Saturday, November 05, 2005

Liner Notes: Jacques Loussier Plays Bach

Liner Notes: Jacques Loussier Plays Bach
Jacques Loussier first brought jazz and Bach together with his original Play Bach Trio in 1959. Throughout the years, many players have tried their best at “swinging the classics,” but none have done it as well as Loussier. Loussier was the first artist to really master the art and no one since him has surpassed his jazzy but classical ingenuity. The modern Play Bach Trio, formed in 1985, is in fact a recreation of the original group who got together back in 1959. Today, Loussier is accompanied by virtuoso bassist Vincent Charbonnier and Andre Arpino on drums.
Many listeners, who hear today’s trio after witnessing the original group, comment on the difference in sound of Loussier’s keyboard action. His playing is much softer and more flexible but still capable of all of his old volume. Today, Loussier’s playing is more laid back and appropriate to modern jazz versus the jazz sounds of the 60s and 70s. Arpino and Charbonnier are so talented that you won’t hear any changes to the first movement of the Italian Concerto from the original group’s rendition because the group intended to play it very similarly to the previous version. As far as the rest of the album is concerned, you may hear a few subtle differences in the remaining songs based on the new players and their individual technique, improvisational preferences, and personal tone quality. The new Play Bach Trio is tight and creative, exemplified by the updated version of Pastorale in C Minor and Air on a G String. Both modified versions make use of Charbonnier’s genius playing.
Most importantly, the new Play Bach Trio keeps it simple and classy. None of the works are overdone or too far from the original to make conservative listeners cringe. Loussier would not let that happen because he only works with the best in order to preserve the new style that he worked so hard to produce and perform.

"Matrimony-Inspired Harmony"

Edvard Grieg's prolific output of songs was due in very large part to his wife, Nina. Around the time that he fell in love with his first cousin, he began to experience a major burst of inspiration for his vocal music. A noted soprano, Nina Grieg became the vocal model for all of the rest of his songs, and he considered her his finest interpreter. Grieg also drew a lot of inspiration from his homeland's folksongs.
Edvard Grieg was born on June 15, 1843, in Bergen, Norway. He received his first piano lessons from his mother, a professional pianist. Instead of putting self-conscious attention into his scales and etudes, he found a great interest and love in harmonies, and found amusement and pleasure at improvising as he played the piano. By the age of nine, Edvard had already begun to write his own compositions.
Upon entering the Leipzig Conservatory with a focus in piano, Grieg began to apply himself assiduously at his art and technique, excelling in almost all of his music classes. He moved to Copenhagen after finishing his studies at the conservatory, and stayed there for three years, until 1966. While there, he formed a close knit of friends with fellow Scandinavian composers. Together, they decided to rebel against the popular, conservative trends in music, and to promote and write modern, Scandinavian music. His desire for composing in the style of his nationality was further kindled when he became close friends with Norwegian composer, Rikard Nordraak, the writer of the Norwegian national anthem.

When he met Nina and began to collaborate with her, Grieg discovered the vast expressive potential of the human voice. His love for her acted as a huge catalyst for his creativity. They became engaged around the same time that he completed one of his most admired and accomplished works, Hjertets Melodier (Melodies of the Heart), Opus 5. From this work on, he would write all of his songs with her expressive, lyrical voice in mind.
Opus 5 was definitely written with amorous intentions in mind. Its four songs are half of a collection of poems which Grieg chose that Hans Christian Andersen wrote to a woman whom he wished to court. Their musical settings, composed by a newly engaged Grieg, bring out the inherent passion within the texts. The work is also significant in that it marks Grieg's beginnings in finding his individual style as a composer.
The first song's, "To brune Oyne" (Two brown eyes), bouncy rhythmic motif creates a blithe atmosphere when contrasted with the legato vocal line. The simplicity of the song parallels the loving, child-like nature which the singer finds within his lover's eyes. This song shows Grieg's nascent departure from the German romantic style into a more Norwegian nationalist style by the folksong-like melody and the lack of a Shumannesque piano postlude at the end of the song. It also features a popular Norwegian motif that Grieg frequently employed, a skip upwards followed by two steps down.
In "En Digters Bryst" (A Poet's Heart), Grieg uses tonal-coloring in the piano and voice to full effect in correspondence with Andersen's beautiful, rhapsodic text. The accompaniment builds and swells as waves, mirroring Andersen's words. Grieg was very extensive as well in placing deliberate dynamic markings throughout the piece as to best interpret the poetry. The effects are a wonderfully emotive musical setting in synch with its text's Romantic sentiments.
"Jeg elsker Dig" ( I Love You), the penultimate song in this sett, was ostensibly written by Grieg to Nina as a profession of love. As usual, he employs subtle, beautiful chromatics to sett the atmosphere of the songs in correlation to the words. Many back-to-back crescendi and diminuendi are written in- especially on the phrase "jeg elsker dig"- to emphasize his passionate declarations of love and eternity. The song intensifies with this repeated phrase intesified by its repeated rhythmic motif of a dotted eight followed by a sixteenth note. The piece tapers off and ends in a pianissimo after a heart-felt climax of transcending love.
The last poem in this work, "Min Tanke er et maegtigt Fjeld" ( My Thought is a Mighty Mountain), uses commendable hyperbole to laud the greatness of nature, the mind, and the human heart. The marking of Allegro molto agitato in conjunction with the persistent, ceaseless triplets alludes to the inherent intensity and tumult within these things. The song is mostly set in a minor key, except in the second stanza of the poem where it modulates into its relative major. This is done in as the singer begins to extol his lover, only to return to the agitato minor setting upon the repeating of the first verse.
As mentioned before, Nina Grieg was not only the Muse to most of all Grieg's songs, but was also his favorite interpreter of them. Critics who heard her sing often mentioned the soulfull expression with which she imbued her art. She was also known as a singer with natural instincts and exceptional intonation. What was particularly special about her singing was her unshakable devotion to text. She always managed to glean the subtle nuances to the poems she sang, always clearly communicating the interpretation of the poetry. Tchaikovsky even admired her so much that he dedicated a set of songs to her.
When Henrik Ibsen heard Nina Grieg perform her husband's musical settings of Ibsen poems, he was so impressed and captivated that he whispered to Grieg,"Understood!"

Works Cited

Jarrett, Sandra. Edvard Grieg and his Songs. Burlington: Ashgate, 2003.

Grove Music Online. 2005. 5 November 2005

MSN Encarta. 2005. 5 November 2005

Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 2005. 5 November 2005

Contemporary Classical Program Notes

Many know of Yo Yo Ma as a world famous cellist. Yo Yo Ma has been very succesful in the classical music realm an recently has crossed over to a more contemporary classical style that suites him well. Ma often likes to combine with other artists and collaborate artistic styles and tectures. Yo Yo Ma has become known all over the world as an artist that exudes creativity and a strong sense of musicianship.

