Friday, March 4, 2011

Faculty Artist Recital: Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sonata Prima Giovanni Antonio Bertoli (1598 – after 1645)
Sonata for Bassoon and Piano Luboš Sluka (b. 1928)
Andante sostenuto
Allegro energetico
Rhapsody for Bassoon and Piano Walter Mays (b. 1941)

Sonata V in F major, ZWV 181,5 Jan Dismas Zelenka (1679 - 1745)
Nora Lewis, oboe
Thomas Grubb, harpsichord
Mark Foley, bass

7:30 PM - Weidemann Hall, WSU campus.

Sonata Prima Giovanni Antonio Bertoli (1598 – after 1645)
Published in Venice in 1745, the collection Compositioni musicali is a set of nine sonatas for bassoon and continuo. It is the earliest known published set of solo sonatas for bassoon. Bertoli, a bassoonist himself, dedicated the collection to Brescia Cathedral organist Francesco Turini, who had persuaded him to publish the works. Although they are titled “Sonata,” they are similar in structure to fantasies and canzoni. Sonata Prima features a number of increasingly embellished variations on a simple melody.
Sonata for Bassoon and Piano Luboš Sluka (b. 1928)
Luboš Sluka was born September 13, 1928 in Opočno, Czech Republic. He studied percussion, conducting, and composition at the Conservatory of Prague, where he completed his studies in 1955. Sluka had been accepted as an apprentice to Arthur Honegger in 1951; however, due to political reasons, he was unable to travel to Paris. In addition to his work as a composer, he worked in television and as a vocal coach, and served as editor-in-chief of the Paton music publishing company. After the Velvet Revolution of 1989 and the dissolution of Czecholoslovakia, Sluka became an important figure in post-communist Czech Republic, becoming the chairman of the Society of Composers in 1992 and of the Association of Musical Artists and Scientists in 1995.
Sluka’s music draws on influences from other Czech composers of the twentieth century, including Leoš Janáček, Josef Suk, and Bohuslav Martinů. The Sonata for Bassoon and Piano was published in 1971, and also has been published in versions for ‘cello and bass clarinet.

Walter Mays, Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of Music, Wichita State University
Rhapsody for Bassoon and Piano consists of three sections that are played without pause. The first section opens with a plaintive lyric dialogue that eventually evolves into an extended cantilena up upper register bassoon against piano arpeggios. There are also mysterious episodes of microtonal fluctuation around single tones.
The second section is fast and metric, developing the ironic staccato of the bassoon and percussive gestures in the piano. This section employs three ideas in an arch form. At the climax of the middle section ideas from the first part return in slow tempo, first the cantilena passage followed by one of the opening lyric motives transformed into a funeral march. The work ends quietly with an air of mystery and uncertainty. The harmonic language is a mixture or free atonality, tonality, polytonality and row techniques. The minor triad plays a prominent role.
Rhapsody was written in 1996 on a commission from the Kansas Music Teachers Association, and was awarded the Music Teachers National Association first prize for MTNA commissioned works in 1997.
Sonata V in F major, ZWV 181,5 Jan Dismas Zelenka (1679 - 1745)
Jan Dismas Zelenka was born in Louňovice, Bohemia in 1679. Beginning in 1710 he was employed as a musician at the Hofkapelle in Dresden playing the violone, or bass viol. Subsequently he studied composition under J. J. Fux in Vienna and eventually became a court composer in Dresden. Zelenka is known for his liturgical works: masses and other pieces for chorus or vocal soloists.
By 1721 or 1722, Zelenka had completed as set of six sonatas for two oboes, bassoon, and continuo. Compared to most other early eighteenth-century chamber works, these works feature a distinct role for the bassoon. The solo bassoon part is of equal melodic importance to the two solo oboe parts and is comparably virtuosic.