Saturday, September 25, 2010

New Trio Plays New Trio: Vipisa’s Debut with World Premiere

It’s a new trio premiering new music. But of course, there’s a backstory.

“We played together last fall,” explained violinist and HSU Music professor Cindy Moyer, referring to her colleagues, Virginia Ryder on saxophone and clarinet, and pianist John Chernoff. “We were having so much fun that we decided to make it a permanent group.”

Hence the Vipisa Trio. But who—or where, or what—is Vipisa? An obscure but important historical figure? The hidden birthplace of a musical genius? A corporate sponsor? Their favorite toothpaste?

“We made it up,” Moyer confessed. “It’s the first letters of ‘VIolin,’ ‘PIano’ and ‘SAxophone.’”

Fittingly enough for their first official concert, the Vipisa Trio will perform a World Premiere, of the Trio of Piano, Violin, and Alto Saxophone by contemporary jazz and rock artist and composer David Morgan, of the David Morgan Trio.

In fact, the music is so fresh that the composer was sending it “hot off the presses” directly to Vipisa. Of the five movements, “the first two have been performed many times, and we performed the third last fall,” Moyer said. “But our performance on the 25th will be the World Premiere of the complete piece.”

Pianist David Morgan has written for film and television as well as for several jazz albums with his David Morgan Trio. His most recent release, “Ordinary Glory,” is a rock/pop album which he also produced. “Part of our fun was discovering his music, and working with him,” Moyers said.

The David Morgan work comprises the second half of the concert. Before intermission, the trio plays Dance Suite for Violin, Alto Saxophone and Piano by contemporary American composer and pianist Walter S. Hartley. Composing since 1949, Hartley is known for works that feature the saxophone. “Hartley’s music is very contrapuntal,” Moyer said. “Each instrument has different melodies that are passed around the group.”

Also in the first half, Vipisa performs the Trio for Violin, Clarinet and Piano by 20th century Armenian-born composer Aram Khachaturian. With Shostakovich and Prokofiev, Khachaturian was among the trio of major composers of the Soviet Union alternatingly condemned and honored by the government. He composed this work in 1932. “It’s very rhapsodic,” Moyer said, “with hints of Khachaturian’s native Armenian folk music.”

The Vipisa Trio debuts on Saturday September 25 at 8 pm in the Fulkerson Recital Hall on the HSU campus in Arcata. Tickets: $8/$3 students and seniors from HSU Ticket Office (826-3928) or at the door. This is a Faculty Artists Series concert produced by the HSU Department of Music.

Media: Humboldt State Now, Arcata Eye.
The Vipisa Trio: The Program

Cindy Moyer, violin
Virginia Ryder, saxophone and clarinet
John Chernoff, piano

Dance Suite for Violin, Alto Saxophone, and Piano by Walter S. Hartley
Polonaise brillante: Allegretto (Valse Lente
Polka Fantasque

Trio for Violin, Clarinet, and Piano by Aram Khachaturian
Andante con dolore, con molto espressione


Trio of Piano, Violin, and Alto Saxophone* David Morgan
Tango: Allegro (Consolation
Belo Horizonte
The Secret of the Golden Flower

*world premiere

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Daniela Mineva in First HSU Solo Concert

For her first solo concert since joining the HSU Music faculty, pianist Daniela Mineva will lead the audience on a journey through different styles from different places, on September 18 at Fulkerson Recital Hall.

The first stop is an 18th century piano sonata by Austrian composer Franz Joseph Haydn. Haydn’s contributions to the sonata form were among many innovations by this friend of Mozart and teacher of Beethoven. Mineva plays a section of one of his earliest, the Sonata in G.

The next stop is 19th century Poland and two pieces by Frederic Chopin, the Nocturne in F minor and a piano Etude. “This is the year of Chopin,” Mineva notes—the 200th anniversary of his birth in 1810.

Then to France for pieces by 20th century composers Claude Debussy and Olivier Messiaen. “They are very similar in how they see the world in pictures,” Mineva said. She will play her own reduction for solo piano of one of Debussy’s most famous works, “Prelude to the Afternoon of the Faune,” and three Preludes by Messiaen, each depicting a feature of the landscape.

The second half of Mineva’s concert features a piece about a Persian Princess and one of the world’s most famous storytellers: Scheherazade. It’s a section from “Masques” by the 20th century Polish composer Karol Szymanowski, which is considered a “skill-testing challenge to pianists,” according to a contemporary Polish music scholar.

The journey ends back in France with “Choral and Variations” by contemporary composer Henri Dutilleux, which Mineva calls “a jazzy audience-pleaser.”

Before joining the HSU Music faculty, Daniela Mineva taught at the Eastman School of Music, where she was awarded an excellence in teaching prize in 2007. Among her accomplishments as a pianist are an award from the Jean Francaix piano competition in Paris and a “Highest Artistic Level of Performance” award for a solo recital at a festival in Italy, both also in 2007. She played in several group concerts at HSU last year, notably with HSU Music violinist Cindy Moyer, and guest artists, violinist Bin Huang and pianist Caleb Harris.

