North Central College - Naperville, IL

Recitals

2007 RECITALS
Harold and Eva White Activities Center
10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

 

Recitals will take place in the following order:

“Why Should Men Quarrel?” by Henry Purcell
Weston Henry
Advisor: Ms. Linda Ogden-Hagen, Music

Purcell was one of the greatest composers of the Baroque period and one of the greatest of all English composers. His earliest surviving works date from 1680 but already showed a complete command of the craft of composition. During the last five years of his life he wrote five “semi operas” in which the music had a large share with arias, choral numbers and dances. His true opera was called Dido and Aeneas. The song “Why Should Men Quarrel?” was a piece written by Purcell for a vocalist to be accompanied by two flutes and continuo. It was then published for piano. I chose this piece to give myself a little more variety in my lessons, and also because I have sung many Purcell songs before and have begun to really enjoy them.

“Cantabile et Presto” by Georges Enesco
Gwendolyn Bowman
Advisor: Dr. Lawrence Van Oyen, Music

Enescu was a composer, violinist, pianist and conductor. Born in Liveni, Romania, on August 19, 1881, Enescu showed an aptitude for music early in his life. At the age of seven, he was steered to follow his studies at the Vienna Conservatory and by the age of 13 he had graduated, earning a silver medal. He lived in Paris and in Romania, but after World War II and the communist occupation of Romania, he remained in Paris and passed away in 1955. Many of Enescu’s works were influenced by Romanian folk music. Enescu’s published output extends to only 33 opus numbers. This is mainly due to his obsessive perfectionism. Many of his published works were repeatedly redrafted before their first performances and then revised several times afterwards. During Enescu’s seven decades as a composer, his styles changed dramatically.

“Bells in the Rain” by John Duke
Alexander Mersman
Advisor: Ms. Linda Ogden-Hagen, Music

John Duke (1899-1984) remains one of modern-day’s most celebrated composers of the past century among solo vocalists. In his career, Duke composed over 265 songs, along with a number of chamber operas, choral and orchestral works. It’s his masterful technique of combining beautiful text with emotionally engaging accompaniment that solidifies his place as a staple composer in modern music literature. In his piece “Bells in the Rain” with text from poet Elinor Wylie, Duke demonstrates his ability to relate text to music. In the opening measures, the accompaniment calls for a quick succession of high octave notes. Hopefully, the listener can recognize these notes symbolizing rain drops falling onto the ground. This piece was challenging when trying to sustain the long phrases, demanding well-executed breath support within a very slow, syllabic text. In the piece’s final measures, Duke adds complexity by writing varied dynamic markings over a difficult octave jump.

Modern-Classical Saxophone Music
Mark Kahovec
Advisor: Dr. Lawrence Van Oyen, Music

This saxophone recital is based on modern saxophone music. The pieces being performed are “Improvisation I” by Ryo Noda and “Concertino da Camera” by Jacques Ibert. “Improvisation I” will be performed by solo alto saxophone while “Concertino da Camera” is performed with alto saxophone and piano. The oral presentation will be a brief explanation of the time period and nationality of the composer.

“The Trees on the Mountains” by Carlisle Floyd, from the opera Susannah
Shelley Crawford
Advisor: Ms. Linda Ogden-Hagen, Music

Susannah is set in New Hope Valley, Tennessee, and is the story of a young girl named Susannah Polk. Susannah is an innocent 19-year-old who dreams of leaving her rural town and traveling beyond the mountains. Many of the elders in the town believe she will come to a bad end. While searching for a creek to hold baptisms in, the elders find Susannah bathing. Susannah then tries to attend church but is not welcome. As false evidence piles up against her, the Reverend asks her to confess to her sins to the whole town. After this meeting, she sings “The Trees on the Mountains.”