Bobby McFerrin is also a world class artist. Although Mc Ferrin is most know for his pop hit "Don't Worry Be Happy," he is also a world class classical crossover artist. McFerrin imitates instruments and makes sound productions that create an awesome tecture just as the if the instrument itself were being played. Not only can McFerrin imitate, but he can also sing classically and do quite well.

Tonight's program brings together these artists collaborative efforts with some bold choices of literature and performance based pieces from their latest cd Hush.

Several pieces that will be performed are contemporary classical written by Bobby McFerrin himself. Arranged specifically for McFerrin and Yo Yo Ma.

"Stars" is one of those pieces. It is comprised of very basic harmonic progressions and does not consist of actual instrumentation impressions on the part of McFerrin.

Also performed will be "Rachmaninov: Vocalise, Op. 34/14." McFerrin will be maintaining an open vowel to express the line of the music and accent the beauty of the cello line.

Lastly performed will be "Grace." This McFerrin composed piece hold an attractive melody line while maintaining interesting and fortifying cello phrases. Listen carfully to the open fifths and octaves.

Please turn of all cell phones, beepers, and etc. Also, photography is prohibited.

The new cd Hush is available after the show.


Summer Jamz 2005
brought by
Dj Babbz
featuring Dj Marski, Dj Infinity, and Dj Sammy
This album is for people who would roll their windows open and let loose. These are a couple of song that get you up and make you dance.
1. Heaven - Dj Sammy
"Baby you're all that I want, when you're lying here in my arms. I'm finding it hard to believe, we're in heaven."
original lyrics by Bryan Adams
This first song was an orginial song sung by Bryan Adams. Dj Sammy made a remix and had a girl sing this song. This is a famous dance song in clubs.
2. Look at Us- Sarina Paris- Dj Marski
" Everybody beileved that we would never be. Look at us above , we are so in love."
- Sarina Paris
First came out in Eruope, but Dj Marski made his own remix with it by adding beats. I'm loving it because this song came out on my CD.
3. Castles 2005 - Dj Infinity
" Oooo why, do we build castles in the sky."
This is one of the progressive songs that came out in the late 1990s. This here is what Dj Infinity comes in adding more Techno beats. Although he leaves the lyrics in.
4. Heart Beats like a Drum - ATC
" My heart beats like a drum, a drum, dum dum dum."
I added this song just beacuase ATC came out as pop artists, and quickly their music turned into remixes. They selled their catchy album "Pop Planet" in February of 2001. This is a one of their popluar songs.
5. Kisses of the Sun - ATC
"The kisses of the sun are sweet - I didn't blink"
Going back to back, this is another popular song that ATC came out with. I added this one just because it still has a catchy sound to it.
6. Slowa - Dj Marski
Slowa is a Polish song that Dj Marski made a great remix out of. From time to time, he would add unique beats to the song in order for the lyrics to come out.
7. Naj Naj Naj - Dj Marski
Mainly this song only has the words naj, and the beats in the background. Although it's really awsome for the sounds that Marski adds. The good ending to this album because the ending fades out.

Okay, wow. I thought we were supposed to create and post our own notes with the help of previously read notes!!! Well, I'll post MY notes, and give y'all the sites as works cited.

An Intro to Rob Thomas

Rob Thomas is an incredible musician. Aside from writing and composing continuous chart topping hits such as “3 A.M.”, “Push”, “Bent”, and most recently “Downfall” for record smashing contemporary group Matchbox Twenty, Thomas has been asked to co-write and perform songs with such superstars as Carlos Santana, Willie Nelson, Marc Anthony, and John Mayer; to name a few. With all of his combined works up until last year, his music had sold more than 75 million copies worldwide. Along with these accomplishments, he has received such awards as Billboard’s Songwriter of the Year for two years in a row, and 13 BMI awards, such as Songwriter and Song of the year… There’s no doubt that Mr. Thomas has been an incredibly successful individual since 1996, when Matchbox Twenty took flight.
Rob was born on a military base in Germany on February 14, 1972. He then moved back to America with his mother, where he spent his teenage years in South Carolina and Florida. He dropped out of high school at age 17, when he decided to try and find a band to join. After several band ins and outs up and down the east coast, he ended up in Orlando in 1993. There, he and two other members of future M20 formed a band named Tabitha’s Secret. After nothing but regional success was found, the three left to form Matchbox Twenty, a fusion of 60's smoothness and 90's post grunginess, held together by amazing hitches. By 1998, the group’s first album had gone platinum five times. The rest is history, as cliché as it sounds. In ’99, Thomas met up with Carlos Santana and produced “Smooth”, probably his most astoundingly successful song. Afterwards, M20’s fame and popularity were set.
By 2003, the members of M20 had all decided that they needed a ‘break’; for family, friends, personal time… that sort. Rob saw this as the perfect opportunity to realize a dream; record a solo album. In April 2005, Thomas released his first solo album, “Lonely No More”, which has been described as closer to Justin Timberlake than Matchbox Twenty. (I dissagree thoroughly, but that doesn't really matter)
Thomas, 33, received the first Starlight Award in 2004. This award is presented by the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and is presented to individuals who in the early years of their careers are already making major and lasting impacts on their musical genre. Rob has obviously changed the Adult/Contemporary music genre for the better, and will keep doing so throughout the coming years. From a 17 year old hitchhiking and crashing where he could to a record breaking, multimillion dollar artist, Rob has shown how a love for music can do wonders.

Works Cited

Music for a Darkened Theatre, a Danny Elfman Performance

1) "Forbidden Zone"—Forbidden Zone
2) "Jack's Lament"—The Nightmare Before Christmas
3) "Main Titles"—Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
4) "Roxie's Suite"—Chicago
5) "Main Titles"—Corpse Bride
6) "Victor's Piano Solo"—Corpse Bride
7) "Remains of the Day"[Combo Version]—Corpse Bride
8) "Veruca Salt"—Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
9) "Mike Teevee"—Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
10) "The Simpsons"—The Simpsons
11) "Hot to Trot"—Hot to Trot
12) "Tales from the Crypt"—Tales from the Crypt

Encore 1: "The Willy Wonka Welcome Song"—Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Encore 2: "Batman"—Batman

