ("A Little Night-music," 1787), K. 525, is probably the most-recognized piece by the public at large.

Giacomo Puccini (1858–1924) came from a long line of Italian church musicians, and it was assumed he’d inherit the “family business” in Tuscany. But a fateful trek from Lucca to Pisa to see Verdi’s Aïda convinced Puccini to give up organ pedals for footlights, and he became the only real successor of Verdi in the realm of Italian opera. When he died of throat cancer the whole of Italy went into mourning, and no opera composer since has enjoyed the same kind of sustained international following that Puccini still has. Based on a folktale from The Arabian Nights, Puccini’s exotic final opera, Turandot, was left unfinished at his death, but that hasn’t stopped its 3rd-act aria, Nessun dorma (“None shall sleep”), from becoming the biggest-ever “crossover” hit, owing primarily to the international commercial success of Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti (1935-2007). Although he rarely performed in stage productions of the entire opera, Nessun dorma became Pavarotti’s signature song, and when he was too sick to receive his Lifetime Achievement Award during the 1998 Emmy broadcast, the legendary Aretha Franklin (b. 1942) stepped in and provided a soulful live tribute performance of the aria (in the original key!), in a thrilling, non-operatic style uniquely her own.

Walter H. Barnes has made numerous arrangements for brass instruments in association with what is perhaps the most famous brass quintet of all, the Canadian Brass. For 3 Elizabethan Madrigals, Barnes chose works by two of the most famous English composers of the late Renaissance, Thomas Morley (1557?-1602) and John Dowland (1563-1626), and adapted three of their pieces that still enjoy frequent performances in a wide variety of arrangements. English madrigals were inspired by contemporary Italian part-songs on secular texts, and they were composed primarily for amateur singers and instrumentalists. They became the predominant form of popular music in England from the late 1580s until about 1630, and Morley more than any other is credited with driving the "craze." Dowland (pronounced "DOO-land" during his time) was famous throughout Europe for his singing and lute-playing, and Come Again, like many of his "Songes or Ayres," was published for performance by one to four voices, with or without lute accompaniment.

Genial Austrian composer (Franz) Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) is the musician most credited with establishing the “Classical” style that his two younger contemporaries, Mozart and Beethoven, built upon, and by the time of his death "Papa" Haydn had become the most widely celebrated composer in Europe. Nicknamed the “Nelson Mass” in honor of Britain’s Admiral Horatio Nelson, Haydn’s Missa in Angustiis ("Mass for troubled times," Hob. XXII:11) premiered in 1798, shortly after Lord Nelson had dealt the first hard blow to Napoleon’s intended world domination. The Mass has been singled out as Haydn’s finest work, and its second movement Gloria has rightly been called an unqualified “song of exultant praise.”

By the time he was in his twenties, French Baroque composer Jean-Joseph Mouret (1682-1738) had become one of the most successful musicians living in Paris. But then, as now, musical styles were ever-evolving, and Mouret could neither adapt to changing musical tastes nor cope with his eventual fall from fashion, and when he died he was penniless and confined to an insane asylum. Although the majority of his works remain virtually unknown, today one would be hard-pressed to name another piece from the French Baroque more recognized than this Rondeau, thanks to its becoming the trademark theme music for PBS's Masterpiece Theatre in 1971.

Although he was dismissed by many of his contemporaries as being too old-fashioned, the great German composer Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) now ranks with Beethoven (who himself studied Bach’s music) as the most influential composers of all time. My Heart Ever Faithful is the English title of Mein gläubiges Herze, from Bach’s Cantata No. 68 (Also hat Gott die Welt geliebt). Originally sung by solo soprano, it is one of Bach's most popular arias.

British composer Gustav Holst (1874-1934) composed over 200 works, but in America his fame with the general public rests squarely on his brilliant orchestral suite, The Planets (1920). That being said, Holst's two Suites for Military Band (1909 and 1911, respectively) remain cornerstones of the band repertoire. The Second Suite, Op. 28, no. 2, makes use of British folk tunes, with the 1st movement March including Glorishears (Morris Dance), Swansea Town, and Claudy Banks.

Equally at home in pop and jazz, as well as classical styles, Lani Smith is a graduate of the College-Conservatory of Music of the University of Cincinnati, with Bachelor and Master degrees in composition. He has composed and arranged thousands of organ, choral and piano pieces, and has composed over 30 cantatas. A recipient of a Rockefeller Foundation grant, he has received numerous commissions and awards, including Columbia University's Bearns Prize in Composition. For his A Celebration of Carols, for brass quintet, Mr. Smith arranged 10 holiday favorites, seven of which are included on today's program.

American composer Leroy Anderson (1908-1975) studied music at Harvard University, earning both bachelor's and master's degrees. But his doctoral work at Harvard was in German and Scandinavian languages, and during World War II he became a translator for the Army, eventually (in 1945) ending up in the Pentagon as Chief of the Scandinavian Desk of Military Intelligence. Of course now he is most remembered as one of the best American composers of light orchestral music, largely thanks to the championship of his works by Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops Orchestra. Sleigh Ride became something of a signature song for the Boston Pops, and even as recently as last year, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) announced it as their "Most-Played Holiday Song."

George Frideric Handel (1685-1759) ranks with J.S. Bach (1685-1750) and Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) as among the most enduring Baroque-period composers. Born in Germany as Georg Friedrich Händel, he settled in London in 1712, Anglicized his name and became a naturalized British subject. Handel's sacred oratorio, Messiah (1741), contains some of the most-recognized music in the history of Western music, and the Halleluja Chorus in particular is undoubtedly his single most-recognized piece.

No comments: