Thursday, January 13, 2011

Arrowhead Trio January Concert -- Gal, Moszkowski, Schickele

I'm looking forward to seeing the musical "Billy Elliot" this weekend. Karen's dusted off her ballet shoes and I've been limbering up, in case we go somewhere after. I imagine what will impress me most is the kid's ability to sing and dance at the same time. I've seen how out of breath the contestants are on "So You Think You Can Dance?"

Lately I've been thankful I'm more of a pianist than a singer. It can be tough keeping a voice in shape through the throes of winter and seasonal allergies. Often when I'm sick I still can play piano, at least until the sneezed-on keys get sticky.

"Get to the point," says Virginia, "you're building up to something."

She's beginning to sound like a broken record. Check out yesterday's blog entry if you don't know what I mean. All right, I was just thinking how self-centered blog entries and Facebook status entries can be, especially when artists post their own accolades. Then I reconsidered, it's a tough world out there, if they don't promote themselves, their friends might not even know.

Here goes. Any nearby readers, if you've got next Wednesday night free -- we realized too late we're competing with Andrew Young speaking at Washington & Lee U -- you might check out Kendal Hall, Kendal at Lexington, for The Arrowhead Trio's next concert, see below.

The Arrowhead Trio will offer selections of twentieth century music at Kendal Hall, Kendal at Lexington, 160 Kendal Drive, 7:15 p.m., Wednesday, January 19, 2011. The group will play Hans Gal’s “Trio,” Maurice Moszkowski’s “Suite in G minor,” and Peter Schickele’s “Serenade for Three.” The members of the trio are Winston Davis, violin, John McClenon, clarinet, and James Pannabecker, piano.

Hans Gal, born in 1890 near Vienna, was appointed Director of the Mainz Conservatory in 1929 but was dismissed in 1933 when Hitler came to power. His work was banned from publication or performance in Germany. He eventually became a lecturer for the Department of Music at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland and a British citizen. His clarinet trio is polyphonically complex, with moments of lyrical beauty.

By 1908, Moszkowski reportedly was a hermit of sorts, refusing to teach composition because "they wanted to write like artistic madmen such as Scriabin, Schoenberg, Debussy, Satie…” and perhaps Hans Gal. The Suite the Arrowhead Trio will perform was scored for two violins and a piano. The second violin part has been transcribed for Mr. McClenon’s clarinet. Perhaps the following story is true. Hans von Bulow filed this entry in an autograph book, “The three greatest composers are Bach, Beethoven and Brahms. All the rest are cretins.” When Moszkowski saw it, he inscribed underneath, “The three greatest composers are Mendelssohn, Meyerbeer and Moszkowski. All the others are Christians!”

The third composer, Peter Schickele, born in 1935, may be better known for his association with P.D.Q Bach, the “last and by far the least” offspring of J.S. Bach who has been called a “pimple on the face of music” and “the worst musician ever to have trod organ pedals.” Schickele’s “Serenade for Three” includes variations on a theme from P.D.Q. Bach’s “Oedipus Tex” and a rousing barn dance. A recent coup was Shickele’s creation of the musical score for the film version of Maurice Sendak’s “Where the Wild Things Are.”

1 comment:

  1. Wish I could make the concert but don't know what time we will get back from Ohio. Maybe if you play loudly and I tune in to the wave links.......