Daniel Robert Elfman was born in Amarillo, Texas, in May of 1953 to two teachers, Milton and Blossom Elfman. Growing up in Los Angeles, Elfman spent lots of time at the local theatre, idolizing the music of Bernard Hermann and Franz Waxman. At 18, he dropped out of high school and moved to France with his brother. There, he played his violin on the streets for cash. Later, he joined his brother in Le Gran Magic Circus, an experimental musical theatre group.
After this experience, he moved to Africa to learn new styles and instruments. He contracted malaria and moved back to the U. S. Richard Elfman, brother and director, was in the process of making the film The Forbidden Zone. He had formed a band, The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo, to play music for the film. Danny was then charged with composing the score, and even performed in the film as Satan. "A wonderful vehicle to try out a of few 'wacky' ideas that had been floating around in my head," says Elfman about his first film music experience. "Ode to Mr. Satie on this, my first love theme."
Elfman went on to perform in the group Oingo Boingo, a shortened name for the Mystic Knights. There were never any set parts, and the band at one point in time consisted of 15 people playing more that 30 instruments. This was the group that performed much of Elfman's music for much of his early films, including Forbidden Zone and Weird Science.
Elfman has gone on to write music for Edward Scissor Hands, Beetlegeuse, Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas, Back to School, Scrooged, themes for Chicago, and even the themes songs for such shows as The Simpsons, Desperate Housewives, and Tales from the Crypt.
The greatest aspect of Danny Elfman's music is that it differs so much from itself. One of the biggest complaints about Danny Elfman is that his music all sounds the same: dark and foreboding. However, Elfman has a way of playing with styles. In the first piece, "Forbidden Zone," we are treated to an eerie piano sound, showing classical Elfman. After all, this was his first film piece. Next, we are treated to Elfman's voice, as he is the guest vocalist for "Jack's Lament," a piece that mourns the monotony of life and strives for something new. To go back to Elfman's apparent favored style, we hear "Main Titles" from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which gives the impression of a machine working. This is represented in the film well, because the opening sequence follows the progression of the creation of Wonka's finest candy. There will be a moment before the work begins because a screen will be pulled down to show the sequence.
To liven the mood a little, Elfman becomes the conductor of a jazz band, playing "Roxie's Suite," from the motion picture Chicago. We move on to three pieces from Elfman's latest work with director Tim Burton, his twelfth in fact, Corpse Bride. The first two are "Main Titles" and "Victor's Piano Solo," both eerie and entertaining, with memorable melodies. The third is another jazz tune, performed by a small combo, called "Remains of the Day."
More vocal selections are performed by Elfman, "Veruca Salt" and "Mike Teevee," incorporate various styles into the two pieces. They include the original lyrics from Roald Dahl's Charlie and the chocolate Factory, with popular influence from Elfman. Again, the screen will be pulled down to show the sequences from the motion picture.
The next piece is familiar tune to all, "The Simpsons" from the popular TV show. This differs from Elfman's "classic" style by being upbeat and fun. "Hot to Trot" follows closely, with a western feel and a cool walking bass section following the fast and furious opening.
The true concert closes with the theme from "Tales from the Crypt," with a special appearance from everyone's favorite Crypt Keeper, giving a monologue and his favorite quote: "Who's next? Perhaps…you?"
Finally, Elfman will be returning to stage for the performance of two more songs: "Wonka's Welcome Song" from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the theme from Batman, possibly his greatest composition.
Now sit back and enjoy some music for a darkened theater.!/etc/danny_elfman/
Elfman, Danny. Music for a Darkened Theatre CD insert. MCA Records. 1990.

Beauty & the Beast

Disney’s Beauty & the Beast: the Musical
Album Liner Notes

Act 1

The Narrator describes the outline of the story and the history of one of the main characters, the Beast. It is important to note that the story takes place in 17th century French countryside.

Belle, the heroine, is first introduced while on a routine visit to town. We quickly learn that Belle is kind, beautiful, and smart. However, she is considered an outcast among the townspeople, and this frustrates her. We also learn that she is not satisfied with her life – she feels it is too predictable, too boring. She turns to her love of books for friendship. The villain, Gaston, is also introduced. Gaston is strong, handsome, and beloved by everyone in town (especially the women), but is also selfish and vain. He confesses to his sidekick Lefue that he is in love with Belle simply because she is “the most beautiful girl in town” and plans on marrying her. Belle doesn’t feel the same way towards Gaston. Rather, she despises him.

No Matter What
Belle has returned to her home from her errands in town. She lives with her loving father Maurice, a peculiar inventor. Belle approaches Maurice and asks if she is “odd”. Maurice comforts her, telling her that he is also considered an outcast among the townspeople and that she is not odd but unique. Belle and Maurice then realize that all they have is each other.

No Matter What (Reprise)/Wolf Chase
Maurice has just invented a machine that chops wood and is off to the fair to enter it in a contest. On the way, though, he gets lost in the woods. Wolves scare his horse away and chase him to an abandoned castle that happens to belong to the Beast, unbeknownst to Maurice. Once inside, Maurice comes in contact with the enchanted objects: Lumiere, Cogsworth, Mrs. Potts, and her son Chip, among others. They were once servants to the Beast, and they show Maurice kindness and hospitality. The Beast however does not. Feeling that Maurice has only come to torment him, the Beast locks him up in a dungeon and leaves him there to die.

Belle is now home alone, and Gaston has decided that this is the perfect time to ask for her hand in marriage. While he is proposing, he degrades women, talks more about himself than he does Belle, and describes what the future would hold for them if they married. All the while, Belle listens to him and tries to be polite about the whole situation, but she is appalled and finally turns him down as she throws him out of the house. Outraged at being dumped, Gaston vows that he will marry Belle, one way or another.

Belle (Reprise)
Belle is still disgusted with Gaston’s proposal. She pines for a different life than what people plan or expect of her; she wants a life with adventure and wishes someone would understand.

After Belle (Reprise), Belle finds her father’s scarf and realizes he must be lost. She immediately leaves to look for him and eventually finds the castle. She finds Maurice inside, who is now very ill. The Beast finds her as well, and despite her begging, the Beast refuses to let Maurice go. Belle offers to switch places with her father. The Beast approves, but makes her promise that she must stay at the castle forever. Just like Maurice, Belle is unaware that there is any spell.

Belle has just been left alone for the first time since becoming a prisoner of the Beast. She realizes that home is not where you live but where your heart lies. She is scared, angry, depressed, and overwhelmed, all at once. She hates the Beast for what he did to her father and what he has done to her. However, she finally decides that she is determined to survive.

Home (Reprise)
Belle has just met the enchanted objects, including Mrs. Potts and Chip. They are already fond of her for being brave enough to switch places with her father. They try to console her by offering her their friendship and hope for whatever lies ahead.

Gaston, still fuming over being dumped by Belle, sulks in the corner at the town pub. Lefue, along with the rest of the pub, tries to put Gaston in a good mood by praising him and telling him that he is the most admired and popular man in town.

Gaston (Reprise)
Maurice, who has just returned from the castle, storms into the pub. He tells everyone inside about the Beast and how Belle is locked in the castle. He demands help to go save her, but nobody believes him. They dismiss him as a harmless eccentric and throw him into the street. Maurice vows that he will save her himself. Maurice’s antics inspire Gaston to form a plan that will force Belle to marry him. He whispers the plan to Lefue. Feeling that the plan is fool-proof, the two celebrate and admire at how smart Gaston is.

