Chamber Music Seasons End on High Notes
by Jan Jezioro
A Musical Feast
On Tuesday, May 27, at 8pm,
A Musical Feast, the dynamic chamber music organization founded by retired Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra concertmaster Charles Haupt in 2006, presents the final concert in its
successful second season at the Kavinoky Theater of D'Youville College.
A special guest, bass-trombone virtuoso David Taylor, will make a welcome return to A
Taylor's only previous appearance on this series, in 2006, featured his much-praised performance of his own transcriptions of works by J.S. Bach and
Franz Schubert. At the May 27 event, he will perform his transcriptions of songs by the 20th-century French masters Maurice Ravel and Darius Milhaud, and by Arthur Honegger,
Swiss-born member of the influential French group of composers known as "Les Six," accompanied by Claudia Hoca on piano.
Besides his many varied activities in promoting
the role of the bass trombone in both contemporary jazz and avant-garde classical music, Taylor also has been long interested in expanding the role of the instrument in the
performance of more traditional repertoire beyond the usual works available for brass players. He has found the French art song, or chanson, to be a musical form particularly well
adapted to transcription for the instrument. Taylor's transcriptions of these vocal works, originally made for bass trombone and two harps, often make use of the plunger mute, as in
the Ravel piece, which he feels "makes the instrument more vocal." Taylor's interest in French music can be traced at least in part to the influence of his late teacher Davis Schuman,
for whom Darius Milhaud composed his Concerto d'hiver (Winter Concerto) for bass trombone. The cross-fertilization between early 20-century jazz music and French
classical music has interested and influenced Taylor throughout his career.
Taylor is also on the cutting edge of the contemporary classical music scene, nowhere more so
than in his collaborations with Johnny Reinhard, who is among the leading American composers of microtonal music in his generation. Microtonal music is music that is not exclusively
based on the 12-tone equally tempered scale, which is the dominant scale in Western music. Reinhard believes that all music is microtonal, and he asserts that "The number of pitches
is infinite…just because more importance is placed on the Western system today does not mean it's the best." Reinhard's soulful Zelig Mood Ring is an exotic and deeply felt,
yet chameleon-like solo performance piece for spoken word and bass trombone.
Pausing midway in his traversal of the fiendishly difficult set of six
Sonatas for Violin Solo
by Eugene Ysaye, virtuoso violinist Charles Castleman, accompanied by pianist Claudia Hoca, will offer transcriptions of works by Antonin Dvorak, perhaps equally challenging to perform, made by Fritz Kreisler and Frantisek Ondricek. The Austrian-American Fritz Kreisler was the most universally loved violinist of the first half of the 20th century, and he is now best remembered for the miniature gems that he composed or transcribed for the violin. Ondricek was a member of the leading family of 19th-century Czech violinists—his father Jan was the soloist in the premiere of the Dvorak
Making his welcome first appearance at A Musical Feast, UB faculty member Jonathan Golove, cello, will join Haupt, violin, in a
performance of the Passacaglia for violin and cello
by Handel, in the brilliant, well-known arrangement by the Norwegian composer Johan Halvorsen. Golove, one of the finest cellists currently performing in Western New York, is both a composer and an outstanding concert performer, whose performances with the Baird Trio have garnered universal acclaim. The intriguingly varied program concludes with Mozart's
Piano Trio No. 5, in C major K. 548, featuring Haupt, Golove, and Hoca. Composed toward the end of the composer's all too brief life, the work has a natural elegance, combining
great vitality with intimacy and, ultimately, a wonderful sense of serenity.
For tickets and information, visit: www.amusicalfeast.com
or call 829-7668.