Friday, August 30, 2013

Tuesday Serenade, May 6, 2014 @ 7pm

Dr. Ken Trimmins, trumpet
Dr. Mimi Noda, piano
Faculty Artists from Albany State University

Pierre Gabaye
Boutade for Trumpet and Piano
[Video performance]

Ernst von Dohnányi
Capriccio in B Minor, Op. 2, No. 4
[Piano roll performance]

Jacques Castérède
Brèves rencontres: Three Pieces for Trumpet and Piano
1. Divertissement - 2. Pavane - 3. Scherzo
[Video performance]

Ernst von Dohnányi
Aria in C Major, Op. 23, No. 1

George Enescu
Légende for Trumpet and Piano
[Video performance]

Frédéric Chopin
Ballade No. 4 in B Minor, Op. 52
[Video performance]

Eugène Bozza
Caprice No. 1 for Trumpet and Piano, Op. 47
[Video performance]


Dr. Ken Trimmins is a dynamic and versatile trumpet player, composer and educator who excels in both jazz and classical genres. He completed a distinguished 23-year career with the United States Air Force Band, serving as director of operations, musical director and band leader for a number of touring ensembles. As a trumpet soloist, he has been a cultural ambassador for the U.S. Department of State, and his broadcast performances have included appearances on BET Jazz and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Dr. Trimmins holds degrees from Valdosta State University (BA), Mercer University (MM), and FSU (DMA), and has studied with a number of world-renowned artists, including jazz great Bobby Shew, Willie Thomas, Vincent DiMartino, and former Atlanta Symphony principal trumpeter Jim Thompson. Currently Assistant Professor of trumpet, conducting and jazz at Albany State University (Albany, Georgia), Dr. Trimmins previously served on the faculty of Armstrong Atlantic State University, in Savannah. As a jazz artist, he performs with The Ken Trimmins Jazz Quartet.

Dr. Mimi Noda was a collaborative pianist with the Japanese Choral Association before relocating to the United States in 1998 to pursue graduate studies. While earning degrees at the University of Georgia (MM) and Florida State University (DM), she was awarded a number of prizes and scholarships in piano performance, and she also has taught Japanese in FSU’s Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics. In addition to her responsibilities as Assistant Professor at Georgia's Albany State University, Dr. Noda is a keyboardist with the Albany Symphony Orchestra, and she regularly volunteers keyboard performances at Albany's Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital. She also enjoys singing as a member of the Albany Chorale.

PROGRAM NOTES (in alphabetical order by composer's last name) - by Edward Lein, Music Librarian

Although the catalog of French composer Eugène Bozza (1905-1991) includes five symphonies, an opera, and a ballet, he is known primarily for his chamber music for wind instruments.  His Caprice No. 1, Op. 47, dates from 1943, while Bozza was conductor of the Opéra-Comique in Paris. It was written as a contest piece for the Paris Conservatory, and among the technical challenges for the trumpeter is its frequent use rapidly-repeated notes in all registers. The Caprice begins with a rather moody introduction before the capriciousness begins, and the introduction is recalled, momentarily muted, and extended before a jaunty dash to the finish.

Born in Paris on April 10, 1926, French composer and pianist Jacques Castérède (1926-2014) passed away just a few weeks ago, on April 6, 2014.  Among several awards he won while studying at the Paris Conservatory was the prestigious Grand Prix de Rome in 1953, for the cantata La boîte de Pandore (Pandora's Box). In 1960, he returned to the Conservatory as a professor, and also taught in China at the invitation of the Chinese government.  Castérède's output includes works for the stage, vocal and choral music, orchestral music, and chamber music, and, as with so many French composers, he was quite generous in writing chamber music for wind instruments.  The three movements of Castérède's Brèves rencontres ("Brief Encounters) were composed in 1965 as a contest piece for the Conservatory.