How Long Must This Go On?
The Beast has demanded that Belle join him for dinner. Belle refuses, which leaves the Beast in an angry outrage; he responds by declaring that Belle will receive no food unless it is in his company. The Beast then hides in the West Wing, his own room that is forbidden to everyone else. He curses the witch for turning him into a beast and wonders if anyone will take the time and patience to help him change himself into a better man.

Be Our Guest
Belle has snuck out of her room and enters the kitchen. She tells Lumiere, Cogsworth, and Mrs. Potts that she is hungry. They all feel sorry for her and decide to give her food despite what the Beast said. Instead of just giving her food, though, they give her a dinner show with all the enchanted objects singing and dancing.

If I Can’t Love Her
After the dinner, Lumiere and Cogsworth give Belle a tour of the castle. As they pass the Forbidden West Wing, Belle becomes curious and sneaks away to see what lies inside. The Beast discovers her and in a rage yells at her and destroys things. Belle is frightened and breaks her promise by leaving the castle.

The Beast regrets for reacting the way he did and feels tormented for the way he is, inside and out. He hates who and what he is and realizes that if he can’t learn to love Belle then he won’t be able to learn to love anyone. In the end he feels that he is hopeless and that no one can save him.

Act II

Entr’acte/Wolf Chase
Belle is riding away from the castle as a pack of wolves start to chase her. They finally catch up and completely surround her. Just as they are about to attack, the Beast shows up and defends her. He wins the fight, but passes out because of wounds and exhaustion. Belle thinks about running away, but she realizes the Beast has just saved her life and takes the Beast back to the castle where she mends his wounds. She decides to keep her promise after all and stays at the castle.

Something There
Belle and the Beast are on better terms. They are not only getting along, they are showing kindness to each other.

Belle and the Beast are outside in the snow, enjoying the winter weather together. Belle suddenly realizes that the Beast is more than he appears to be; she sees kindness and innocence and wonders why she hasn’t seen it before. The Beast slowly starts to realize that Belle no longer hates him and wonders if there may be something more to their newfound friendship. Overwhelmed with the kindness Belle is showing him, the Beast decides to surprise Belle by giving her his huge library. Belle is overjoyed with the gift, yet at the same time is scared and excited at what may develop between her and the Beast. As Belle shows the Beast one of her favorite books, she discovers that the Beast doesn’t know how to read and teaches him to read. Lumiere, Cogsworth, and Mrs. Potts are delighted at the progress Belle and the Beast are showing. Although Belle and the Beast are unsure, the three objects realize that there may be love in Belle and the Beast’s future. Belle reads to the Beast and is tickled at his enthusiasm towards books. Belle admits to the Beast that she was considered odd in her hometown and that she understands how it feels to be different and lonely. She then continues to read to him.

Human Again
The enchanted objects grow anxious at the prospect of Belle breaking the spell. They start to dream about what they would do if they were human again. Belle finishes reading the book to the Beast and asks the Beast for a second chance by asking him to dinner. The Beast excitedly agrees.

Maison Des Lunes
Gaston and Lefue are alone with the owner of the town asylum. They finally reveal their plan, which is to pay the owner to lock up Maurice unless Belle agrees to marry Gaston.

Beauty and the Beast
Belle and the Beast are at the dinner, which has become a romantic affair with candlelight and dancing, thanks to the enchanted objects. The Beast looks handsome in a French suit and Belle looks more beautiful than ever in a yellow ball gown.

If I Can’t Love Her (Reprise)
After dancing, the Beast asks Belle if she likes living in the castle. Belle says that she does but that she worries about her father; she wishes to see him just one more time. The Beast grants her request by letting her see Maurice in a magical hand mirror that lets you see what is happening anywhere. The mirror shows Maurice sick and alone in the woods. Belle is upset and wishes she could go to him. The Beast sympathizes with her and no longer holds her as a prisoner. Belle thanks the Beast for his understanding and leaves. Before she goes, the Beast gives Belle the magical mirror as a way for her to always see and remember him.

The Beast now realizes that he truly loves Belle, but feels that she does not feel the same way. He sees that there is no hope in breaking the spell, but knows that he doesn’t want to live a normal life anyway if he can’t love her.

The Mob Song
Belle has found her father and is taking care of him back at their home. She is not home for long before a crowd surrounds the house. When Belle and Maurice go outside to see what is going on, men from the asylum grab Maurice and start to drag him away. Belle becomes frantic and begs Gaston to stop them. He agrees, but only if she will marry him. Belle, shocked and appalled, refuses. In order to prove to the crowd that her father is not crazy she grabs the magical mirror and shows everyone the Beast. The crowd is scared and feels that he is dangerous. Belle tries to reassure them that he is not dangerous, but kind and gentle instead. When she tells everyone that he is her friend, Gaston claims that Belle has feelings for the Beast. Belle denies it and calls Gaston a monster. Gaston, his ego now bruised, convinces the crowd that the Beast is dangerous and a threat to their town. The crowd soon turns into a mob and, with Gaston leading the way, forget about Maurice and storm off to the castle to kill the Beast. Belle and Maurice rush to the castle to warn the Beast and the enchanted objects of the mob.

The Battle
The enchanted objects see the mob in the distance and prepare for battle by using their appearance as real objects to their advantage: by standing still in order to surprise the mob.

The mob is now inside the castle, and the enchanted objects surprise them and attack. As they are fighting, Lumiere asks the Beast what they should do. The Beast, no longer having any desire to live, tells him to let them come. The enchanted objects ignore the Beast’s orders and continue to fight. The enchanted objects win and chase away the mob, but Gaston manages to sneak off to look for the Beast.

End Duet/Transformation
Gaston finds the Beast and starts to torment him and fight him. The Beast does nothing to defend himself. When he sees Belle returning to the castle, though, he fights back. Gaston and the Beast fight on the roof and in the end, the Beast wins. Instead of killing him, he lets him go and tells him to get out. Belle is on the roof as well and as the Beast joins her Gaston stabs him in the side with a knife. Both the Beast and Gaston lose balance, but Belle grabs the Beast and pulls him to safety as Gaston plummets to his death. The Beast is severely wounded and looks as though he is not going to live.

In his dying breaths, the Beast tells Belle that he is glad he got to see her one last time. Belle tries to encourage him by telling him that he’s not going to die and that everything’s going to be ok. She finally realizes that the castle and the Beast, not the town, is her home. She begs the Beast not to die, and as the last rose petal falls she tells him she loves him, thus breaking the spell. Suddenly, the Beast starts to rise and is transformed in mid-air before Belle’s own eyes. The Beast is now the Prince. Everything else is changed back as well, including the enchanted objects and the castle. Belle does not recognize the Beast as the Prince, and the Prince tells her to look into his eyes to prove that he is still the same man she fell in love with. Belle recognizes him and they celebrate their love.

