MEMETERIA by Thomas May

Music & the Arts

Bryon Schenkman & Friends Premiere Jonathan Woody’s nor shape of today

Another Jonathan Woody composition: Nigra Sum Sed Formosa: A Fantasia on Microaggressions

For their end-of-season program, Byron Schenkman & Friends juxtapose a world premiere by composer and bass-baritone Jonathan Woody with 19th-century music by Maria Szymanowsk, Francisca Gonzaga, Clara Schumann, Joseph Joachim, and Johannes Brahms. The concert takes place Sunday, May 22, 2022, at Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall at Benaroya Hall, at Third and Union in downtown Seattle, beginning at 7:00  P.M.  (Prices range from $48 for Regular Price, $41 for Seniors, and $10 for Youth and Students with ID.

Woody’s nor shape of today, a BS&F commission, sets a text by Raquel Salas Rivera and was written, according to the composer, as “a companion to Johannes Brahms’s Two Songs for Voice, Viola and Piano, op. 91.” Woody writes: “In our 21st-century existence, many individuals still experience a longing for a place to belong, and I was struck by the similarity between these Romantic sentiments and the experience of trans and non-binary individuals, who face relentless pressure to conform to outdated norms surrounding gender and identity in our supposedly modern world…. I hoped to capture the sense of longing that so many human beings feel to belong, to be loved, and to be safe.”

The program will feature performances by soprano Hailey McAvoy, violist Andrew Gonzalez, and pianists Charles Enlow and Byron Schenkman. 

Complete Program:

Johannes Brahms: 16 Waltzes, op. 39, for piano
Maria Szymanowska: Polonaise in C (c.1820) for piano
Francisca “Chiquinha” Gonzaga: Tango in F Minor “Sospiro” (c.1881) for piano
Jonathan Woody: nor shape of today for mezzo-soprano, viola, and piano
Clara Schumann: Romance in A Minor, op. 21, no. 1 for piano
Clara Schumann: Impromptu in E Major (c.1844) for piano
Joseph Joachim: Hebrew Melody in G Minor, op. 9, no. 1 for viola and piano
Johannes Brahms: Lullaby, op. 49, no. 4, for voice and piano
Johannes Brahms: Two Songs for alto, viola, and piano, op. 91

Tickets available here.

Filed under: Byron Schenkman, commissions, music news

Byron Schenkman & Friends: Schumann Fairy Tales & Fantasies

Tonight at 7pm, Byron Schenkman is joined by clarinetist Thomas Carroll and violist Jason Fisher in a program celebrating the Romantic imagination. Here’s the menu:

R. Schumann:

Fairy Tales, op. 132,  for clarinet, viola, and piano

Marie Elisabeth von Sachsen-Meiningen:

Romance for clarinet and piano

Luisa Adolpha Le Beau:

Three Pieces, op. 26, for viola and piano

Max Bruch:

Romanian Melody, op. 83, no. 5, for clarinet, viola, and piano

R. Schumann:

Robert Schumann: Dreams, op. 15, no. 7, for piano 

R. Schumann:

Fantasy Pieces, op. 73, for clarinet and piano

Max Bruch:

Night Piece, op. 83, no. 6, for clarinet, viola, and piano

Filed under: Byron Schenkman, music news, Schumann

Six Centuries of Keyboard Music by Women

Byron Schenkman & Friends present the following program of Six Centuries of Keyboard Music by Women (available in the video above):

Maddalena Casulana: Amor per qual cagion

See the entire concert https://youtu.be/SzTiG4tMVcQ

Élisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre: Gavotte in A Minor

Specially recorded for this event

Anna Bon: Sonata in C Major, op. 2, no. 4

Specially recorded for this event

Clara Schumann: Nocturne in F Major, op. 6, no. 2, for piano

See the entire concert https://youtu.be/O_WLph0Y2Ts

Teresa Carreño: Un rêve en mer, op. 28

See the entire concert https://youtu.be/3qM-ik4G8zM

Margaret Bonds: Troubled Water

See the entire concert https://youtu.be/3qM-ik4G8zM

Mari Elabel Valverde: “his eyes were in the stars”

Filed under: Byron Schenkman, music news, women composers

Mozart and the Genius of Love

Next up from Byron Schenkman & Friends: on Sunday 14 November 2021at 7:00 PM, Pacific Time, Byron is joined by violinist Rachell Ellen Wong and violist Susan Gulkis Assadi for an all-Mozart program. You can watch the performance free on YouTube (you can donate here).

To get in the mood, tonight, Friday 5 November, Sean MacLean hosts all three musicians in a live studio performance on Classical KING FM 98.1at 8:00 PM. They will play Mozart’s “Kegelstatt” Trio in E-flat major from the upcoming concert and other musical gems Byron wants to share.

Program for 14 November Concert


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart:

Sonata in G Major, K. 301, for violin and piano

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart:

Sonata in C Major, K. 330 (300h), for piano

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart:

Adagio in C Major, K. 356 (617a), for glass harmonica (or piano)

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart:

Trio in E-flat Major “Kegelstatt” K. 498 for violin, viola, and pian

Filed under: Byron Schenkman, Mozart, music news

Joy and Sorrow Across the Waters

UPDATE: Here’s a link to this lovely concert.