The Polish-born pianist Frédéric Chopin was the first composer to make full use of the expressive qualities and coloristic potential of the piano when it was a still-developing keyboard instrument, and he rightly has been called the "Poet of the Piano." Much of all piano music by subsequent composers shows his influence, and his revolutionary use of chromatic harmonies and unusual key relationships profoundly influenced composers of symphonic music and operas as well, such as Franz Liszt and Richard Wagner--thus Chopin's importance in the development of the "Romantic" style in general can not be overestimated.  Chopin is credited with establishing the Ballade as an extended instrumental form, and all four of his solo piano works bearing this title are considered among the crowning achievements of the Romantic period. British pianist and composer John Ogdon (1937-1989) called the Ballade No. 4, Op.52, completed in 1842, ”the most exalted, intense and sublimely powerful of all Chopin’s compositions ... it contains the experience of a lifetime.”

Hungarian-born composer, pianist and conductor Ernst von Dohnáyi (born Ernő Dohnányi, 1877-1960) first gained international recognition as a pianist performing in the tradition of Franz Liszt, and as a composer his first published work, Quintet in C minor, Op. 1 (1895), was introduced to the Viennese public by no less than Brahms himself when Dohnányi was only 18. Between 1905 and 1915 Dohnányi taught in Berlin, and then returned to Hungary where he became a driving force in his homeland’s musical life, both as a teacher and as the conductor of the Budapest Philharmonic. Dohnányi always remained true to his conservative Romantic voice in his own compositions, but he vigorously promoted the music of his younger contemporaries Bartók and Kodály, thereby actively encouraging the development of a modern Hungarian school of composition.  Dohnányi remained in Hungary through most of World War II, but moved first to Argentina in 1944, and finally to Tallahassee, Florida, where he joined the music faculty of FSU in 1949. The Capriccio in B minor is the last of Four Pieces, Op. 2, written in 1897 when Dohnányi was 20.  His Aria in C Major is the first of Three Pieces, Op. 23, composed in 1912.

If you ask musicians to name a Romanian composer, unless they draw a complete blank they almost certainly will answer "George Enescu" (1881-1955), or, as the French say, "Georges Enesco." As fate would have it, Enescu was born the same year as the Kingdom of Roumania (the "u" was dropped later), and he became a national hero in his fledgling homeland. Enescu's compatriots have since named an international airport after him, and changed the name of the village where he was born to "George Enescu." Young George's extraordinary musical gifts were recognized early. He earned the silver medal for his prodigious virtuosity when he graduated from the Vienna Conservatory at age 12, and he entered the Paris Conservatory at 14.  Among the greatest masters and teachers of the violin, Enescu also was so highly regarded as a conductor that he was considered as Toscanini's replacement for the New York Philharmonic, and he just as easily could have become a leading piano virtuoso. Légende was composed in 1906 in collaboration with Merri Franquin, a trumpet professor at the Paris Conservatory who gave the first performance.  The piece incorporates lyrical episodes and virtuoso passages, and utilizes the full range of the trumpet while demonstrating its chromatic capabilities that were only just evolving.  Légende is regarded among the greatest 20th-Century works for trumpet and piano.

French composer and pianist Pierre Gabaye (1930-2000) was at home in jazz as with the classics.  Among numerous prizes from the Paris Conservatory, he won a 1956 Grand Prix de Rome for his cantata, Le Mariage forcé (The Forced Marriage), and 1st Prize in piano at the International Jazz Competition sponsored by Jazz-Hot magazine that same year. His Neoclassical compositions mostly date from the 1950s and 60s, but his last work, Marche pommarde for concert band, was composed in 1988. He taught at the Conservatory in Vésinet, and served as Director for Light Music for Radio France from 1975 to 1990. Despite his many awards, Gabaye’s essentially light-hearted music has never gained wide-spread exposure. He is most remembered for his chamber music for woodwinds and brass, and—if YouTube performances are an indication—his joyous Boutade ("Outburst") for Trumpet and Piano (1957) ranks among the most popular.

No comments: