Featuring the works of guest composers
Irina Dubkova (Moscow) and
Jeremy Dale Roberts (London)
Clapp Recital Hall
Sunday, October 15, 2006
|Downward Courses (2006) (premiere)||Luke DAHN|
|Ryan Fogg, piano|
I Hear the Sound that has Fallen Silent
for small ensemble (2005)
|Megan Luljak, flute
Yasmin Flores, clarinet
Kelley Arney, violin
Amy Phelps, violoncello
Liang-fang Chang, piano
|Vitrages (2003) for organ solo||Irina DUBKOVA|
|Konstantin Volostnov, organ|
|Chorale and Prelude (2005) for organ solo||David GOMPPER|
|Konstantin Volostnov, organ|
|Quartet (1996)||David GOMPPER|
|Katie Wolfe*, violin
Christine Rutledge*, viola
Anthony Arnone*, violoncello
Marian Lee, piano
Lines of Life II:
|Jeremy Dale ROBERTS|
|Christine Rutledge*, viola solo
Nicole Esposito, flute
Melissa Walding, oboe
Yasmin Flores, clarinet
Jeff Tilghman, bassoon
Matthew Hellenbrand, horn
Brian Umlah, trumpet
David Gier*, trombone
Liang Fang Chang, piano/celeste
Pam Weest-Carrasco, harp
Ginny Armstrong, percussion I
Chris Sande, percussion II
Andrea Verdoorn, percussion III
Scott Conklin*, violin I
Kelly Arney, violin II
Amy Phelps, violoncello
Volkan Orhon*, double bass
David Gompper*, conductor
* = School of Music faculty
Notes & Bios
Downward Courses was written during the summer of 2006. Its title comes from a poem by the Kentuckian writer and poet Wendell Berry. Musically, descending melodic fragments, or "downward melodic courses," are pulled from a five-chord progression that serves as a basis for much of the work's harmonic content. These fragments occur most apparently in the work's slow middle section. The chord that begins the progression consists of all four triad types in interlocking fashion: minor, augmented, major, and diminished. Downward Courses was written for pianist Ryan Fogg.
Luke Dahn, visiting assistant professor at the University of Iowa, recently received his Ph.D in composition from the University of Iowa. He also holds additional degrees in music theory and composition from Western Michigan University and Houston Baptist University. His principal teachers have included David Gompper, C. Curtis-Smith, and Ann K. Gebuhr. Dahn's dissertation entitled Edges, a work for large ensemble, received multiple performances by the UI Center for New Music during its Spring tour. Edges has also been recorded for a forthcoming CD commemorating the Center's 40th anniversary. Forthcoming projects include a violin and piano work for Austrian violinist Wolfgang Dávid and a chamber work for Studio New Music at the Moscow Conservatory.
Ryan Fogg is Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Keyboard Studies at Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, Tennessee. A native Texan, he holds degrees in Piano Performance from the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Houston and East Texas Baptist University. Over the past several years, he has maintained an active performing schedule, including recent performances in Texas, Kansas, Nebraska, and Missouri. He has also performed in master classes with artists such as Menahem Pressler, Angela Cheng, and Horacio Gutierrez.
I Hear the Sound that has Fallen Silent (2005) for flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano
While this composition is a part of a Triptych entitled "In the Soft Moonlight," it also has an independent nature and can be performed separately. The basis of this work is a collection of rhythmic figures with a special quality: flickering rhythmic figures have been extracted from various rhythmic structures based on reoccurring Russian national plots, and is reflected in the overall form of the work. The "pulsation" of voices develops as a general prayer for happiness and well-being.
Vitrages, a cycle for organ (2003)
The idea for this work came about after visiting a catholic cathedral in Chicago. The composition outlines a principle theme, alternating with different, contrasting sections that reflect a similar progression found in the stained-glass windows of the church. While the ideas are compact, development comes about in one single artistic image.
Born in Russia, Irina Dubkova began composing at the age of five. After completing her formal training as a pianist, she graduated from the Moscow Conservatory in 1982 in composition and continued with post-graduate studies in composition with Professor Roman Ledeniov and theory with Yuri Kholopov.
From 1982 to 1985, Dubkova was musical editor in the USSR State Radio and TV Company. Irina Dubkova has taught in the Composition Department at the Moscow State P.I. Tchaikovsky Conservatory since 1995.
Irina Dubkova has participated in many competitions and festivals. She was a winner in the Moscow International Young Composer's Competition, in 1980 with Four Romances on texts of Sergei Yesenin for baritone and piano; in 1982 with her Symphony No. 1; in 1985 with a vocal cycle for children; in 1987 with Allegro for symphony orchestra. Her compositions have been performed regularly at the annual festivals Moscow Autumn, Universe of Sound, Nippon Kokoro and Earino Spring Festival. Performances of Dubkova's symphonic, chamber and choir music have been heard across the Russia and in many areas of the world.
