Friday, June 20, 2014

Intermezzo : Sunday, November 9 @ 3pm

Vivace Trio 
Gia Sastre & Carolyn Snyder-Menke, flutes
Denise Wright, piano

Antonio Vivaldi (1680-1743)
     Concerto in C Major for Two Flutes, RV 533.
       I. Allegro Molto
     Il Cardellino (The Goldfinch), 1st mvt. from Concerto in D Major, op. 10, no. 3, RV 428

Domenico Cimarosa (1749-1801)
     Concerto in G Major for Two Flutes
         Allegro -- Largo -- Rondo

Franz Doppler (1821-1883)
     Andante and Rondo for Two Flutes and Piano, Op. 25
[YouTube Performance]

Léo Delibes (1836-1891)
     Viens, Mallika, les lianes en fleurs (from Lakmé)

An accomplished flutist and singer, Carolyn Snyder Menke has an A.A. in Music from College of Marin in Kentfield, California and a B.M.E. with a concentration in flute from Indiana University; she later studied privately with Peter Lloyd, principal flute with the London Symphony Orchestra. Among her voice teachers and coaches, Ms. Snyder Menke sang in a masterclass in Oberlin’s Italy program taught by internationally-renowned soprano Elly Ameling, who called Carolyn's performance “perfection!” Among her opera roles, Carolyn has appeared with Atlanta’s Harrower Summer Opera Workshop as "Susannah" (Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro), "The Foreign Woman" (Menotti's The Consul), and "Irma" (Charpentier’s Louise). She won the Thomas Scott Award in Marin County, 2nd place in the NATS competition, and was a quarter-finalist in Savannah Georgia’s American Traditions Competition for Singers.  In addition to the Vivace Trio, Carolyn has performed with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, the Arabesque flute trio, the Marin County Woodwind Quintet and the Arioso Flute Quartet. She has performed for Body and Soul, the Art of Healing since 2001, and also does freelance work.

Acclaimed flutist Gia Sastre hails from Miami, Fla. and holds an M.M from DePaul University in Chicago, a B.M. from FSU, and pursued a resident course of study in Great Britain with Paul Edmund-Davies, principal flutist of the London Symphony Orchestra. In addition to numerous solo engagements, Ms. Sastre performed with a variety of ensembles in Chicago, and received the Farwell Award from the Musicians Club of Women. In 2009, Ms. Sastre returned to Florida where local performances have included  Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf for Jacksonville Public Library, and solo and chamber concerts with the Chamber Music Society of Good Shepherd, Riverside Fine Arts Series, Friday Musicale, Music @ Main, Riverside Presbyterian's Wednesday Happenings and the Advent Series of the First Presbyterian Church of Jacksonville; she also has performed with the Coastal Symphony of Georgia and the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra. Gia works with dedicated and talented students of all ages, serves as member and adjudicator for the Florida Flute Association, and is a founding member of Jax Flutes. Beginning this fall she is teaching applied secondary flute at the University of North Florida, and previously served as flute faculty for the DePaul University Community Music Program in Chicago. Her debut recording, Abellimento, is a collection of flute and harp classics available on Pandora Radio and through online retailers.

Among the First Coast's most sought-after collaborative pianists, Jacksonville native Denise Wright received her Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance from Samford University (Birmingham, Alabama) and her Master of Music in Piano Performance from Indiana University (Bloomington). She performed many times as a soloist with the orchestras at both universities, as well as in numerous solo and collaborative concerts with a variety of instrumental and vocal soloists and ensembles, including a tour of Europe with Samford's Baptist Festival Singers. She was a Professor of Piano at Bethel College (Mishawaka, Indiana), and was a collaborative pianist at both Indiana University and at St. Mary’s College (Notre Dame, Indiana). Returning to Jacksonville in 1991, Ms. Wright assumed the position of pianist at First Baptist Church, and has served as collaborative pianist at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts since 2004. She joined the staff of the University of North Florida in 2007, working with several voice studios as well as with the UNF Opera Ensemble. In the summers of 2010-2012, Denise had the opportunity to perform with the Opera Ensemble as part of the European Music Academy in the Czech Republic, and in the historical Mozart Estates Theater in Prague.