Byron Schenkman & Friends launch their ninth season on Sunday, 17 October, with the program Joy and Sorrow Across the Waters. It promises to be a fascinating program, presenting traditional music and stories of the Coast Salish People alongside 17th-century European Baroque music for violin and harpsichord from Spain, Italy, Germany, and the Netherlands. The performers include Native American flutist Paul Chiyokten Wagner, Ingrid Matthews, and Byron Schenkman.

This free digital premiere will launch at 7:00 PM, Pacific Time, and remain available on the BS&F website (www.byronandfriends.org) and the BS&F YouTube channel (https://youtube.com/c/ByronSchenkmanFriends). Free access; donations welcome here.

The program lineup:

Bartolomeo de Selma y Salaverde: Canzona III (for violin and continuo)
Maddalena Casulana: Amor per qual cagion (for harpsichord)
Paul Chiyokten Wagner: Elk Spirit Calls (for flute and drum)
Jan Pieterszon Sweelinck: Unter der Linden grüne (for harpsichord)
Johann Schop: Lachrymae Pavan (for violin and continuo)
Paul Chiyokten Wagner: Skitu: story of a merwoman
Paul Chiyokten Wagner: Gentle Crystalline Waters (for solo flute)
Paul Chiyokten Wagner & Byron Schenkman: Salish Sea Improvisation (for flute and harpsichord)
Andrea Falconieri: La Monarca (for violin and continuo)
Giovanni Battista Fontana: Sonata III (for violin and continuo)

Filed under: Byron Schenkman, music news

Happy Birthday, J.S. Bach!

Byron Schenkman & Friends presents an homage to the Thomaskirche Cantor with Happy Birthday, J.S. Bach! This concert features Joshua Romatowski on flute, Ingrid Matthews on violin, Caroline Nicolas on viol, and Byron Schenkman on harpsichord.

In addition to works by J.S. Bach, this program includes music composed around the time of his birth by Isabella Leonarda and Johann Kaspar Kerll.

 This is a free digital concert and will be streamed at 7:00pm PST on Sunday, March 21, 2021; it will remain available at Byron Schenkman & Friends and on BS&F’s YouTube channel.

The video link above is to BS&F’s February concert, Piano Songs & Fantasies, which offered a remarkable program of Mozart, Teresa Carreño, Florence Price, Johannes Brahms, Margaret Bonds, Hale Smith, and Franz Schubert.

PROGRAM:

Johann Sebastian Bach: Sonata in D major, BWV 1028, for viol and harpsichord
Johann Kaspar Kerll: Passacaglia for harpsichord
Johann Sebastian Bach: Partita in A minor, BWV 1013, for flute
Isabella Leonarda: Sonata, op. 16, no. 12, for violin and continuo
Johann Sebastian Bach: Adagio Cantabile in G major, BWV 1019a, for violin and harpsichord

Filed under: Bach, Byron Schenkman

Stringing and Singing

Attention choral music fans: on Saturday evening 20 February at 5pm PST Seattle Pro Musica, led by Karen Thomas, will inaugurate the series Choral Tapas: Bite-Size Concerts online at youtube.com/seattlepromusica. Broadcasts available for free, donations welcome. No registration required.
Each episode features two choral works (one old, one new), an appetizer demo by Erica Weisman (both a very fine SPM alto and the chef and co-owner of Seattle Cucina Cooking School), and a cocktail recipe by SPM Executive Director and cocktail aficionado Katie Skovholt. Recipes are available here so you can “play along”: Patas Bravas snackRestless Amadeus cocktail
The inaugural event on February 20th features music by Marques Garrett and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

And the Orchestra Now, directed by James Bagwell, will offer a free livestreamed concert on Sunday, 21 Feb. (2pm EST). This program of works for strings includes the world premiere of Falling Together by composer Sarah Hennies, who was recently profiled in The New York Times; and the 2005 piece Popcorn Superhet Receiver by Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood, which was used in the film There Will Be Blood. The program also includes Grieg’s Holberg Suite and Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis by Vaughan Williams.

Access: RSVP at theorchestranow.org starting on January 27 to receive a direct link to the livestream on the day of the concert. This concert will be available for delayed streaming on STAY TŌNED starting on February 25.

AND

On Sunday February 21 at 7pm PST, Byron Schenkman & Friends presents Piano Songs and Fantasies: music by Mozart, Teresa Carreño, Florence Price, Johannes Brahms, Margaret Bonds, Water Hale Smith, and Franz Schubert. William Chapman Nyaho, Joseph Williams, and Byron Schenkman will perform.

Filed under: Byron Schenkman, music news, Seattle Pro Musica

Mozart Birthday Toast

Raise a toast to Mozart with Byron Schenkman & Friends: tonight at 7.30pm PST on the  Town Hall Seattle site (free to $10-15; up to age 22 free)

The livestreamed program includes the E minor Violin Sonata, K. 304 (300c); Six Variations on Au bord d’une Fontaine, K. 360 (374b); and the Piano Quartet in G minor, K. 478. Byron Schenkman is joined by violinist Ingrid Matthews, one of today’s most respected baroque violinists; violist Susan Gulkis Assadi, principal viola at the Seattle Symphony; and cellist Nathan Chan, the assistant principal cello at Seattle Symphony.