Beauty and the Beast (Reprise)
Everyone is celebrating the breaking of the spell and the love between Belle and the Prince.

Annie's Top Ten Favorite Songs, Vol. I

I thought this would be an easy task, but once I started going through my CDs, I realized it was going to be quite difficult. With as many songs I have on CDs, there are many songs I don’t have on records. And with the CDs I do have, I realized I love almost every song on it. Eventually, I ended up making sure I had different groups and genres to show my broad likening. Also, please note, the songs are listed in alphabetical order, not in an order based on my favorite.

“Bounce” from System of a Down’s Toxicity
System of a Down is an alternative metal band known for their lyrics of outspoken social and political views. With all four being born of Armenian ancestry, their East Asian influences come through in their music with their use of many East Asian instruments including the electric mandolin, sitar, 12-string classical guitar, along with the electric guitar, and drums. They have been influenced mainly by earlier alternative rock bands, but also from Armenian folk music, blues, classic rock, fusion, heavy metal, jazz, punk rock as well as other industrial genres.

Basically, I like this song strictly because of the lyrics. I think they are hilarious! The song is slightly loud and heavy rock, which means it’s only good listening when I’m in a slightly angry mood, hyper mood, or I’ve gone through my other typical CDs, but back to the lyrics. It’s about a pogo stick. And how this guy is going out on a date with this popular girl and wants to show her the tricks he can do on his pogo stick. But it turns out all of her friends have tricks too, but they only have on pogo stick. It’s pretty funny, at least I think so.

“Chemical Party” from Gavin DeGraw’s Chariot
Gavin DeGraw’s Chariot is an eclectic collection of 11 of his original songs that are emotionally forthright melodies with lyrics that reflect about life and love with thoughts beyond his age, sung with a raspy voice that conveys the pain of heartache as well as the joy of love, equally as well.

This song basically is a story of this guy at a party watching a girl he likes become completely indulged in these drugs to the point where she is so incoherent that she thinks her “name is pass the joint.” I like this song because it reminds me of my second relationship in High School in which my boyfriend, at the time, got to a point where he believed “chemicals” were more important than me and I couldn’t get through to him. It really just let me get out some frustration about his stupidity. I also like it because it opens with an acoustic sound of a guitar, breaking out into a chorus with a rock-beat to it, along with the slightest bit of a country guitar in the background.

“Come Fly With Me” from Frank Sinatra’s Classic Sinatra: His Greatest Performances 1953-1960
Frank Sinatra’s Classic Sinatra album shows the very many sides of Sinatra. It has jazzy ballads set with a late night isolation feel, hip jazz numbers, and swingin’ big band tunes.

I like this because of its big band sound with an upbeat swing. The use of the horns in the opening just grabs your attention right away, the steady beat of the bass drives the song till the very end, the nice swing on the drums, and the use of the strings when Sinatra talks about angels cheering is magnificent. One of my favorite parts in the song is the instrumental break in the middle when the horns, woodwinds and percussion section all let loose and build up to the key change. And of course, it’s sung by Frank Sinatra, and you’ve got to love Frank!

“The Dummy Song” by Louis Armstrong from the Original You’ve Got Mail Soundtrack
Louis Armstrong, a trumpet and cornet player, is one of the most influential jazz players of the 20th century with a unique tone, way of playing, and daring improvisation skills. He is also known for his gravely voice which has been said to create jazz singing and helped popularize scat singing. With is constant practice on the trumpet, Armstrong was able to widen the range he was able to play which made way for large leaps and joyous improvised melodies. His improvisation skills almost single handedly created the title of a jazz soloist.

This song is one that just jumps out and grabs you right away with it’s loud, muted horn beginning with muted trumpets. Then it slips into a soft, upbeat jazz piece with a rag-time feel to it, while Armstrong sings with a soft melody of a clarinet behind him. The instrumental break is very exciting with a more upbeat feel from the drums with improvisation of Armstrong beginning with high staccato notes on the off beat then to a more melodious high sound. Then it’s traded off to another trumpeter with a lower sound, then back to Armstrong to finish it off. Through out the entire solo, a clarinet is running wildly up and down the scales with the trombones and horns lightly playing through the chorus which adds such a rich sound to the solos. Then it goes back into the chorus with what feels to be even more upbeat than before, with variations of the chorus. It has a question answer feel with Armstrong singing the lyrics, answered loudly by the band which then quietly accompanies Armstrong while he sings the next phrase. The musicianship and fast tempo of the song is very enjoyable and makes you want to dance!

“If I Ain’t Got You” from Alicia Keys’ The Diary of Alicia Keys
Alicia Key’s is an American R&B/Soul composer, pianist, producer and singer-songwriter,. At the age of 5 she began playing pieces by Beethoven, Chopin, and Mozart and composed her first piece at the age of 14. The Diary of Alicia Keys has more of a pop style feel to it than her debut album Songs In A-Minor, showing the many sides of Keys’ talent.

I like this song mainly because of the music. It opens with a just the piano playing arpeggio like notes then once Keys starts singing, the drums enter and then the arpeggios turn into chords with a soulful feel, and once the chorus starts, the bass comes in as well. At the end of the chorus, the horns begin to double the piano which gives it a 70’s funk and soul feel to it. After the second chorus, it fades into just the arpeggios like the being of the song and fades out. I really get into the 70’s funk and soul feel. It’s really rich in sound.

“I Want To Hold Your Hand” from The Beatles’ One
The Beatles had a huge musical influence on the UK as well as the US with the pop and rock styles. They were influenced by Britain rock-and-rollers, Cliff Richard, The Shadows, Rory Strom and the Hurricanes, as well as American Chuck Berry, Eddie Cochran, Carl Perkins, early Motown artists, Little Richard, and those with more of the pop feel rather than the blues. The music they played varied from dance albums to more intricate and harmonically driven albums as well as simplistic songs for animated films. They’re lyrics ranged from boy meets girl stories to nonsense and some defying that caused a stir in the public.

It was hard to choose one Beatle song because they are all just great, but I came to this conclusion merely because I’m connected to it through my best friend, Brittany. We’re crazy when we’re together and this, I guess you could say, is our theme song. We listened to the entire One album for the entire summer, singing it as we drove, or just randomly. This song was just really funny because we pulled up to a group of our friends blaring the music and doing choreography, so now it’s just our song! It just makes me happy. I think that’s all I can say...

“More Than Words” from Extreme’s The Best Of Extreme
Extreme, popular during the late1980s and early 1990s, categorized them self as “Funky Metal” but is technically classified under American funk metal, hair metal, hard rock band. With their multi-part vocal harmonies along with acoustic and electric guitar use, it is easy to see that they were influenced by Van Halen and Queen.