Chorale & Prelude
This work is based on an original hymn tune God Offers Christ to Mend the Earth and written for the Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims in Brooklyn, New York. My grandfather, Louis West, was for over 40 years a choirmaster and organist for one of its satellite congregations, the Mayflower Mission. Chorale & Prelude is in three parts: a simple statement of the entire hymn, a middle section that becomes increasingly fast and capricious, and a final presentation of fragments of the tune. It was premiered on November 13, 2005 at the Moscow Conservatory, performed by Constantin Volostnov.
Quartet makes use of a hexachord extracted from the seven-note set found in Boulez's '...explosante-fixe...' which was written to the memory of Igor Stravinsky. This symmetrical hexachord defines two tonal regions: A proceeding to E-flat. In order to help myself expand the tonal possibilities for the work, I created a three-dimensional cube. On each surface I wrote out three sets of pairings of the hexachord starting on A, C, and C-sharp. The eight corners of the cube suggested a collection eight principal sonorities, heard in the piano at the beginning. By rotating the cube, I was able to create many of the linear and vertical pitch collections. The idea of Stravinsky's rotations is very much evident.
Finally, I take Gesualdo's Beltà, poi che t'assenti from his collection of Madrigals, Book VI (which, incidentally, appears as the third movement of Stravinsky's Monumentum pro Gesualdo, 1960), re-voice the first phrase and place it in the strings at the coda, above a piano ostinato. This phrase also moves from A to E-flat, creating a connection with the Boulez hexachord.
This work was written for a concert in honor of Glenn Watkins upon his retirement from the University of Michigan in 1996 (revised in 2006), and dedicated to him. He is the author of Gesualdo: The man and his music, for which Stravinsky wrote the preface. Hence the quartet of characters: Boulez, Stravinsky, Gesualdo, and Watkins.
David Gompper (b. 1954) is Professor of Composition and Director of the Center for New Music at the University of Iowa. In addition to his extensive professional activities throughout the United States, Gompper has lived and worked as a composer, teacher, conductor and pianist in England, Nigeria, and most recently Russia, as a Fulbright Scholar at the Moscow Conservatory in 2002-2003. His compositions have been premiered in major venues throughout the United States and Europe, and he has recorded on the Albany, Capstone, and Centaur labels.
Jeremy Dale ROBERTS
Lines of Life II: Voice/Kinderscenen (1988; revised 1995)
The title of my work - actually the second in a sequence - comes from one of Hoelderlin's poetic fragments: a passage that conveys with great simplicity the healing enlightenment that he still felt able to affirm, even when he was already overshadowed by madness. 'The lines of life are various, as roads are, and the mountains' boundaries. What here we are, yonder a god can complete with harmonies, eternal recompense, and peace.' The narrative, or reverie, unfolds in a succession of lyric episodes, most of them reflective, which are harshly obtruded upon, with increasing force, by four chorale-like ritornelli. Also interleaved are two more densely crowded developments for the ensemble, as well as more playful material. Although the musical strands in this piece are variegated - some indeed are recalled from twenty years ago - there is, I hope, a secure 'family resemblance' enshrined in the feature of a major third.
Cavafy's poem is essential:
Ideal and dearly beloved voices
Of those who are dead, or of those
Who are lost to us like the dead.
Sometimes they speak to us in our dreams;
Sometimes in thought the mind hears them.
And for a moment with their echo other echoes
Return from the first poetry of our lives -
Like distant music fading away at night.
Jeremy Dale Roberts (b. 1934, Gloucestershire, England), who recently retired as Head of Composition at the Royal College of Music, London, was a Visiting Professor of Composition at the University of Iowa for the 1999 - 2000 academic year.
He studied with William Alwyn and Priaulx Rainier at the Royal Academy of Music, London. His compositions have been performed worldwide at the Edinburgh and Aldeburgh Festivals, the Venice Biennale, the Diorama de Geneve, and the festivals of Avignon and Paris.
They include the Cello Concerto Deathwatch written for Rohan de Saram; Tombeau for Stephen Kovacevich; Croquis for string trio, written for members of the Arditti Quartet (BBC commission); In the Same Space, nine poems of Constantin Cavafy, written for Stephen Varcoe; Lines of Life, lyric episodes for ensemble, written for Lontano (BBC commission); and Casidas y Sonetos - del amor oscuro, for solo guitar (Arts Council commission) for Charles Ramirez.
Recent work includes: Stelae, a large-scale piece for gamelan; Nightpiece for soprano and two bass viols; a collection of pieces for organ; and a few tangos.