Filed under: Byron Schenkman, Mozart

New from Byron Schenkman & Friends

Tune in for Bach & Baroque Virtuosity from Byron Schenkman & Friends on Sunday, 27 December (7:00pm PST). The concert features Rachell Ellen Wong, Andrew Gonzalez, and Byron Schenkman and will remain available for the foreseeable future on the BS&F YouTube channel.

For this concert harpsichordist Byron Schenkman is joined by violinist Rachell Ellen Wong and violoncello da spalla (“cello of the shoulder,” an unusual Baroque instrument rediscovered in recent years) player Andrew Gonzalez. The program journeys through music by Antonio Vivaldi,; Jean-Marie Leclair; Johann Sebastian Bach (the Partita in D Minor, which includes the famous Chaconne); and Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre, who was one of the most-celebrated French composers of her time. In addition to music for violin and harpsichord we offer a rare opportunity to hear the violoncello da spalla (cello of the shoulder), an unusual Baroque instrument only rediscovered in recent years.

Filed under: Byron Schenkman, early music, music news, Uncategorized

Weekend Concert Tips in Seattle

SethParkerWoods_880x250

If you’re in the Seattle are, there’s a lot to choose from this weekend. One more chance to catch the incomparable violinist Gidon Kremer, who has become a major champion of the long-neglected Mieczysław Weinberg (1919-96). Earlier this week, Kremer gave an intimate performance at Octave 9, playing his transcriptions of half of Weinberg’s 24 Preludes for Solo Cello as well as his vast First Sonata for solo violin and the Bach D minor Chaconne.

Under Dausgaard’s baron, he will perform Weinberg’s Violin Concerto (from 1960) again on Saturday evening. Last night’s account was a major discovery, leaving me moved, thrilled, enraptured–and hungry for more. Weinberg is routinely compared to Shostakovich (same thing happens to Galina Ustvolskaya), but for all the superficial resemblances, I was drawn to Weinberg’s distinctive lyricism and the pockets of hopefulness he weaves into this score. It delighted me no end that Kremer chose what I immediately selected as my favorite of the Preludes for his encore.

The rest of the program was magnificent: Dausgaard mixed rich oil with theatrical flair in the Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture — Tchaikovsky’s early breakthrough — and brought out many a smile from the musicians in a heartfelt, vibrant, even deliriously unbuttoned interpretation of Dvořák’s Symphony No. 8. SSO principal flutist Demarre McGill’s exquisite solos alone negated any excuse to miss this.

Sunday brings a real feast. Octave 9, which has been on overdrive lately with not-to-be-missed concerts, will present one of the most compelling young cellists at work today: Seth Parker Woods, in a program titled Difficult Grace. The teaser reads: “Inspired by Dudley Randall’s poem “Primitives,” this interactive concert features five world premieres and one Seattle premiere by Monty Adkins, Nathalie Joachim, Pierre Alexandre Tremblay, Fredrick Gifford, Ryan Carter and Freida Abtan. ‘Difficult Grace’ showcases an array of visual art and music by some of today’s most imaginative storytellers.”

Parker Woods is also a brilliant curator, so there’s bound to be some excellent discoveries here. More background on the cellist.

Elsewhere in the Benaroya Hall complex on Sunday evening, Byron Schenkman & Friends will perform a program enticingly titled Baroque Bacchanalia. The wonderful harpsichordist Byron Schenkman has curated an evening of selections on mythological themes by Bernier, Campra, Jacquet, and Rebel, with bass-baritone (and composer) Jonathan Woody as the featured vocalist.

Earlier on Sunday, Early Music Seattle presents a semi-staged production of Vivaldi’s Motezuma at Town Hall. This version was reconstructed and reimagined by Matthias Maute, music director of the Montreal-based Ensemble Caprice Music Director. The Other Conquest, a response to Vivaldi’s colonialist distortions by composer Héctor Armienta and Seattle poet Raúl Sánchez, is being presented Saturday evening (free of charge) at Broadway Performance Hall.

Also Sunday afternoon: Temple de Hirsch Sinai on Capitol Hill (1441 16th Ave) is presenting a free concert at 2pm featuring pianist Judith Cohen, SSO clarinetist Eric Jacobs, and violinist Hal Grossman. Their program is titled Bernstein, Copland, Bloch, & Gershwin: Legendary Jewish Composers of the 20th Century. I’m especially looking forward to hearing Copland’s Vitebsk Trio, a study in quarter-tones from 1929. The concert is actually just one of a weekend-long series of events at Temple de Hirsch Sinai celebrating Shabbat Shirah (Shabbat of Song).

Filed under: Byron Schenkman, Gidon Kremer, music news, Seattle Symphony, Seth Parker Woods, Thomas Dausgaard

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