I like this song for it’s words as well as it’s music. The words talk about how saying “I love you” doesn’t always fix things, and saying it repeatedly doesn’t mean you actually mean it; that actions show how you actually feel so much more than those three words and if you weren’t able to say “I love you,” would you be able to show that you truly cared for this person. The words are set with a complete acoustic back up with a guitar as well as a set of congas used during the chorus which also sets it apart from their typical songs. The lyrics are completely true and the way it is sung with the acoustic music is not only relaxing but also conveys how the simplest things can be all you need to convey what you want.

“One Flight Down” from Norah Jones’ Come Away With Me
Norah Jones’ Come Away With Me is mainly filled with jazz tunes, but also with some soul and folk/country. With a diverse feeling in each song, the warmness that comes through with her soft voice is enough to relax anyone.

I like this song mainly because of the way the melody fits with the soulful jazz playing of the piano. I don’t really have an attachment to the words. I tend to like soulful, gospel piano numbers and you can definitely hear it in the opening measures. Also, during the choruses when she goes down to the middle 1 range and plays the chords going up the scale, it really gives you the soul feel. Overall, the song has a slight jazz feel, but I really feel it has a lot more soul in it than some of the others on the CD.

“Signed, Sealed, Delivered” by Stevie Wonder from The Original You’ve Got Mail Soundtrack
Stevie Wonder is one of Motown’s most successful singer-songwriter, producer and musician. Blind from infancy, Wonder moved along to become thought of as a musical genius because of his many talents with different instruments. He plays the drums, guitar, congas, harmonica, keyboard, piano and synthesizers. He’s a legend in rock and pop music, making music since the age of 13 in 1963, and just recently released a new album at the age of 55, in October of 2005.

I love this song because of it’s music. It’s got a great Motown, 70’s funk groove to it. It’s got the bass guitar and the drums driving the beat, the horns blowing some funky harmonies, the tambourine giving it that extra kick, and Wonderlove, the back up singers, harmonizing with Stevie Wonder! This type of music is always just fun to listen to and puts me in a great mood! Sometimes I feel I’ve been born in the wrong era, because I dig the 70’s, 20’s, 50’s, 90’s, the OT’s, just about everything! But this 70’s, Motown funk is great!!

“Sunday Morning” from Maroon 5’s Songs About Jane
Maroon 5’s Songs About Jane are original songs written by the lead vocalist, Adam Lavigne, about his troubles with his girlfriend, Jane. The songs range from pop songs about the hope of getting back together and of how much happiness she gives him, to pop-rock songs saying that he’s done with her games and he’s not coming back.

I mainly like this song due to its music. It opens with just a simple beat for two measures, then the piano comes in with a few simple chords, then the guitar joins in along with the lyrics, then the bass joins in and with each instrument the lyrics build up to the hope of being able to see this girl again, and then the chorus just grows into a louder sound with a more complex beat behind it, driven by the bass guitar and the drums. Then, after another verse and chorus it comes to the instrumental break with a sax , bass guitar, electric guitar and the key board doubling the sound of a bass, all playing in unison this jazz beat up against the drums which grows into the final chorus. The song just puts me in a good mood and the way the music builds up since the beginning is just awesome. - - -

A Love Supreme

"A Love Supreme"
I will do all I can to be worthy of Thee, O Lord. It all has to do with it. Thank You God. Peace. There is none other. God is. It is so beautiful. Thank You God. God is all. Help us to resolve our fears and weaknesses. In you all things are possible. Thank you God. We know. God made us so. Keep your eye on God. God is. He always was. He always will be. No matter what... it is God. He is gracious and merciful. It is most important that I know Thee. Words, sounds, speech, men, memory, thoughts,fears and emotions--time--all related...all made from one... all made in one.Blessed be his name. Thought waves--heat waves--all vibrations--all paths lead to God. Thank you God. His way... it is so lovely... it is gracious.It is merciful--Thank you God. One thought can produce millions of vibrationsand they all go back to God... everything does. Thank you God. Have no fear... believe... Thank you God. The universe has many wonders. God is all. His way... it is so wonderful. Thoughts--deeds--vibrations, all go back to God and He cleanses all. He is gracious and merciful... Thank you God. Glory to God... God is so alive. God is. God loves. May I be acceptable in Thy sight. We are all one in His grace. The fact that we do exist is acknowledgementof Thee, O Lord. Thank you God. God will wash away all our tears...He always has...He always will. Seek him everyday. In all ways seek God everyday. Let us sing all songs to God. To whom all praise is due... praise God. No road is an easy one, but they allgo back to God. With all we share God. It is all with God. It is all with Thee. Obey the Lord. Blessed is He. We were all from one thing... the will of God...Thank you God. I have seen ungodly--none can be greater--none can compare. Thank you God. He will remake... He always has and Healways will. It's true--blessed be His name--Thank you God. God breathes through us so gently we hardly feel it... yet, it is our everything. Thank you God. ELATION--ELEGANCE--EXALTATION--All from God. Thank you God. Amen.

-John Coltrane

A Love Supreme is John Coltrane’s plea for self-correction. He has suffered so much pain, he needed to justify his revelation through his music. This album expresses Coltrane’s drug sufferings and revelation with God, making it a life-changing album inspiring other artists’ creativity.

“During the year 1957, I experienced, by the grace of God, a spiritual awakening which was to lead me to a richer, fuller, more productive life. At that time, in gratitude, I humbly asked to be given the means and privilege to make others happy through music. I feel this has been granted through His grace.”[1]

John Coltrane is not the greatest saxophone player of all time because of his physical technique, but because of his ability to express his life/emotions through music. He felt things deeply, such as his drug addiction, his first wife Naima (who inspired Coltrane to revere God), his respect for God, and especially his supreme love for jazz and the tenor saxophone.

A Love Supreme is divided into four parts, although the last two, “pursuance” and “Psalm” are connected. Part 1, "Acknowledgment," has a bossa-nova feel, famous for the album's classic bass line. Later in that track Coltrane chants the phrase "a love supreme; a love supreme" repeatedly to the pitches and rhythm of the bass line. This unorthodox use of lyrics in a Coltrane album immediately sets it apart from all the others.

Part 2 is called "Resolution." It is a medium-up swing that shows off Coltrane's and Tyner’s abilities in soloing. Although this can be considered the most “straight-ahead” tracks on the album, Coltrane takes continues to take his solo to another level, keeping the album’s theme alive by exploring the world of dissonance.

Part 3, "Pursuance," is a high energy song, probably the most “free” in its improvisations. Keeping the main focus on solos, it leads directly to the final portion of the album: Part 4, "Psalm." This is a quiet track built on the long, reflective poem by Coltrane also titled “A Love Supreme.” This completes the album summing up his feelings for God, pain and love.