Pianist Daniela Mineva performs her first HSU solo concert on Saturday September 18 at 8 pm in the Fulkerson Recital Hall on the HSU campus in Arcata. Tickets: $8/$3 students and seniors from HSU Ticket Office (826-3928) or at the door.

Media: Humboldt State Now, Arcata Eye.
Daniela Mineva: The Program

J. Haydn -Sonata in G major H:XVI-40
Allegretto inocente

F. Chopin- Nocturne in f minor, op.55, #1
Etude, op.25, #12

C. Debussy- "Prelude to the Afternoon of the Faune", reduction for solo piano D. Mineva

O. Messiaen- Three Preludes
The Dove
Ecstasy Song the background of sad landscape
Reflection in the wind

C. Szymanowski- "Scheherazade" from Masques, op. 34

H. Duttileux- Choral and Variations

Saturday, September 11, 2010

[click photo to enlarge]
HSU Music Faculty Play Welcome Concert

Performing solo or more often in duos, trios, a quartet and a quintet, no fewer than eighteen HSU Music Department faculty and staff players take the stage to start the school year with a musical bang, in a Welcoming Concert and reception beginning at 5 pm on Saturday, September 11 in Fulkerson Recital Hall.

Faculty artists perform throughout the year, but according to professor and performer Elisabeth Harrington, this is an unusual opportunity to experience “the diverse talents of our music faculty in one concert. It’s a way of saying, ‘welcome back to the school year—we are your HSU Music Department and we have a lot of fabulous music to share with you!’”

That diversity is expressed not only in the range of instruments and combinations but in musical styles, from 19th century classics to contemporary composers.

Harrington will sing two selections from contemporary composer Ricky Ian Gordon, accompanied by pianist John Chernoff. Pianist Daniela Mineva plays two pieces by Chopin. Percussionist Eugene Novotney performs one of his own compositions.

The dynamic duos of Paul Cummings on clarinet and John Chernoff on piano perform pieces by 19th century German composer Paul Hindemith, followed by guitarist Nicholas Lambson and flutist Laura Snodgrass playing several Romanian Dances by Bela Bartok.

Short pieces by German Romantic composer Max Bruch will be performed by the trio of Kenneth Ayoob on clarinet, Karen Davy on viola and Robin Miller on piano. A string quartet (Cindy Moyer and Karen Davy on violin, Sherry Hanson on viola, David Davis on cello) play two sections of a piece by contemporary composer Robert Sirota that commemorates the tragic events of 9/11/2001 in New York City.

The Humboldt Bay Brass Quintet (which in this case includes bassist Shao Way Wu and pianist Daniela Mineva as well as Matthew Morgan on horn, and Gilbert Cline and Frederic Belanger on trumpets) performs a piece by contemporary composer Michael Cunningham.

The concert will be followed by a reception, open to all concertgoers.

“We love what we do, teaching and creating music,” Elisabeth Harrington said. “And we want to share it. So come and enjoy a great concert, and meet the artists afterwards.”

The Welcome Concert begins at 5 pm on Saturday September 11 in Fulkerson Recital Hall, with the reception immediately afterwards. Tickets are $8/$3 students and seniors from HSU Ticket Office (826-3928) or at the door. An HSU Department of Music production.

Media: HSU Now, Arcata Eye.
Welcome Concert: The Program

Sonate by Paul Hindemith
I Massig bewegt (1895-1963)
IV Kleines Rondo, gemachlich
P. Cummings, clarinet
J. Chernoff, piano

Romanian Folk Dances (1915) (6 mins.) Bela Bartok

1. Jocul cu bâta (or Joc cu bâtă) – Dance With Stick - Stick Game
2. Brâul – Waistband Dance- Peasant Costume
3. Pe Loc – Stamping Dance - Standing Still
4. Buciumeana - Horn Dance
5. Poarga Românească – Romanian Polka
6. Mărunţel – Quick Dance

Nicholas Lambson, guitar
Laura Snodgrass, flute

Nocturne in f minor, op.50 by Frederic Chopin
Etude, op.25, # 12-
Daniela Mineva, piano

Wild Swans, Finding Home by Ricky Ian Gordon
Elisabeth Harrington, soprano
John Chernoff, piano

Selections from 8 Pieces op 83 by Max Bruch
I. Andante
V. Rumanian Melody
IV Allegro Agitato

Ken Ayoob, clarinet
Karen Davy, viola
Robin Miller, piano


Cross (1977) by Eugene Novotney

Eugene Novotney, percussion

Triptych by Robert Sirota
II. Lamentation
III. Prayer

Cindy Moyer, violin
Karen Davy, violin
Sherry Hanson, viola
David Davis, cello

Epitaph (1964) by Michael Cunningham

Humboldt Bay Brass Quintet
Gilbert Cline & Frédéric Bélanger, trumpets
Matthew Morgan, horn
Toshi Noguchi, trombone
Wu Shao Way, bass
Daniela Minieva, piano