Performance on flute of “Fantasia para un gentilhombre” by Joaquin Rodrigo
Nicole Dickson
Advisor: Dr. Lawrence Van Oyen, Music

“Fantasia para un gentilhombre” (Fantasia for a Gentleman) is based on the music and culture of Spain. This piece includes Baroque music of the early Spanish church, folk melodies, and traditional Spanish guitar folk music based on the works of a 17th century Spanish baroque guitarist, Gaspar Sanz. Rodrigo expanded Sanz’s short melodic dance tunes, which are heard in James Galway’s arrangement performed today. This piece was written in 1954 for Andrés Segovia, a paramount guitarist, and the gentleman referred to in the title. The second movement of the piece, “Españoleta y Fanfare de la Caballería de Nápoles,” combines the slow dance of the Españoleta with a fanfare. The overall effect of the second movement is a dance-like feeling. Since the original dances and folk tunes were compiled for Spanish guitar, the performance of the second movement resembles the sound of a guitar.

“Music When Soft Voices Die” by Ernest Gold, with lyricist Percy Bysshe Shelley
Jonathan Schroerlucke
Advisor: Ms. Linda Ogden-Hagen, Music

Ernest Gold really captures the essence of Shelley’s words in this beautiful piece. The lyrics are about the music and life of someone living on, even after their life has passed. It sets up a feeling of mourning but resolves with a hopeful and comforting ending. Gold (1921-1999), while not known widely for his art songs, won a Grammy for his score of Exodus in 1961 and wrote almost 100 television and movie scores. Shelley (1792-1822), one of the most prolific Romantic poets, is known not only for his poetry but for his passionate marriage to Mary Shelly, author of Frankenstein. I took a more delicate approach to this song than I normally do. To fully capture and convey the message of the piece, one must be completely in sync with not only the chromatic movement of pitches but to the slight and subtle dynamic changes. Dynamics to me are emotion in music. 

“It Is Enough” from Felix Mendelssohn’s Oratorio, Elijah
John Radford
Advisor: Ms. Linda Ogden-Hagen, Music

Mendelssohn’s oratorio Elijah was composed in 1846 for the Birmingham Festival. It depicts the life of Elijah, taking its text from the Old Testament books, I and II Kings. This aria portrays Elijah’s wearied desperation as he asks the Lord to take his life and end his frustration and suffering. It is challenging for the performer because it requires that he balance a strong emotional portrayal with the technical challenges of a wide and shifting dynamic range. The piece’s weight and demanding presence place it in a uniquely instructive place in this singer’s development of repertoire and dramatic delivery.

“El Majo Discreto” by Enrique Granados
Sarah Arter
Advisor: Ms. Linda Ogden-Hagen, Music

Born in Spain in 1867, Enrique Granados made his definitive mark on musical history as an expressive turn-of-the-century composer. Composed in 1910, “El Majo Discreto” is one of Granados’ poetic vocal works, which is part of his famous eleven “Tonadillas” (songs performed between acts of plays in Spanish theatre). Translated as “My Discreet Sweetheart,” the song is a story told by a young woman about her affection for her misunderstood, secretive lover. My work on this piece has allowed me to develop my skills both as a singer and a performer by requiring me to put in equal amounts of work on the vocal styling of the song as well as the theatrics of the piece.

Performance of the “Concerto for Trombone” and Piano by Launy Grondahl
Diana Range
Advisor: Dr. Lawrence Van Oyen, Music

The Danish composer Launy Grondahl (1886-1960) studied violin and composition from the age of eight. This trombone concerto was written in 1924 during the composer’s stay in Italy. Grondahl was said to have written it keeping in mind the trombone section of the Royal Orchestra in Copenhagen. He does a wonderful job of integrating a majestic, yet expressive feel throughout the “Concerto for Trombone” and piano accompaniment. Grondahl uses many tempo changes to keep the rather pompous sound of the trombone lively. I want to convey to my audience the importance of understanding the musical intent of the piece. It is almost like telling a story; there is a beginning, middle and end with several different noticeable climaxes in each. Many high and low points in the song help to tell the story, ultimately having a happy ending.