Program Notes: Duruflé, Wagner & Barfield

Seattle Symphony musicians return to center stage for the final chamber program of the season to perform both classical and contemporary chamber works written especially for brass and organ, broadcasting live on Thursday, May 27, 2021, at 7:30pm on Seattle Symphony Live.

PROGRAM INFORMATION

THURSDAY, MAY 27, 2021, AT 7:30PM
Duruflé, Wagner & Barfield
CHAMBER SERIES

Seattle Symphony musicians

 

PAUL DUKAS    Fanfare to La Péri

PIERRE DUMAGE    Grand jeu from Premier livre d’orgue

JOSEPH ADAM, ORGAN

EUGÈNE GIGOUT / ARR. MICHEL RONDEAU    Grand chœur dialogué

MARQUES YOUNG    Synthetic Voices

DAVID GORDON, TRUMPET
ALEXANDER WHITE, TRUMPET
JEFFREY FAIR, HORN
KO-ICHIRO YAMAMOTO, TROMBONE
JOHN DICESARE, TUBA

ANTHONY DILORENZO    Tango No. 1

DAVID GORDON, TRUMPET
ALEXANDER WHITE, TRUMPET
JEFFREY FAIR, HORN
KO-ICHIRO YAMAMOTO, TROMBONE
JOHN DICESARE, TUBA

EMMA GREGAN Popcorn

JEFFREY FAIR, HORN
MATTHEW BERLINER, HORN
JOHN TURMAN, HORN
JENNA BREEN, HORN
CHRISTOPHER STINGLE, PERCUSSION
ALEXANDER WHITE, PERCUSSION
SAMUEL SCHLOSSER, PERCUSSION
JOHN DICESARE, PERCUSSION

MAURICE DURUFLÉ    Scherzo, Op. 2

JOSEPH ADAM, ORGAN

ANTHONY BARFIELD    Invictus

RICHARD WAGNER / ARR. JAY FRIEDMAN    Elsa's Procession to the Cathedral from Lohengrin

 

2020–2021 Season Streaming Sponsor: Scan|Design Foundation by Inger & Jens Bruun
David Gordon’s position is generously underwritten as the Boeing Company Principal Trumpet.
Jeffrey Fair’s position is generously underwritten as the Charles Simonyi Principal Horn.
Associate Principal Horn Mark Robbins’ position is generously supported by Stephen Whyte.
Joseph Adam’s performance is generously supported by the Fluke|Gabelein Organ Endowment.

 

PROGRAM NOTES
PAUL DUKAS

Fanfare to La Péri


BORN: October 1, 1865, in Paris, France
DIED: May 17, 1935, in Paris, France
WORK COMPOSED: 1911
WORK PREMIERED: April 22, 1912, at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, France


Paul Dukas was a respected composer and critic within the vibrant music scene of late nineteenth-century Paris. He taught orchestration and composition at the Paris Conservatory and was a close friend of Claude Debussy, who was influenced by Dukas’ use of the whole-tone scale and his mastery of programmatic music. After conducting his symphonic poem, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, in 1897, Dukas became an immediate sensation; the piece later rose to even more fame after being featured in the Disney film, Fantasia. Despite his popularity, Dukas was highly self-critical and destroyed many of his compositions. His ballet, La Peri, is one of the few remaining scores and was the last of his works to be published. The Fanfare, written for the brass section, was added at the last minute as a prelude to the one-act ballet and served to remind the audience to quiet down as they settled in for the performance.

PIERRE DUMAGE

Grand jeu from Premier livre d’orgue


BORN: November 23, 1674
DIED: October 2, 1751
WORK COMPOSED: 1708


Pierre Dumage was a French Baroque organist and composer who first learned to play from his father, who was the organist of the Beauvais Cathedral. He moved to Paris and studied with the famous organist Louis Marchand before procuring a position at the Saint-Quentin collegiate church and later the Laon Cathedral. In 1708, while at Saint-Quentin, Dumage composed the Premier livre d’orgue, a suite of eight pieces in traditional French forms. The Grand jeu is the final piece in the suite. Though Dumage later composed a second suite, this first collection is his only surviving work.

 

EUGÈNE GIGOUT / ARR. MICHEL RONDEAU

Grand chœur dialogué


BORN: March 23, 1844, in Nancy, France
DIED: December 9, 1925, in Paris, France
WORK COMPOSED: 1881


The Grand chœur dialogué, written in 1881, is part of a vast catalog of works by organist and composer Eugène Gigout. At the young age of nineteen, the talented Gigout became the organist for the St. Augustin church in Paris, holding this position until his death in 1925 — a tenure of 62 years! He was known for his virtuosic improvisations and his commitment to teaching. He opened his own school dedicated to teaching organ and improvisation before taking a post at the Paris Conservatory.

