Summerfest Concerts 23rd Season,
Reflecting Forward - Tickets for the 2013 Season are on sale now
Why do we have an insatiable appetite for reliving the past? In theaters, Steven Spielberg’s biopic of Lincoln has brought the president’s last months to vivid life; in fashion, the styles of the 1950s are adorning Americans once more; and in politics, each party has invoked the country’s founders to score votes and create vision. Simply put, we want to find comfort in the past as we wrestle with the anxiety of an unknown future. Composers are not immune to this impulse – they regularly mine older musics as they seek direction. Join Summerfest this year as we explore this facet of the human experience through the ways music reflects forward, taking the music of the past and letting it chart a course for the future.
Please join us on any of the following weekends. Saturday performances begin at 7 p.m. at White Recital Hall, 4949 Cherry, Kansas City, MO. Sunday performances begin at 5 p.m. at Country Club Christian Church, 6101 Ward Parkway, Kansas City, MO.
The season opens with Charles Wuorinen reaching back to the Renaissance to see what Josquin’s music might have to say to modern audiences in Josquiniana. Adam Neiman’s Mirror and Fugue literally reflects forward with a lens focused on the Baroque fugue, a reflection that illuminates Jan Dismas Zelenka’s Trio Sonata No. 3, a little known work of the Czech Baroque. Finally, Mozart’s magisterial Piano Quintet in E-flat Major reminds us of the debt this formidable composer owed to those who came before him and the impact he had on the future as Beethoven modeled his own opus 16 quintet on Mozart’s work.
Charles Wuorinen: Josquiniana
Adam Neiman: Mirror and Fugue
Jan Dismas Zelenka: Trio Sonata No. 3 in B-flat major, ZWV 181
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Piano Quintet in E-flat major
WEEK TWO: July 13 and 14, 2013
7:00 p.m., Saturday, July 13, 2013, White Recital Hall
5:00 p.m., Sunday, July 14, 2013, Country Club Christian Church
The second week opens with publishers looking through the works left at Franz Schubert’s death to uncover his “Notturno,” a beautiful work that showcases the composer’s gift for melody, the same gift that inspired Ellen Taaffe Zwilich when she composed her Quintet for Violin, Viola, Cello, Bass, and Piano almost two centuries later. Zwilich went so far as to use Schubert’s Trout Quintet as the basis of her work, bringing the past into the present, much as Summerfest is doing for Anton Reicha’s Wind Quintet in E-flat Major, a dazzling work from a seminal wind composer from the early Romantic period. The concert ends with reflections on summer, a fitting subject for our series, as Jennifer Higdon brings nostalgia for her childhood in Summer Shimmers.
Franz Schubert: Notturno
Ellen Taaffe Zwilich: Quintet for violin, viola, cello, bass and piano
Antione Reicha: Wind Quintet in E-flat major
Jennifer Higdon: Summer Shimmers
WEEK THREE: July 20 and 21, 2013
7:00 p.m., Saturday, July 20, 2013, White Recital Hall
5:00 p.m., Sunday, July 21, 2013, Country Club Christian Church
Basing music on older works of art is the theme of the third week, which finds William Bolcom mining Scott Joplin’s music for the Graceful Ghost Rag and Jamie Keesecker finding inspiration among Alexander Calder’s mobiles for his One-Minute Recipes – COLLECT ALL SIX! Beethoven’s Duo for Clarinet and Bassoon is a work usually attributed to the composer, though recent scholarship has asked if it is simply music written in Beethoven’s style. Ralph Vaughan Williams, the towering figure of English music in the last century, found his musical footing among the folk music of his country and wrote his Six Studies in English Folk Song as a result. And even Johann Sebastian Bach got in on the act by composing his Trio Sonata from the Musical Offering upon a royal theme given him by Frederick the Great.
William Bolcom: Graceful Ghost Rag
Ludwig van Beethoven: Duo for Clarinet and Bassoon
Jamie Keesecker: One-Minute Recipes – COLLECT ALL SIX!
Ralph Vaughan Williams: Six Studies in English Folk Song
Johann Sebastian Bach: Trio SonataMusical Offering
WEEK FOUR: July 27 and 28, 2013
7:00 p.m., Saturday, July 27, 2013, White Recital Hall
5:00 p.m., Sunday, July 28, 2013, Country Club Christian Church
Our final week finds two contemporary composers, Mason Bates and John Corigliano, charting their future course with older music. Bates, a young composer versed in popular musical styles, looks to the oldest music of all, that of birds, for his ornithological collection Life of Birds while Corigliano explores 3 Irish Folksong Settings by combining folk melodies and his own originals so cleverly, that you’ll never guess which are the real folksongs. Dieterich Buxtehude refines the old solo vocal cantata from the early Baroque into a model of expressivity that surely influenced J.S. Bach in the cantatas BuxWV 84 and BuxWV 105. We end the summer with a new reading of Felix Mendelssohn’s last great chamber work, the Piano Trio No. 2 in C minor, op. 66, which finds inspiration in Lutheran chorales to make a grand statement reminding us that the past is ever with us, guiding us to new heights.
Mason Bates: Life of Birds
John Corigliano: 3 Irish Folksong Settings
Dieterich Buxtehude: Solo Vocal Cantata on J.S. Bach’s BuxWV 84 and Bux WV 105.
Felix Mendelssohn: Piano Trio No. 2 in C minor, op. 66
* Programs and artists are subject to change without notice.