Although A Love Supreme was created seven years after his spiritual awakening, it is clear that John Coltrane has experienced suffering. This album is Coltrane’s representation of the transformation from being unhappy to feeling fulfilled; capturing and setting free his emotions through this poem and especially through his music. Instead of artificially stimulating his life and desires by drugs, he starts to use this raw angst he left over from his heroin addiction, as well as his exaltation of God, to fuel his supreme passion for jazz and the tenor saxophone.

[1] Jazzitude, Marshall Bowden. 2001. Sponsored by 5 Nov., 2005.

Umphrey's McGee

Umphrey's McGee
IU Auditorium, November 4, 2005

Set 1: Jimmy Stewart> 40's Theme> Front Porch> Jimmy Stewart> Front Porch> Plunger>
Higgins> Mulche's Odyssey
Set 2: The Bottom Half> Utopian Fir> War Pigs> Utopian Fir> Walletsworth> Percussion solo>
Rosana> Honkytonk Blues> Robots World
Encore: Hey 19 (Steely Dan)

About the Band:
The band, Umphrey's McGee, first began in 1997 although not entirely in the form as it appears now. Umphrey's was started in South Bend by Joel Cummins (keyboards, vocals; studied in Julliard), Brendan Bayliss (guitar, vocals) and Ryan Stasik (bass), and Mike Mirro (drums, vocals)--their first album was Greatest Hits Part 3. Soon after, they invited Andy Farag to join them on percussion (mostly hand drums and other "toys"). A year later and along with their new percussionist, they released Songs for Older Women. In 2000 they were joined by guitarist Jake Cinninger who helped with the making of their third album, One Fat Sucka. But it wasn't until their fourth release of Local Band Does OK in 2002 did they become nationally recognized for their musical talents (and the rest of us had to start buying tickets early). In 2003, Mike Mirro decided to head off to medical school which allowed Kris Myers to replace him as Umphrey's kit drummer. With their new drummer, Umphrey's released in 2004 their best album, Anchor Drops which appeals to listeners even outside of the jam band scene. With their great energy, talent, and creativity, Umphrey's McGee has drawn a crowd of loyal fans and is headed towards the top of the music industry.

A Study In Brown

Clifford Brown was an anomaly, and not just in his playing. In an age characterized by the vagrant, drug-induced lifestyles of many of jazz music’s biggest stars, he was able to avoid such debilitating influences and just play music. He owned a house, had insurance, was known for his incredible work ethic, visited his parents when travel schedules allowed, was educated, married, and had a son. He also happened to be one of the greatest trumpet players in the history of the music. Discovered by Dizzy Gillespie as a young college student, “Brownie,” as he was affectionately known, soon became a regular on Philadelphia bandstands alongside the likes of Charlie Parker and Miles Davis. At a time when trumpet players aimed for more and more notes at the expense of great sound, Brown had both. His improvisation included dazzling technique and clever melodic excerpts served on a clear, unblemished sound.

At the tender age of 23, Brown paired with legendary drummer Max Roach, and the two never looked back. They co-lead a group that included Harold Land, and eventually Sonny Rollins, on tenor saxophone, George Morrow on bass, and Richie Powell on piano. Individually, they were some of the biggest names in jazz. Together, they would change the face of the music they had dedicated their lives to. Recordings featured very ordered, but still exciting and unusual arrangements and some of the greatest improvisation to come out of the bebop age.

Now, just in time for the original recording’s 50th anniversary, EmArcy Records has re-released the duo’s classic album A Study In Brown.

The first cut on the record is Ray Noble’s Cherokee, taken at a tempo that would make most jazz masters cringe. Clifford’s solo on this track is considered one of his signature works. Mind-boggling technique is on display broken up only by clever melodic statements. Harold Land and Richie Powell also demonstrate why they were some of the best sidemen in the business on their respective solos.

The next six tracks are all group originals. Powell’s Jacqui features an extraordinary, if brief, melodic solo by Clifford, as well as work by Land, Powell, and Roach, sandwiched between a brilliant light-hearted melody featuring the two horns.

Next is a fast paced Clifford original, Swingin’, followed by Harold Land’s laid back Lands End. Another Brown original, George’s Dilemma, follows; a piece described by Roach as “a romance between Afro-Cuban and jazz rhythms.”

The third and fourth Brown originals, both blues, follow in succession. Sandu is a lighthearted work featuring another simple, but brilliant solo by Clifford, as well as Harold Land. Roach also has solo space, as well as bassist George Morrow. Gerkin for Perkin is a much faster tempo, and a completely different, almost humorous mood.

The last two selections for this record are both familiar to most music lovers. If I Love Again, an old pop tune, is taken at a faster, more jazz-like tempo. Clifford’s solo on this cut has often been described as “Miles Davis-like.” The final selection is Billy Strayhorn’s standard Take the A-Train. It is this landmark recording that is the first to feature the train-like sound effects that are now so popular. Land takes a few courses, followed by Clifford and Powell. Next is a brief shout section featuring Roach on the drum set. The piece, as well as the record comes to a close with the dying out of the train whistle as it pulls into station.

This recording project was one of the last before Brownie’s life came to a tragic end. On the way to meet Max Roach in Chicago, the vehicle carrying both Brown and Richie Powell slid off of the Pennsylvania turnpike, killing them both. He was just 25 years old. That night saw the death of not just a great man, but someone many have decided would have become the greatest jazz musician of all time. In a recording career that spanned barely 3 years, Clifford Brown had managed to impact the jazz world forever, and this record is the only evidence needed to back such a statement up.

A Trumpet Recital

Concerto for Trumpet/ Alexander Arutunian (b. 1920)

Alexander Arutunian, born on September 23, 1920 in Yerevan, Armenia, attended the Komitas Conservatory in Yerevan. Since his graduation from the Komitas Conservatory, he has established himself as a world renowned composer. One of his most high-rated works is his Concerto for Trumpet, which ranks among Franz Joseph Haydn and Johann Nepomuk Hummel's Trumpet Concerto and Paul Hindemith's Sonata for Trumpet as the most played trumpet pieces in the world. The idea for this concerto, like many of Arutunian's other pieces, came to him while he was asleep. His fondness for brass instruments, established by his memories of brass ensembles in Armenian cities from his childhood, could explain why he chose the trumpet to go along with this romantic piece of work. This concerto features four sections: Andante, Allegro energico, Meno mosso, and Allegro. Completed in 1950, this piece was originally written for the principal trumpet player of the Yerevan Opera Orchestra, Zolak Vartasarian. Instead, it was premiered by Timofei Dokshizer, a virtuoso trumpet player from Moscow.