PROGRAM NOTES by Edward 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. He was nicknamed il Prete Rosso ("The Red Priest") owing to his hair color and day job as music teacher in a church-run orphanage. 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. Of Vivaldi's 500+ concertos, the Concerto in C Major, RV 533 is the only one specifically for two transverse flutes (as opposed to the then more-common recorder). As with most of his other concertos, the first movement Allegro molto makes use of a ritornello (Italian for "refrain") in which the opening passage (for the full orchestra) appears several times in different keys, returning to the home key for the closing statement. The six concertos of Vivaldi's op. 10 (1728) were among the very first works for the transverse flute ever published. The subtitle for the third concerto, Il Cardellino (The Goldfinch), is one Vivaldi supplied himself, as the flute part is meant to suggest birdsong.

The Neapolitan Domenico Cimarosa (1749-1801) gained international fame for his 60-plus operas, and for a time was ranked with Haydn and Mozart as the leading composers of the second half of the 18th century. His various appointments included maestro at the conservatory in Venice (ca. 1782), second organist at the royal chapel in Naples ( (1785), maestro di cappella at the Russian court in St. Petersburg (1787-91), and Kapellmeister at the court in Vienna (1791-93), where he composed his most famous comic opera, Il matrimonio segreto (The Secret Marriage). He then returned to the imperial court in Naples, enjoying huge successes with his stage productions while also continuing to compose instrumental music and sacred pieces. That all changed in 1799 after the army of the newly-formed French Republic tried to liberate Naples from its Bourbon master. Cimarosa became a vocal champion of their effort, so when the republicans were driven out he and his fellow liberals were imprisoned with a death sentence imposed. Cimarosa's international supporters interceded and his sentence was changed to banishment from Naples, but he died (among rumors of poisoning) before he could return to the Russian court. His Concerto for Two Flutes in G Major was among the first works he composed in 1793 after returning to Naples. The first movement Allegro is full of the boisterous good cheer one might expect from a master of the comic opera; the gentle duet of the second-movement Largo leads without pause into the Rondo finale.

Virtuoso flutist and composer (Albert) Franz Doppler (1821-1883) arranged and composed much music for two flutes specifically to play with his younger brother, Karl Doppler (1825-1900). Born in Lemberg, Poland (the present-day Lvov, Ukraine), the brothers gained fame touring Europe with their flute duo recitals, and both became prominent members of Hungarian orchestras. Karl eventually settled down as the Kapellmeister in Stuttgart (Germany), while Franz moved to Austria as conductor of the Vienna Court Opera.  Early in their careers, the touring brothers apparently were quite the picture when they performed: the left-handed Karl held his flute "backwards" as it were, creating a mirror image of his right-handed brother as he stood opposite him. Franz was celebrated as a composer especially for his popular ballets, but today he is most remembered for his works that feature the flute. His often-recorded Andante and Rondo for Two Flutes and Piano, Op. 25 remains a favorite not only of flutists, but has been arranged for other combinations of soloists and also with orchestral accompaniment. The lyrical Andante (in A major) has a lively middle section (in A Minor). The concluding Rondo (so-called, but not your typical rondo), alternates an sprightly, elfin tune (in A minor) reminiscent of Mendelssohn with a more lyrical one, but finishes with a variation (in C major) without the usual return to the opening key center.

French composer Léo Delibes (1836-1891) began his professional life in 1853, having completed studies at the Paris Conservatory. Working as a rehearsal pianist and chorus master for operetta and opera productions, he spent a decade at the Théâtre Lyrique before moving up to the more prestigious Paris Opéra; in 1881 he would return to the Conservatory as a composition professor. In the meantime theater life obviously agreed with him, and he enjoyed a long string of successes at first composing light-hearted operettas similar to those by Offenbach. Delibes wrote over two dozen works for the stage, the best-known of which are the ballet Coppelia (1870), and the opera Lakmé (1883), from which Viens, Mallika, les lianes en fleurs (the Flower Duet) is universally known, thanks to British Airways using it in commercials since 1989.

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