Thursday, 23 March 2017 08:54

Pianist Angela Hewitt re Bach Concertos

Visiting concert pianist Angela Hewitt will play Bach's most popular and beloved keyboard concerto (the one in D minor) along with one in D major, with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Stefan Sanders conducting, on the main stage of Kleinhans Music Hall on March 25 at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday March 26 at 2:30 p.m. In this clip with Hewitt playing the D major concerto in the background, Classical WNED host asks Hewitt how she chose the two concertos which she will play. Her answer: "The D minor is the greatest... no argument." Tickets at the door, or call (716) 885-5000 or www.bpo.org

Visiting concert pianist Angela Hewitt will play Bach's famous, but rarely performed, "Goldberg Variations" at Kleinhans Music Hall's Mary Seaton Room on Wednesday, March 22 at 8:00 p.m. In this conversation with host Peter Hall from Classical WNED, Hewitt describes Bach's music: "perfectly constructed.... emotional depth.... it brings us great joy.... and comfort." But playing this work on a piano (as opposed to a two-keyboard harpsichord) can be tricky. "It's a very visual piece... the hi-jinx you get into." Tickets at the door or call (716) 885-5000 or visit www.bpo.org.

The "International Touring Organ" (ITO) redefines the digital organ as a serious instrument for the touring artist. In the past, an audience had to travel to the organ instead of the organ and organist traveling to where the audience is. For example, Kleinhans Music Hall, where dynamic young organ virtuoso Cameron Carpenter will join the BPO for a concert like no other, featuring not only Saint-Saens’ “Organ Symphony” but Poulenc’s Concerto for Organ and Orchestra.

Marshall & Ogletree has overcome this problem with the all-digital ITO. They started with "sampling" (recording) sounds from many traditional pipe organs, including many of Cameron Carpenter’s favorite instruments – from church cathedrals to theater organs (and one of his favorite Wurlitzers is right here in Buffalo at Shea's Performing Art Center). Then these various "sampled" sounds were installed in an organ designed to be internationally mobile – an idea impractical or impossible by other means.

There are two opportunities to hear this marvel of 21st century technology - Friday March 10 at 10:30 a.m. (come early for complimentary coffee and donuts) and Saturday, March 11 at 8:00 p.m. The program, conducted by JoAnn Falletta, includes DUKAS Fanfare to La Péri POULENC Concerto in G minor for Organ, Strings and Timpani; JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH Passacaglia and Fugue in C Minor, BWV 546; and SAINT-SAËNS Symphony No. 3, “Organ.” For tickets and information, call the BPO Box Office at 716-885-5000 or visit www.bpo.org.

Wednesday, 08 March 2017 15:40

Dover Quartet's Camden Shaw re: Beethoven

According to a bequest of Frederick and Alice Slee, every year since 1955, starting with the legendary Budapest String Quartet performances, Buffalo audiences have heard, in a prescribed order, every quartet Beethoven wrote, and they are played every year in that particular order. The bequest calls for one concert to offer Beethoven's "late style" String Quartet No. 13 to be played with its alternate ending and another concert (on March 8th, tonight) to offer the original ending, the "great fugue" as a stand-alone piece. When first heard, performers, friends, and especially his publisher told him it was too much for audiences of the time. “Cattle!” “Asses!” were Beethoven’s responses, but ultimately he agreed to write an alternate ending to his Opus 130 and publish the fugue separately as Opus 133.

Of that great fugue Beethoven said that he was writing not for his own time, but for the future. That future is here. Imagine that Beethoven put a message in a bottle or time capsule and buried it. Now, almost 200 years later, as quartets have done in Buffalo since 1955, we get to open that message once again. In a conversation with the Dover Quartet's cellist, Camden Shaw said that "kids and younger people love it... the rawness and the intensity." And that the pinnacle of listening will come at the end of the fifteen-minute "Grosse Fugue." When he was a student at the Curtis Institute (which he calls "The Hogwart's of Music") his cello teacher, Peter Wiley, (who played for many years with the famous Guarneri Quartet) told Shaw: "Just wait until you get to play the ending of the Grosse Fuge." And, indeed, says Shaw: "There's a moment right at the end, where we hear the theme of the fugue one last time with these stirring triplets underneath. It's one of the most satisfying moments in all of music to play."

The UB Music Department presents the award-winning Dover Quartet tonight, March 8, in Lippes Concert Hall in Slee Hall on SUNY at Buffalo's North Campus at 7:30 p.m. Joel Link & Bryan Lee, violin; Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt, viola; and Camden Shaw, cello, will play, in order, music defined as "early, late style, and middle period" Beethoven: his Quartet in D Major, Op. 18, No. 3; the “Grosse Fuge,” Op. 133, and the Quartet in F Major, Op. 59, No. 1. Camden Shaw spoke with WNED's Peter Hall.

The Sphinx Competition is held every year in Detroit, Michigan and is open to all Junior High, High School, and College age Black and Latino string players residing in the U.S. The Sphinx Competition offers young Black and Latino classical string players a chance to compete under the guidance of an internationally renowned panel of judges and to perform with established professional musicians in a competition setting. Its primary goals are to encourage, develop and recognize classical music talent in the Black and Latino communities.

Eighteen year old Maria Sanderson has attended Indiana University’s String Academy for nine years where she studies with Mimi Zweig. In 2014 she was a Sphinx Junior Division Semi-Finalist, then in 2015 a Junior Division 3rd Place Laureate, and then in 2016 she was the Junior Division 1st Place Laureate. She'll be in Buffalo traveling to various high schools as part of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra's "West Side Connection" program, will perform with the orchestra, but will also perform for the public in a free recital at St. Martin de Porres Catholic Church 555 Northampton Street Buffalo 14208 (near Martin Luther King Park) at 3 PM on Sunday March 12, 2017.

She spoke with WNED|WBFO's Peter Hall.

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