Concert Etude/ Alexander Goedicke (1877-1957)

Although Alexander Goedicke is a Russian composer, this piece has become quite popular among trumpeters of the United States. Very often this will be used as piece for contest by high school trumpet players. This piece takes on an encore-like feeling, although encapsulating all the characteristics of a romantic piece of music. This piece takes on a difficulty that is slightly above moderate difficulty due to its double-tounging and arpeggio passages, although not demanding for the trumpet player in terms of range.

Sonata for Trumpet and Piano/ Paul Hindemith (1895-1963)

Paul Hindemith, born in Frankfurt, Germany on November 16, 1895, is considered the foremost German composer of his generation. This piece, written in 1939, was one of a series of many sonatas made to supply pieces with substance and and challenge for amateur trumpet players. Although, this piece transcended its companion Sonatas for other instruments, taking on a great depth of emotion and personality. In fact, it is one of Hindemith's most personal expressions in music taken on while he was living in exile in Switzerland from the Nazi party of his home country, Germany. For these reasons, This sonata could be described a a musical work of protest and extreme sadness. The first movement is entitled Mit Kraft, or with strength. This movement is characterized by a bold, yet brooding trumpet part with outbursts of expression from the piano. The second movement is entitled Massig bewegt, showing great tension along a quieter trumpet part and a march-like feel. The third movement of this masterwork is named Trauermarsch, or funeral-march. Essentially a funeral march is what it is, performed in its entire sense of grievance at an incredibly slow tempo. At the end of the third movement, the piece ends with a chorale entitled Alle Menshen mussen Sterben, or All men must die. This chorale is performed at a painstakingly slow tempo (the quarter note is equal to 40) with a restless piano part underlying the trumpets playing of the melody.

Trumpet Concerto in Eb/ Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)

Franz Joseph Haydn, born on March 31, 1732 in Rohrau, Austria, is considered one of the great composers of his age. His Concerto for the trumpet is considered one of the two great pieces written for trumpet. It, along with Johann Nepomuk Hummel's Trumpet Concerto (the other of the two great pieces) were written for a man named Anton Weidinger, a trumpeter in the Viennese court who had just created a trumpet with keys that could play the chromatic scale in contrast to the baroque trumpet that did not have valves to play on. Weidinger performed this concerto after it was written in 1796 at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. A piece of three movements, the first movement contains two expositions, the performed by the accompanist. The second movement, entitled Andante is a very lyrical movement showing the romantic sound of a trumpet. The third movement combines sonata and rondo forms, utilizing them in a highly climactic manner.

Works Cited

"About the Composition: Sonata for Trumpet and Piano." Web page. Richard Freed. The John
F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Carnovale, Norbert A. and Doerksen, Paul F. Twentieth Century Music for Trumpet and
Orchestra. Brass Press: 1975. 11, 24.

Sadie, Stanley, ed. The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. 2nd ed. Macmillan
Publishers Limited: 2001. 11: 523-538.

Smith, Norman E. Program Notes for Band. Program Note Press: 2002, 2000. 21, 273-274.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

"Thoroughly Connected"

Professors Barbara Paré, soprano, and John Clodfelter, piano, delivered a consummate recital on Wednesday night. Having collaborated musically for the past five years, they have developed a constant visceral connection that is very evident while watching them perform with precise synchronization. Throughout the entire evening, they represented themselves as complete artists, thoroughly connected to the various facets of their field.
The evening began with a cogent performance of "Alma Grande e nobil core". Paré sang Mozart's concert aria with poised nobility that carried itself quite convincingly from her head tones down to solid chest tones. The chest tones here and throughout the performance were used very intelligently for dramatic emphasis without losing the brightness and focus of the top. Paré's huge, bright lyric was also well-focused, a commendable feat for a voice of that size. The Mozart was followed by excerpts from Berlioz's song cycle, Les Nuits d'Ete. Pare made good dramatic use of the beautiful French poetry, as when she seemed to vocally kiss the word "baiser" in "La spectre de la rose". She also sang very expressively on the recurring phrase," Si je parfois," gingerly caressing the notes, yet increasing the intensity at each occurence. "Sur la langunes" gave our soprano's voice a wonderful setting to display its top, blooming as a flower to the light of the sun. The same held true in "L'absence" when she filled the hall with bright, dilectible color at the opening phrase," Reviens, ma bien-aime." In "L'ile inconnue" she caressed the notes from the bottom to the gorgeous top of her voice, intelligently emphasizing the phrase,"Ou voulez-vous aller?".
Throughout the performance, I continued to feel that the artists had a constant connection to each other, their technique and their musicality . Clodfelter was always with Paré, artistically shaping phrases with con dolcezza and at other times with intensity. Despite the context of the song, he and Paré always shared emotions with a loving passion for their art. I also felt the consistent connection of Paré to her body as her technique let her body do the work for her voice; I always felt that her voice was flying free without strain.
The artists' strong connection to their text became significantly evident as they began the German half of their program with selections from Mignon Lieder, Hugo Wolf's musical setting to Goethe's poetry. Paré and Clodfelter assumed a plaintive, dolorous mien. Paré was very much in character in this piece, exposing a heart-breaking, fragile sorrow. This was yet another work in which her top was showed off; it moved as a comet, a big, solid, bright force of hot passion.
The dynamic duo capped the selection with a powerfully emotive "Kennst du das Land". After a surging section of musical and dramatic intensity, Clodfelter definitely had no inhibitions as he reached a fortissimo with the piano and showered the hall with intense, yet precise scales. After the piece diminished to a soft, special ending, Paré reached for and took Clodfelter's hand for their bow in mutual understanding of how truly special their performance was. Their performance of this piece probably showed the audience their perpetual connection to each other, the music and the text more than any other work on the recital. This became self-evident when a captivated, moved, and exstatic audience brought the duo back on stage for a second round of bowing.
Our artists' final piece was "Nin eilt herbei" from Otto Nicolai's Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor. In this piece, Paré's soprano was at its brightest and most focused. She was very much in character, taking advantage of the declamatory nature of her one operatic aria in the recital. As usual, her German diction was precise and clear-cut as she played up her character's sarcasm to full comic effect. She again made good, intelligent, dramatic use of her chest voice without making sacrifices upon her technique. This piece was truly a gem; there were so many great musical and dramatic things done that I was forced to stop scribbling down notes and to just sit back and enjoy the performance. Her huge, gorgeous top was once again shown off at the end of the aria, capping the performance as icing on a rich, well-flavored cake.
This recital was educational in so many ways. Ultimately, it showed the audience how well singers and pianists can be connected on stage, working as a unit rather than a soloist and an accompanist. It also show the deep connections that the artists had to their technique, text and musicality. As our artists showed us, these qualities harmoniously connected and working together culminate in one of the most beautiful things of all: a vibrant, sympathetic connection between the performers and their audience. Paré and Clodfelter's performance definitely reached this peak, and their audience was greatly appreciative for it.