 

MARQUES YOUNG

Synthetic Voices

WORK COMPOSED: 2020

Marques Young is a renowned trombonist with a career in classical and jazz traditions. He plays Principal Trombone with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra in Kuala Lumpur and his jazz ensembles have greatly influenced the development of jazz culture in Southeast Asia. Young describes Synthetic Voices as “a musical interpretation inspired by the COVID-19 outbreak and the Arts communities’ response to the digitization of our crafts.” The opening trumpet fanfare announces the virus ringing across the globe and soon develops into chaos marked by driving rhythms punctuated with dramatic silences.

 

ANTHONY DILORENZO

Tango No. 1


WORK COMPOSED: 2016
WORK PREMIERED: October 2016, at the University of Georgia Hugh Hodgson School of Music in Athens, Georgia


Anthony DiLorenzo is an award-winning composer, trumpet soloist and recording artist. His versatile work as a composer ranges from brass quintets to ballets, film scores and television shows. The Center City Brass Quintet premiered his Tango No. 1 in 2016 and it has been a popular selection ever since. The warm tones of the brass quintet blend perfectly with the suave rhythms of the tango for this short and sophisticated interpretation of the timeless dance.

 

EMMA GREGAN

Popcorn


WORK COMPOSED: 2016


Popcorn composer Emma Gregan plays horn in the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and maintains an active career as both a performer and composer. Gregan specializes in works for horn and brass and her compositions have been performed across Australia, the U.S., Europe and Japan. Popcorn is a quick and lighthearted piece. The percussive “popping” sounds can be produced by the players themselves by clapping, stomping and tapping their instruments on a pre-recorded track. For this live performance, percussion instruments add an extra color and timbre to this energetic piece.

 

MAURICE DURUFLÉ

Scherzo, Op. 2


BORN: January 11, 1902, in Louviers, Eure, France
DIED: June 16, 1986, in Louveciennes, Yvelines, France
WORK COMPOSED: 1926


Maurice Duruflé came from a long line of French organ virtuosi who composed mainly for their instrument but also contributed beautiful works to the symphonic repertoire. Although he worked slowly and with intense self-criticism, resulting in a small creative output, Duruflé’s remarkable Requiem is a beloved staple of the genre. He entered the Paris Conservatory in 1920 and studied organ with Eugène Gigout and composition with Paul Dukas, before enjoying an extensive performing and teaching career. Though he was a twentieth-century composer — Stravinsky and Britten were contemporaries — Duruflé remained conservative and reclusive in his life and his musical approach, with strong affinity for Gregorian chant and traditional harmonies. The Scherzo, Op. 2, composed in 1926, is his earliest work for organ. The piece opens with other-worldly sustained chords and quickly moves into more intricate and improvisatory passages, modulating several times through the thematic development.

 

ANTHONY BARFIELD

Invictus


WORK COMPOSED: 2020
WORK PREMIERED: August 7, 2020, at Lincoln Center Plaza in New York City, New York, conducted by the composer


Anthony Barfield is a producer and composer based in New York City. A former professional trombonist, he now produces pop music for major artists and independent feature films. Invictus, meaning “unconquered,” is about New York City over this past year of uncertainty surrounding the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter protests. In speaking with New Yorkers about these times, the composer says, “I’ve learned that people feel a sense of anxiety and yet a sense of community and hopefulness that change for the better is on the horizon. New York is resilient, courageous and adaptable.” According to Barfield, this piece is meant to show that, “despite these troublesome times, we are in fact unconquerable.”

 

RICHARD WAGNER / ARR. JAY FRIEDMAN

Elsa's Procession to the Cathedral from Lohengrin


BORN: May 22, 1813, in Leipzig, Germany
DIED: February 13, 1883, in Venice, Italy
WORK COMPOSED: 1845–1848
WORK PREMIERED: August 28, 1850, in Weimar, Germany, under the direction of Franz Liszt


Elsa’s Procession to the Cathedral comes at the end of the second act of Wagner’s opera, Lohengrin.Based on a medieval legend, the opera centers around a knight in shining armor, who, arriving in a boat pulled by a swan, has come to rescue the city of Brabant from attack. The princess, Elsa, falls in love with him, but he remains nameless. On the night of their wedding, she is tricked into asking his identity, which forces him to return to his homeland, but only after his swan is transformed into Elsa’s long-lost brother. This opera was written at the height of Wagner’s romanticism and before he fully developed his definitive use of leitmotif in the famous Ring cycle. Lohengrin still features the extravagant choruses and spectacular processions of the grand opera tradition, which is on full display at the close of Act 2. This glorious arrangement is by Jay Friedman, Principal Trombone of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

© 2021 Catherine Case

Posted on May 26, 2021

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