Saturday, February 07, 2015
A Carnival of Welcome
HSU Music’s second semester Welcome Concert goes big, as a total of 16 faculty, staff and friends perform music from Bach to Gershwin, Schubert to Miles Davis, including a dozen players combining on the playful Carnival of the Animals by Saint-Saens, with hilarious verses by Ogden Nash.
This is not the only ensemble on the bill that’s larger than usual for a Welcome Concert. Soprano Elisabeth Harrington sings a church cantata by J.S. Bach (“Exult God in All Lands”) accompanied by 7 players: Gilbert Cline (trumpet), Cindy Moyer and Karen Davy (violin), Sherry Hanson (viola), Kira Weiss (cello), Daniel Colson (bass) and Gregory Granoff on harpsichord.
Davy, Moyer, Weiss and Colson are joined by pianist Daniela Mineva for the first movement of Franz Schubert’s Trout Quintet (Quintet in A Major.) “This is an unusual combination of instruments,” violinist Cindy Moyer observed. “Very few other works have been written for piano, violin, viola, cello and bass.”
The duo of Brian Post on piano and Daniel Colson on bass perform two jazz oriented pieces: “A Foggy Day” by George Gershwin (first performed by Fred Astaire in the 1937 film Damsel in Distress) and “Blue in Green” by Miles Davis (from his best-selling jazz album A Kind of Blue.)
In 1886, French composer Camille Saint-Saëns wrote Carnival of the Animals for fun, but didn’t permit it to be published in his lifetime in case its playful nature detracted from his reputation as a serious composer. It has since become one of his best-known works.
Ogden Nash, probably the 20th century’s most famous poet of light verse, wrote a rhymed narration for a 1949 recording. In this concert it will be performed by Kevin Sharkey (whose predecessors include Noel Coward and Bugs Bunny). Though this version has become a children’s classic, the verse and music are also wickedly satirical.
Instrumentalists for Carnival of the Animals are: Jill Petricca (flute), Virginia Ryder (clarinet), Eugene Novotney (xylophone), Howard Kaufmann (glockenspiel), Cindy Moyer and Karen Davy (violin), Sherry Hanson (viola), Kira Weiss (cello), Daniel Colson (bass), Daniela Mineva and Yumi Watanabe (piano.)
Why the larger ensembles this time? One reason, Cindy Moyers suggests, is visiting professor Daniel Colson, a composer and more to the point, a bassist. “It’s been many years since we’ve had the available personnel to do repertoire that requires both bass and cello,” she said. “I think everyone got excited to play music that includes bass. You’ll notice that Daniel is playing in every piece.”
The spring 2015 Welcome Concert is performed on Saturday February 7 at 8 p.m. in Fulkerson Recital Hall on the HSU campus. Tickets are $10 general/$5 seniors, children and students, from the HSU Box Office (826-3928) or at the door. This Faculty Artist Series concert is produced by the HSU Music Department.